Earlier this year I attended to a talk about the project ‘Illumos’ (which I knew absolutely nothing), now that it’s been several months since its creation, I had the opportunity to see the video of that talk again.
Solaris was an UNIX-base operating system owned by Sun Microsystems. Solaris was originally released under a propietary license but in 2005 Sun decided to change its business strategy. They created the OpenSolaris project (built upon Solaris 10), released the code under CDDL license (a weak copyleft open source license) and created a community for the development. To manage the project the created a board (like the board in the Apache Software Foundation) and the contributors should transfer the ownership of the code to Sun MicroSystems (similar to the Contributor License Agreement of the ASF). In this way Sun would share the development costs of its operating system but continue releasing proprietary licensed versions (dual licensing business model).
In 2009 Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, however the purchase was not effective until 2010 because of the monopoly claims against Oracle (as one of the projects of Sun was another DDBB: MySQL). In August 2010, Oracle closed the OpenSolaris repository and announced they would discontinue the development.
The developer community with the sponsorship of some companies whose business model was based on OpenSolaris (like Nexenta) created Illumos. The first idea was not to make a fork but rather a side project to OpenSolaris to allow contributors not depend on the decisions of Oracle. However, after the decisions taken by Oracle regarding OpenSolaris, Illumos had no other choice that to become a fork of OpenSolaris.
What is the status of the project after these months?
Here I leave you an interview with Garrett D’Amore (Illumos’ leader) (you have to jump to minute 3:20 for the part in English) explaining what has been the progress these past months and what are their future plans.