The OpenSolaris Operating System and Sun xvm virtualBox Blake Deville

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The OpenSolaris Operating System and Sun xVM VirtualBox

  • Blake Deville


  • Since the early 1980s, Sun worked on the SunOS variant of UNIX.

  • In 1987, Sun and AT&T merged BSD, System V, and Xenix to create System V Release 4.

  • Releases ending at SunOS 4 were based off of BSD and later renamed to Solaris 1.

  • SunOS 5 was based off of SVR4 and referred to as Solaris 2.

  • After Solaris 2.6, the minor version replaced the major (The current Solaris 10 is SunOS 5.10).

Solaris, cont'd.

  • Became very popular on Sparc systems.

  • SunOS 5 included the OpenWindows environment, and later included the Common Desktop Environment.

  • As of Solaris 10, the default desktop environment is the Java Desktop System.

  • Alternatives are supported, such as KDE, Gnome 2.0, and XFCE.


  • Started as a fork of the Solaris 10 code.

  • First available on June 14, 2005.

  • Both binary and source availability, free of cost.

  • Gradually, more of the Solaris code will be available.

  • Starting with the current version of Solaris (Nevada), code will be used on OpenSolaris.

  • Also available as a weekly-updated developer release.

  • The only SVR4-based open-source UNIX.

OpenSolaris, Cont'd.

  • The code for Dtrace was released first, followed by much of the Solaris code.

  • Some parts were still only available as binary.

  • Licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License.

  • The CDDL is OSI-approved and based off of the Mozilla Public License (MPL).

  • Because of MPL roots it is not compatible with the GPL.

Project Indiana

  • One of the most significant releases of OpenSolaris.

  • Version 2008.05 (Released in May).

  • Ian Murdock of Debian fame was asked to head the project.

  • Brings several successes of Linux distributions to OpenSolaris.

  • Includes Gnome, GNU tools, and a network-based package manager.

Project Indiana, Cont'd.

  • Functions as a live CD.

  • Contains the Grub bootloader.

  • X86(_64), PowerPC, and Sparc architectures supported.

  • Linux influences make OpenSolaris easier to pick up with hardly any learning curve.


The Image Packaging System

  • Similar to Debian apt and FreeBSD ports.

  • Slight emphasis on setting up one's own repository.

  • Has the ability to send packages to a repository.

  • GUI (Package Manager) and command-line variants (pkg).

  • Not yet complete, and has some quirks.

  • Repositories based on “Authorities.”

OpenSolaris Variants

  • Nexenta OS – OpenSolaris with Ubuntu influences

  • MilaX – Minimalist OpenSolaris distribution

  • SchilliX – First OpenSolaris live CD/distribution

  • OpenSolaris for System Z – port to IBM's System Z mainframe.

  • Belenix – Served as a basis for Project Indiana.

Typical Installation

  • Boot the OpenSolaris live CD

  • Double-click the “Install OpenSolaris” icon on the desktop.

  • Select a partition.

  • Timezone, date, etc.

  • Default language

  • Set the root password (Optionally create a user)‏

  • Install and reboot.

Sun xVM VirtualBox

  • Originally developed by Innotek, but now by Sun.

  • At first only free for personal/evaluational use, but later most of the source code was released under GPLv2.

  • Features seamless desktops, USB support (not in open-sourced version), audio, mounting an iso as a CD/DVD drive, and snapshots.

  • Runs most operating systems decently.


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