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GNU/Solaris - the Free OS of the Future?

It seems that Sun Microsystems are considering GPL-ing Solaris. What's even more interesting is they are thinking of using the controversial version 3 of the license, which has yet to be published. This follows a post last January by Sun's Jonathan Schwartz where he indicated that Sun were looking into the use of the GPLv3 for Solaris.

If this follows through GNU/Solaris may become the operating system for computer users who value their freedom. Why? Well since Linus Torvalds stated that the Linux Kernel - the base of the GNU/Linux OS - will remain GPLv2, tensions have arisen within the Free Software community who wish that the Linux Kernel would be protected from things such as Tivoization in the future, a protection the GPLv3 hopes to offer. Thus with an alternative Free kernel, users who feel sore over the whole 'GPLv3 and the Linux Kernel' debate might dump the Linux kernel for the Solaris offering.

Sun have been looking into re-licensing Solaris under dual license; the current CDDL and GPLv3. The idea behind this is not to scare away the current users of Solaris who use it under the CDDL, and to attract people the huge pool of Free Software users and contributors who are out there.

Last November Sun announced that they were going to GPLv2 Java. If Sun GPL Solaris it indicates a continued shift in the company's attitude towards Free Licenses, and is a good thing for the Free Software community as it gives a wider choice of software and it's also an indication of support by a major technology company.

We'll have to wait and see what happens, but this looks a positive step in the direction of Freedom by Sun.


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Comments

Indeed, it looks like Sun

Indeed, it looks like Sun figured out the same thing, maybe they even read your blog. (We were in contact with a high Sun official at one point after all so it's not totally impossible that he reads around. Smiling ).

I'm not sure how substantial would be the rise in popularity of the GNU/Solaris though. There are a lot of people who will not mind all the hot debating in the GNU/Linux world nor the kernel staying under GPLv2 (it is GPL after all), and Linux still has a much larger hardware support as far as I know. I know the latter would be a major brake to me adopting it for my desktop computing for example.

But will it help boost Sun's platform. Absolutely! Sun is making all the right moves lately. Smiling

I'm sure going to be trying Solaris soon. I actually ordered their free press kit (not OpenSolaris, but I believe most of the code is freed, and press kit includes DVDs it would take me ages to download, so I ordered just to familiarize myself with Sun stuff).

If I do go to FOSDEM, I

 

If I do go to FOSDEM, I might be able to have a chat with that one Sun official. Maybe I can convince him to restart the interview now he's actually allowed to speak about the things we were asking Smiling .

That would be great. Good

That would be great. Good luck. Smiling

@tbuitenh Ah so that's where

@tbuitenh

Ah so that's where some of my ideas came from. I remember the issue being discussed last year, but I couldn't quite remember where, thanks for the link.

I agree

 

I agree with libervisco. Adoption of the GPLv3 might be slow to begin with. The Linux kernel, MySQL and possible more non-GNU software licensed under GPLv2 are not very likely to adopt GPLv3. It seems like a clever ploy from Sun in order to get more developers to adopt openslowlaris.

On the other hand, the more GPL software there is, the better. The adoption of GPLv3 by a major player as Sun is a good argument against criticism against GPLv3. Why would Sun adopt GPLv3 if it were as bad as Linus et al. claim it to be?

GNU?

 

Why would Sun need to combine with GNU? They already have a full OS.

official

 

Surely that should be High Priest of Sun:-)

users choose their own userland

 
a thing wrote:

Why would Sun need to combine with GNU? They already have a full OS.

Sun doesn't need to, except when customers say they prefer the GNU utilities over the original Solaris ones. Of course any user might decide to use yet another set of utilities, for example plan 9 from user space (with which I'm having some fun on linux at the moment).

re: I agree

 

Why would Sun adopt GPLv3 if it were as bad as Linus et al. claim it to be?

Because the very things that GPLv3 intends to stop might be the things Sun feared all along I suppose?

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