Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Sun Microsystems

Solaris to be Community Licensed 181

In an update to Rob's report, ZD-Net is reporting that Sun will Community License Solaris. Basically you can get the source at zero-cost, but you must return bug fixes to Sun, you must pass Sun's compatability tests, and pay Sun if you ship binaries commercially.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solaris to be Community Licensed

Comments Filter:
  • I can't beleive I'm reading this.

    A big kick ass linux supporting company like Sun goes all out to try and do something good for the world of computing (anb bad for M$), and Sengan is trying to figure out a way to pimp them out of a few bucks.

    Why anyone woul want to screw Sun out of a few bucks by loopholing their binary clause is beyond me.

    Slashdot (and Sengan especially) just lowered a notch on the what's cool scale.

    --Aaron Newsome
  • Bill Gates invented the Internet.

    While this is obviously false, you've failed to make a point. Your previous two examples seemed aimed at downplaying US influence, while this one shows the importance of the US. Even though Bill Gates did not invent the Internet, it *was* Americans who did it.
  • Also, non-Americans generally know that the world isn't flat, doesn't start at the Atlantic and end at the Pacific

    If that's so, then why was it Europeans who thought that the world was flat and ended at the Atlantic?

    You might want to research your examples a bit more prior to using them.
  • Deal with it.
  • Sengan's question was a "what if?", an attempt, I guess, to find a flaw in the license. Why this question should be misunderstood and misinterpreted by you people, I don't know. Why this misunderstanding should be so willfully and consistently done, I do know. I would love to play SlashCop and tell the lot of you to take a hike, but I'm just Joe Lurker. I just wish you guys had the brainpower and cojones to think about it and feel some small bit of shame.

    Note: Sengan has removed the question in question.


  • Actually, that just makes it worse. He can't take the heat.

    So you piss on him either way, whether he removes it or not. I don't think he "can't take the heat"; it's more like "we had to kill the sentence in order to save the IQ level of the comments". Thank you very much for forcing him to censor himself; maybe /. should just remove all thought-provoking questions.

    Sengan, instead of covering up your mistakes (like your probable censoring of this post) why not just not make the mistakes in the first place? Here's an easy way: Think first, then post.

    There was no mistake. I wish you kneejerk anti-Sengan bastards would follow your own advice; take a look at your comments in this thread (while they're still here) - those comments show absolutely no thought at all.


  • The problem people had was that they interpreted him to be advocating using the loophole, which seems meanspirited, as opposed to just exposing the loophole, which was apparently his intent.

    You're way too kind. I don't think anyone misunderstood the question (well, you maybe); people were just piling on Sengan, using it as an excuse. It's not the first time - this has been going on ever since the Iraq bombing; some people's IQs seem to hit bottom at the very sight of Sengan's name. And they all seem to post anonymously for some reason.


  • When has RMS done anything resembling disabling comments?

    Gee, after the sublime comes the ridiculous. After Arthur's post sweetens my morning coffee, you have to drag this bit of misinformation into it. Go back to the page in question and read Rob and Sengan's addenda to the post. I'll leave it to you to find the URL.


  • but I think it was UPS's fault.

    Anyways, they're idiots, but their OS is pretty well constructed, so I'll probably throw some more money at them when I get an older Sparc box.

    I don't see why not, really.
  • It's easy to start "dogging" Sun for what appears to be an attempt get end-users/developers to start doing Sun's development for them. But this could end up being a Really Good Thing for Solaris users. If you work in a Solaris shop, or use apps that only run on Solaris, then you are going to be paying for Solaris anyways. A semi-open license may not be as good as a true GPL, but at least it will allow Solaris users a chance to make their OS work better for them. And who knows, if this works well for Sun maybe they will be more apt to semi-open other software.
    Most people don't mind paying for software that works the way they want it to. So they would be much more willing to pay for software that allows them access to the source code. Good for Sun, good for Sun's customers.
  • When are clean room procedures required? I know it's needed for reverse engineering, but I don't know exactly why. Presumably to ensure there is no copyright violation?

    Linus (along with thousands of OS design students who are now working in industry) saw the source to Minix and that wasn't deemed a problem. People from Digital's VMS group ended up working on NT. Clearly seeing the source for one OS doesn't prevent somebody from ever working on another.

  • And the military-industrial complex is becoming an endangered species. Many have gone out of business or have had to merge to remain viable. With the increasing use of 'commercial' hardware, the military-idustrial complex has to compete with 'civilian' companies, and most companies have had to diversify out of pure military applications, or at least their mother companies have.

    If anything, the military projects of Europe are more 'socialistic.' How many projects have been supported by France, GB, and Germany, even when costs have spiraled completely out of control? The governments funds inital research, as well as the cost of building, just to make sure the state-owned enterprise doesn't look too badly managed?
  • I ordered a copy of Solaris x86 the day they started the offer. It never came at all.
  • Apparently his second thought was to get huffy, reply as an Anonymous Coward and do the right thing.
  • I get timeouts when trying to access, at least this one:
    Name: wwwwseast2.usec.SUN.COM
    Aliases: www.SUN.COM

  • I find Sengan's posts to be troublesome not because they are anti-US, but because they are anti-sense. I'm not talking about the geopolitical editorials, but ones that have convoluted grammatical constructions. I thought that Sengan was a non-native English speaker for a some time, but apparently he's British, so now I just think he's a little hasty.

    As to your other points, I attended an international school (25% US, 75% other) and I agree wholeheartedly that Americans,even well educated ones, tend to be less well rounded than others. However, Europe is not the whole world either and once you get outside of that your taxes and social systems quip is even less true. And besides, in my limited experience, Panama and Chile have by far worse beer than the US.
  • Now, now. Quayle was less of a leader than the Queen.
  • The market does a great job of pricing commodities if all internal and external costs related to the production and distribution of that commoditity.

    Does the price of gasoline accurately internalize the price of military intervention in the Middle East?

    Does the price of gasoline accurately internalize environmental and human harms of agressive exploration and extraction of petroleum? or of the damage when it is used?

    When those things are true, gasoline will be fairly priced.

    As for your other point, you are correct will never run out of petroleum reserves since the price will rise as supply diminishes, hence some will never be extracted. We will, however, run out of useful quantities of gasoline, which is a man made product and which will not be produced if it is priced out of the energy market.
  • Considering what a gut-wrenching adaptation it must be for companies like Sun to open up their source code, we shouldn't be too harsh on them for taking baby steps. The CEO's probably have nightmares about shareholder lawsuits, etc. when they take these steps.
    In 10 years everything will be GPL'd. It'll just take a while for people to regard copyleft as normal.
  • Look, it's an awful big country here w/ alot of different people. Just because some stupid 13 yr olds post some ignorant comments on /. doesn't mean they speak for the entire nation. You're being as close-minded as they are by assuming everyone in the US thinks on an 8th grade level.

    Why not just let it drop and say something about Solaris?

  • by ksheff ( 2406 )

    I have no problem getting rid of murderers or any other violent thug. Everyday should be fry day.

  • Community Source? Though looking under the SunOS hood might be interesting, this intentionaly warm and fuzzy term is fundamentally different from GPL. At this point in time, Linux is more of a specific threat to commercial/commodity unixes than WinNT.

  • Well we have a Social Security system that is about to collapse because it is
    unsound, we have a Medicare (health care for elderly) which has similar problems.
    Both are defrauded at incredible rates, but are too big to police. We have a
    Welfare system that has about 75% overhead

    Americans are scared to let the government that constructed these programs to
    have a hand at Universal Health Care, with good reason I think.

    Australia has universal health care (called Medicare, though available to the non-elderly as well). Visits to the doctor (up to a point) and many treatments are bulk-billed (paid for by Medicare), and medicine is subsidised. We seem to manage just fine without much fraud or loss.

    Also, if the Americans are so paranoid about socialism, why do they have no problems with a multi-billlion-dollar military-industrial complex, a vast industry all paid for by the state? Surely that is a shining example of all-American Socialism.
  • by acb ( 2797 )
    The First Law of Hollywood Movies: All heroes must be recognisable 20th-century Americans, unless their ethnic identity is part of the gimmick (i.e., The Avengers and other swinging-60s Cool Brittannia fare). You lose audience mind-share if you ask people to identify with Britons, French, New Zealanders and other weird foreigners.

    Besides, everybody knows the Americans saved the world in WW2, Henry Ford invented the automobile and Bill Gates invented the Internet.
  • That's pretty far out. Yeah, I know it's not GPL. But hey, if you want it you can run Linux on your ultra :).

    I think this is a big step forward -- and I bet there's a lot of stuff in the infamous Slowlaris that could use some outside eyes.

    However, I personally have no intention of _ever_ under _any circumstances_ looking at a single line of Slowlaris source. Yeaahh! yuck.
  • I know this is not quite related to the free source offer, but just as an example of how I have seen these offers managed by Sun in the past.

    About five months back they offered free copies of Solaris for personal use. All you had to do was order on the web site and pay delivery. Five months later (just yesterday infact) I got sick of waiting for it to be delivered, cancelled the order and demanded a refund. Lets hope this will be better managed.
  • I tried Solaris x86 at home, and as a home system solaris doesn't hold a candle to a typical linux distribution. Out of the box I find Solaris completely unuseable, and I would have to download about a gigabyte of GNU stuff just to bring it to Red Hat's level.
    What they need to do with Solaris is start adding value - better shell than sh would be a good start.
    The install isn't nearly as good as Red Hat's either, despite what some people say.
  • real UNIX was sysv 5 years from now. real UNIX will be Linux 5 years from now.
  • Never heard of poteen (potain) ?

    (Irish moonshine).

    A pome:
    Since I discovered Murphy's over here I have no need for Merkin beer.

  • ...just because he's rubbed some doofus-headed
    merkins up the wrong way is no reason to ostracise him.

    Maybe you should listen your own free-speech rhetoric, and let Sengan be. If you don't like what he says, don't read it. Some of use *like* what he has to say.

  • I was wondering what the heck everyone was talking about. By the time I got to the article it seemed completely innocuous.
  • Mine took about 3 days to get here.

  • (This seems just about as good of a time as any to ask this...)

    Does anyone know if there is a way to run Solaris x86 binaries on Linux? I've heard of such things with *BSD, but never with Linux. I'm thinking it might be the quickest/easiest way to get a Lotus Notes client up and running.

    (I have Solaris 7 installed on my PC. Any magic libraries that need to be copied? If this is impossible now, could "open source Solaris" help?)

    Thanks for any pointers...
  • Sun must've noticed that it's only a matter of time before the Linux Sparc port is mature enough to beat the pants off Solaris. It makes no sense to charge a sizable fee for an operating system, when you can get something else which works at least as well, and it's free.

  • Look again, dude. Back here in the UK The real ale/commercial fizz pendulum has swung back; double diamond is dead, long live Theakstones!

    Does anyone *really* miss Watneys Red Barrel ?

  • Since when is the ability of the poor to purchase luxuries a BAD thing? Americans have a fairly high standard of living overall... and this is a reason to bash Americans?

    One man's luxury is another's necessity (emotionally if not physically).
  • I meant to say:

    ...doesn't support the [sarcasm] tag.
  • In all fairness the Vice-President of the US is hardly a leader. He's pretty much just there incase the presdent gets killed and to pretend to give a crap about the stuff the president is too busy to pretend to give a crap about

  • Then along came Linux with its Virtual File System model.

    I hate to break it to you, but the VFS model existed in Unix OS's before Linux existed. So you're right, it isn't the most lucid explanation, it isn't even an accurate explanation.
  • The press release didn't say anything, but I'd like to see SunOS 4.*.* and lower released openly (as opposed to the current expensive licence). Then we could finally have a SunOS 4.1 that works. Just wondering.

    This opening of Solaris 7 & al. will certainly assist in getting Solaris x86 (and SPARC, for that matter) binaries running on other platforms. Methinks a number of Solaris x86 binaries running on Linux would be very nice... (as a previous poster pointed out with Notes)

  • Why is Sun obsessed with creating all these
    weird almost open source but not quite licenses?
    Solaris is there mainl to sell Sun hardware,
    services and add-on products, these businesses
    would do just as well if Sun made Solaris truly
    open. I mean, who's going to compete with Sun
    in the Solaris support business?

    It really seems like they are trying to get everyone to fix bugs and add features for them,
    but still maintain the control and the revenue stream. I'd like to be able to say that people will see through this sort of thing, but Qt got plenty of third-party patches under the old license, and I'm sure MySQL and qmail still do.

    I'm actually willing to use proprietary software in some cases, but licensing tricks like this really annoy me.
  • So Sun basically is trying to get the best of both worlds: Getting hundreds of hackers to debug your source code for free (freed software world), and getting a piece of the action for every copy sold (un-free software world).

    Somehow, I do not think developers will be throwing themselves at Sun like armadillos into oncoming cars to take them up on this offer. I guess it depends on how big a cut Sun wants, and if it's set in advance of you developing your product, or after.

    (For the unaware, the armadillo looks like an armored rat and is about the size of a small dog, but is low to the ground -- low enough to pass unscathed under some cars and most larger vehicles -- but it's defense mechanism is to jump straight up into the air where they are invariably killed, victims of... well, you know.)
  • You are correct, in that if you already have some investment in using Solaris, this is pretty good news, because you'll get bug fixes quicker. The point is, I do not think this will attract new users to Solaris or inspire the sort of development that Linux currently enjoys.

    I think the old cliche applies here:

    Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    (cow == "commiting to full open source model", milk == "hackers debugging your code")

    i.e., with community source, someone is givin' it away, and it ain't Sun.
  • But I think I will stick with Linux.
  • In the good ol' days, when Unix only grokked one filesystem type, the OS used the directory bit to detect directories, but didn't bother to treat them any different otherwise. (Made the implementation of ls real simple, too.)

    Then along came Linux with its Virtual File System model. Since multiple file systems are supported, the app-level software must be shielded from the gory details of each particular filesystem's implementation.

    In this model, the only apps that should be accessing filesystem metadata directly are filesystem maintenance tools (e.g., e2fsck). I suppose, if there were a great hue and cry for access to directory metadata, a conduit could be written into the VFS model, but that's not likely.

    This isn't the most lucid explanation, but I'm having too much fun enjoying my (rare) day off to really polish it down to a smooth sheen.
  • Yeah right...but I can't get their site tonight. It's a happy thought. :-)

  • Mine took about two weeks, but it got here before the E-mail saying they had shipped it :-)
  • Okay, found by login password.

    I don't necessarily want to comment on Swedish racism at present, or your argument about all countries being racist, I'm British and therefore can't really comment.

    However, to flesh out my orginal point, I hate to see a country oblivious to its past responsibilies, and Sweden seems distinctly oblivious to theirs. Please see (admittedly a swedish site, albeit one that uses an NT server, if that page name is anything to go by) and consider the entry:

    "1913-1920: The Swedish race-segregation politic creates a system of institutional racism. The use of the Sami language is forbidden in the "Nomadicschools" A racebiological institute is created in Uppsala."

    Aparthied, I think you will agree.

    We're all guilty of something, and that fact that Sweden has some immigration, not a large amount but some, doesn't absolve them of anything.


    (This is called being majorly off topic)
  • All this nationalist crud on everyone's part is really driving me insane. I hereby declare myself dictator of the world. My first official act is to dissolve all national boundaries. To facilitate communication among my new citizens, I proclaim Klingon to be the world language. Anyone caught discriminating against another human based on any criteria other than merit will be shot. Anyone who cannot pass a standardized test that I will create will be sterilized. Teachers/Professors/other educators will receive more goods and services than all other professions. My Lieutenants will be selected purely on the criteria of merit. They will distribute goods and services based on an individual's contribution to society, but all citizens will be cared for. I command that research begin on farming the Moon and Mars to provide for all citizens, as the Earth can no longer sustain us all. People who dislike my policies will be sent to mine the asteroid belt for valuable materials.
  • Imagine what kind of Beowulf cluster you could
    build with some of that 31337 SoL@r1z source


  • I got mine rather promptly...

    But you have a point. Sun might be better off not trying to handle the distribution themselves. Maybe they could allow cheapbytes to distribute gratis Solaris as well? (I've never personally dealt with them, so I don't know for sure if they'd be any better...)
  • You are certainly right: Solaris will not get anywhere NEAR the kind of community development that Linux, etc. gets. You have to admire the direction they're taking, though.
  • I was not trying to knock Sun's license. I was just saying that while some people might contribute bug fixes, there will not be as many people as there are doing the same thing for gnu/linux (I don't normally say "gnu/linux" but I want to make it clear I'm referring to a full OS, not a kernel).
  • Mainly because they are legally allowed to say it here, but not there.
  • >That's NOT racism, it's religious was.
    And that makes it better? Different?

    It's even MORE stupid, in my book.

    >I think I should add that US supplied Iraq with >almost all it's weapons to fight the Islam >fundamentalists in Iran.

    Yes, fighting "dirty wars" thru front-men is always a evil and nasty business. The Europeans developed it to a fine art using natives and colonials in Africa, South America, and North America. Before our independence, *we* were used as those "front men".

    >Marxism is about all humans are equal

    And "some animals are more equal than others". Orwell was a big fan of Marxism, until he was given the opportunity to see it in action.
  • >I think I should add that US supplied Iraq with >almost all it's weapons to fight the Islam >fundamentalists in Iran.
    >So USA has just as dirty past when it comes to >religious wars.

    Pull your head out of your ass man, Europeans and Soviets monger far more weapons to 3rd world countries than the U.S. And don't get me started on the French .... sheesh. Read a book, Read Jane's ... read something!

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith