When Linus Torvalds successfully harnessed the talent of thousands of programmers to create Linux, the operating system that arguably suffered most was Sun Microsystems' Solaris.
Now Torvalds and his allies face a new side of that old competitor. Sun has turned Solaris into an open-source project. The company also is building its own community of programmers around Solaris, while promoting the operating system's deployment on the widely used computers with x86 processors, such as Intel's Xeon. Torvalds discussed Solaris, his improvisational programming style and other issues in an interview with CNET News.com.
What do you think of what Sun is doing with Solaris 10--technology improvements, open source, and the move to x86 chips?
I'm taking a very wait-and-see attitude to Sun. They like talking too much. I'm waiting for the action.
It seems to me that they have taken some action besides just grandstanding. They have resurrected the x86 version and added several interesting features--containers, DTrace, and ZFS, for example--that are available today in beta versions of Solaris 10. They're actively rounding up support from developers and software companies. And they announced that the production version of Solaris 10 on x86 will be available for free. What do you think about the x86 move and the new Solaris features?
Solaris/x86 is a joke, last I heard. (It has) very little support for any kind of strange hardware. If you thought Linux had issues with driver availability for some things, let's see you try Solaris/x86. (Editors' note: Drivers enable an operating system to communicate with specific hardware such as a video card or network adapter.)
News source: C|Net News.com