back to article OpenSolaris axed by Ellison

You all expected it, and now it has come to pass: Oracle has killed off the OpenSolaris development project. There was never any need for the OpenSolaris governing board to commit ritual suicide — they were going to be ignored to death just the same. A lengthy email sent out to the Solaris development team by Mike Shapiro ( …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In short

    Larry wants to benefit from the open source community (oracle enterprise linux) but he doesn't want the open source community to benefit from anything Oracle does. Unless of course they are willing to pay for a special partnership agreement.

    Ho hum. At least it will hopefully put some focus back on FreeBSD

    1. Captain Thyratron

      He never really cared one way or the other.

      You've got to put all this in perspective.

      Sure, adoption rates are more important than per-instance revenue. Sure, getting an OS out there where people can see it encourages more people to use it, to the benefit of whoever put it out there. Sure, focusing on making an OS a closed, niche, high profit-per-instance thing will surely kill it in time, e.g. OpenVMS, OS/400, &c. But Oracle is not an OS company. The long-term success of any part of Sun's former product line means positively jack shit to Ellison.

      Oracle is a database company--specifically, an "enterprise" database company. As long as they can continue charging hundreds of millions of dollars for database installations, they're happy. That's what they do. Solaris is just a boot loader for that database, and when it's dried up and dead, Oracle will find another to use. Oracle will leave dead platforms, demoralized users, and--most important of all--satisfied investors in its wake.

      Oracle did not buy Sun because it cared much about the SPARC server business or Solaris. They bought Sun because they wanted to secure all those juicy-looking high-end database customers before somebody else like IBM snapped them up and got them using some other expensive database that wasn't Oracle's.

      Oracle is a database company.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        RE: He never really cared one way or the other.

        "....Solaris is just a boot loader for that database, and when it's dried up and dead, Oracle will find another to use. Oracle will leave dead platforms, demoralized users, and--most important of all--satisfied investors in its wake...." Sir, that is the clearest explanation of the facts of Oracle business life I have read. Good luck getting the Sunshiners to actually understand it, but I salute your insight.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Captain Thyratron

        So they're "an enterprise database company", where more revenue comes from application servers and middleware, than from databases, eh? That's been the case for a few years now, by the way, so get your facts straight before you spout your BS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down


          And what do you think all that middleware and apps servers plug into? Scotch Mist?

          The DB side of Oracle is the foundation stone of the business, in the same way Windows is for Microsoft. You want Oracle Middleware and apps? Sure, you'll need this little database too....

          So not really BS. Microsoft aren't just an OS provider, Apple aren't just a fashion accessory house and Google do more than search - but these are what these outfits are known for because these are the centrepiece of the business. So Oracle can happily revel in being "an enterprise database company" - nothing to be ashamed of.

          Solaris, for now, will become a sideshow - a boot loader for Oracle apps and DBs, reduced in stature, support and (more importantly) development until they say 'stuff it, Linux is way ahead, so bye bye Solaris'.

      3. Jim 59
        Thumb Up

        boot loader

        "Oracle is a database company."

        Now it is a boot loader and platform company too.

        "... and when [the platform is] dried up and dead, Oracle will find another to use. Oracle will leave dead platforms, demoralized users, and--most important of all--satisfied investors in its wake."

        Not so easy to leave something for dead when it's yours though, and has your name all over it.

  2. Mark Talbot

    Are Oracle deliberately trying to turn themselves in the evil tech company

    I know oracle have always been a bit evil but with what there doing with Sun's IP are they trying to make themselves more hated in the tech community than Microsoft

    1. Captain Thyratron

      And Larry will twirl his moustache.

      If Microsoft is any indication, being hated in the tech community doesn't seem to hurt revenues.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No big loss

      ...if you ask me. You can probably count the number of community contributions to OpenSolaris on one hand, and by the sound of it, anybody who wants a free, in-development binary distro (with optional paid support) will still be able to in the form of Solaris 11 Express. So, just the same as the old OpenSolaris 20xx.yy releases, then, except probably more regular than once a year.

      1. Penti

        No they won't

        You don't get it AC, it won't be possible to just replace it with S11 Express, SXCE will not allow any commercial use.

        Current Solaris 10 downloads only permit evaluation use, not development or personal/individual use, that's certainly a step back which visualizes and displays their intent and the future. If Express would be like the old Solaris Express why back down from using Solaris 10 without support, access to repository. And develop things away from sight is definitively not in line with what Sun was doing. They are basically many more times more closed then IBM now. Which also builds products on open source projects like the geronimo application server, other apache projects, open office and so on. And also providing it for free. Why drop community versions and gratis use for individual use, developers, technicians and so on, when everybody else is moving there even the not open source using players. It's just idiocy and will destroy every value it had. The express/free releases needs to be valuable and usable. It isn't if they are locked down too much or the licensing restrict one from doing anything. It doesn't rob them from providing the none free supported enterprise version or product. It helps them creating a user base which might want to move their when they grow, and they will grow with something/someone else if that's not a possibility. Which will also risk those current users migrating to the platforms the others are moving too.

        So it's not for anybody. And that's the problem.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Oracle is not a charity

      So it doesn't give out free lunches. How does it make them the most evil tech company? Wouldn't it be more evil to give out free googly candy laced with drugs?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Do you really think they care?

      Sorry to burst your bubble but Oracle, MS, et al, coudn't give a monkey's about what people think so long as the coprorate licenses keep flowing. I have worked with Oracle DBs for 18 years now, since v6 and I have never known them to give two hoots what customers wanted. I have been in a couple of companies where they didn't pay for Oracle licenses and Oracle found out, it's not pretty. The Mafia are more pleasant, at least you get protection when you pay your protection money to the Mafia! You deal with Oracle licensing team and soting out 18 months of back-dated licenses. Oh yes, Oracle back-date their licenses if you "forget" to pay up!

      All you Web 2.0'ers seem to think tech companies should be all lovely and fluffy like Apple, sorry but Larry started Oracle when CEO's would license their own mothers if it meant turning a profit. You don't get bank balance of $35bn by being liked, you get it by being a hard-nosed, greedy bastard.

      Even the Jobs' of this world are greedy bastards, they just have slightly better PR team. Larry has never given a shit what people think and he sure doesn't care now! Like I say, so long as 95% of the Fortune500 companies keep paying their subs, then he's happy.

      I still love using the software though! LOL!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My my,

    Oracle are busy today.

    1. David S

      My thoughts exactly.

      Is it possible for an entire company to get out of the wrong side of the bed in the morning?

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Oracle speak with forked tongue, Kemo Sabe

      "My my, .... Oracle are busy today." .... skelband Posted Friday 13th August 2010 22:07 GMT

      That suggest to an old experienced cynic, that they are struggling, and far from healthy.

  4. Captain Thyratron

    So long, and thanks for all the Unix.

    Good thing I started learning FreeBSD.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Fairwell, Solaris.

    I knew you well, and made a lot of money knowing you well over the years. Sad to see you go.


  6. Captain Thyratron


    The funny part is that it's Friday the 13th.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: dooooooooom

      It could only have been funnier if Larry had made that buffoon Fowler face the press and admit OpenSlowaris was sleeping with the fishes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More likely renaming the distribution

    Think you got this one wrong, from what I understand they are renaming the opensolaris DISTRIBUTION to Solaris 11 Express, not killing of the opensolaris PROJECT. Get your facts right.

    1. ziggy

      not a rename - Solaris Express Is Different

      Solaris Express is a binary release, source code (for those portions that can be open sourced) will be released after official Solaris 11 release.

      in other words, no more continuous access to source code being built

      1. Karlsson

        Parial true

        The distribution gets renamed, and sadly the continuous access to source code in the repository goes away. We'll see what happens, but from what I understand, source is to be made available when the "product" is release, not as good but still better than no source :)

    2. uninventiveheart

      Not quite...

      Solaris 11 Express is for developer use only... if you aren't registered with Oracle as a developer, you can't have it. The email said they're no longer pushing code updates to OpenSolaris. That means it's dead.

      Sun was bought by Oracle because by itself Sun is not profitable enough to survive. This decision shouldn't come as a surprise.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Let's say it together.

      Fork it! Let Illumos shine as a full-fledged OpenSolaris replacement!

      If they can do it with Haiku, and they can do it with ReactOS, they can do this. Just replace those proprietary parts with parts borrowed from BSD or Linux, and viola!

      Badgers. Because Oracle is that.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Is forking a wise proposition at this point?

        "Fork it! Let Illumos shine as a full-fledged OpenSolaris replacement!"

        Judging that Oracle has just begun to wage a war upon Google and Android - though admittedly I am not a lawyer and don't fully understand the lawsuit and what scraps are being fought over - I'm sure that I would be hesitant to use a derivative of opensolaris given that it appears that they want to own Sun's IP with predation. Hail Bob! (The Reg also needs a Bob Dobbs icon in addition to a Larry icon.)

        I hope that Nextenta has been consulting rather furiously with their legal team.

    2. the spectacularly refined chap

      BSD based?

      No, Solaris is and always has been SVR4 based (if you discount the Solaris 1.x retcon).

    3. Anonymous Coward


      > since Solaris itself is BSD-based, there is considerable cross-pollination happening between those two branches of UNIX.

      Solaris is *not* based on BSD. SunOS 4.x and before was based on BSD, but Solaris 2 in 1990 marked the change to an SVr4 base. I remember it well, it was when I joined Sun. That was such a painful experience that Scott McNealy promised that he would never do it to customers again. Seems to have been forgotten with (Open)Solaris 11.

    4. James R Grinter

      no, it really isn't.

      "Plus, since Solaris itself is BSD-based, there is considerable cross-pollination happening between those two branches of UNIX." -- no, it really isn't (maybe you're thinking of Solaris 1 aka SunOS 4, but that was done and dusted by 1995, going EOSL in 2003. It isn't common BSD heritage that has lead to ZFS and DTrace being picked up by FreeBSD and Mac OS X - the latter not a BSD kernel either.)

      Solaris 2 has USL heritage all the way through the kernel, although significant amounts have been replaced and even the 'SysV init' scripts have been deprecated for a while now. It's a stable platform that doesn't crash in the spectacular ways that I've seen some 'Enterprise' offerings give up, repeatedly, under heavy load.

      IMHO they got some things wrong (numerous mis-attempts at improving TCP stack performance, failure to fix packaging, poor systems management tools, and what were they thinking when they gave us SMF?) but, that said, at least it's not HP/UX or AIX. Those really are abominations, travesties of the "Unix" brand, that should have been killed off ages ago.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Oracle Technology Network

    Does it still fail as hard as it did when it had the Iraqi flag in the top left corner of every page?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe Ellison has a funny bone

    That this would leak on Friday the 13th after months of silence and enough hints that anyone with a grain of sense would have put together months ago. These decisions were made a while ago and those with high moral standards and who had options got out from under this disaster on wheels. I appreciate his dark sense of humor.

    It will be interesting to see how this works out for Oracle, but in a climate where folks don't want to pay for hardware the only thing folks are less willing to pay for than hardware is software, especially software that you might be able to get open versions of elsewhere and which a lot of places have already migrated to and with an assortment of migration tools available. And if they don't put about 5 years of development effort into AI and IPS by the release date of Solaris 11, it may even be doubtful if it would be appealing to those customers free of charge given the maturity of Jumpstart/JET and the current pkg manager. Finding the engineers to hire, train and get on those tasks in less than a year is doubtful.

    The OS is, indeed, mostly not relevant anymore.

  11. halms
    Thumb Down

    and here we go...

    i have been waiting since they announced the takeover. i know something will go down. i'm sure the main reason is mysql. wont be surprised when (not IF) that happen.

  12. Mikel

    Said it before, say it again

    Larry Ellison is not in the giving stuff away business. I said it in April and I'll say it again. The guy isn't even trying to hide it. He's telling you in plain language. Free stuff is not how Oracle became such a wealthy company, nor how Larry Ellison became such a wealthy man. To Larry Ellison technology is just the context of the game. The goal is to win the game, and score is kept in dollars of profit per quarter, or market capitalization, or personal wealth - for him scoreboards that are functionally equivalent.

    Link where I said it:

    And the text (because you all are lazy) reads:

    Giving stuff away does not add immediately to the bottom line. It's not how Oracle operates. Larry Ellison is not in the "giving stuff away" business and he doesn't intend to be.

    So get over it. It's time to get forking all the Sun things that can be forked, and replacing all the things that can't.

    1. asdf

      Larry has to please the freetards a little

      MySql forced Larry's hand to offer a gimped free database for apps. Larry has to be a bit careful as unlike M$ he can't afford to piss off the open source world entirely (too many Oracle licenses running on non windows boxes for the shareholders to ignore). I agree when he has his druthers his business model though is like Calvin Kleins charge way more than is reasonable and chalk it up to paying for the brand. Can't argue with success.

  13. asdf

    Where the hell is Matt B to gloat?

    Come on Matt where is the told you so? SPARC has been garbage for a long time and I am glad Larry took it out back and shot it in the head. Solaris is ok but honestly now that Sun is gone is it really that much more compelling than RHEL or even *BSD? I did like some of the technologies that they made open source such as ZFS but that gravy train has left the station and Larry doesn't do anything free just for goodwill. RIP Sun, a lot of your stuff was pretty neat (not SPARC it has sucked balls since before the dot com bust) but ultimately you FAILED just like DEC and will leave nothing but memories for us grey beards.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Where the hell is Matt B to gloat?

      "Come on Matt where is the told you so?"...... Shush again! Don't annoy the Sunshiners, they have a hard enough time dealing with reality, let alone when you explain the difference between the truth and their Truth. I'm already hearing from resident Sunshiners that Illumos is the New Truth, etc, etc. The funniest one was from a Sunshiner, telling me that Illumos was going to "kick Linux's A$$", whilst he was busy pushing RHEL out to some x64 servers!

      "......SPARC has been garbage for a long time and I am glad Larry took it out back and shot it in the head......" Interestingy, Larry has realised that the hardware bit of the Sun bizz he never wanted can actually make some money, if only as a means to push more database licences. He's let John Fowler stand up and do his usual wild promises routine, wave around another non-roadmap roadmap (a proper roadmap has information, detail and is plausible). He seems to be intent on resurrecting something from CMT for all those threads, though how he expects to do it is another thing seeing as all the real SPARC brains have already jumped ship. Maybe it will be offloaded to Fudgeitso, maybe it's all a ploy to stop existing SPARC base migrating to other OSs and different databases. But, at this point, SPARC is not quite dead and buried.

      But Larry has stuck to his promise of monetising the Sun carcass. He is already looking to make patent money off Java and charge for access to "open"Slowaris. The Sunshiners will squeal and whine, but the shareholders will take the profits over community mindshare any day.

      So, take a minute, be patient, and we will all get to laugh at the Sunshiners in time.


  14. uninventiveheart

    'Tis only a flesh wound...

    Community is still going through the motions...

    On August 23rd, they're going to return control of the OGB to Oracle. Moot point if Oracle is ending the development anyway.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    damn, I still never got that trial cd...

    Still waiting... Was it linux world I signed up for you to mail it? or was it online, online I think?


    Na, actually I am glad to see oracle come to it's senses. remember the creative VMRL in 94?

    I still have two original posters, the one with the houses, and webmaster untangling the web. I don't see many of those anymore.

  16. Uwe Dippel

    The Evil Beast?

    Looks pretty much at first sight.

    Though it does pretty well what looks right from their angle. SUN's was another one, and they messed it up.

    Until here, almost no word about the OpenSolaris community. With my hat as a sociologist, it is also interesting, how badly the community was set up, and governed. It will be a nice thesis to wade through all the discussions in the OpenSolaris forum(s) from 2006 until the demise, and analyse the ever again arising discussions on the topic of 'community' and 'licensing'.

  17. Kebabbert

    Bad for OpenSolaris Good for Solaris

    This is bad for OpenSolaris. But really good for Solaris.

    Solaris 11 Express will be free and support optional:

    "We will have a Solaris 11 binary distribution, called Solaris 11 Express, that will have a free developer RTU license, and an optional support plan. "

    With the new exciting roadmap for SPARC, Solaris has never been in better shape! The future is very promising! (The step from Linux to Solaris is much smaller, than from Windows to Solaris. There are many Linux users out there to convert to Solaris. )

    1. sysconfig


      "There are many Linux users out there to convert to Solaris." -- I doubt that. Many Linux users want it for free and/or be able to do whatever they want with the code. You will not be able to convince any of them to even look at a binary-only commercial product at all.

      More interesting is: What do the OpenSolaris fans and developers do now? Will they end up in the *BSD corner? Then Oracle's move was at least worth something!!

      1. Marcus Aurelius

        Speaking personally

        As a sometime Linux user, I want it for free to develop a solution on my system, and then I implement that solution in the real world on a "proper" system, which $company doesn't object to paying megabucks for.

        Rightly or wrongly, some companies are still a little bit squiffy on using the "amateur produced" Linux over Solaris, AIX or whatever, and I'm personally not going to argue with them as they're happy to pay my bill and for the "industry" system they want..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        >Many Linux users want it for free and/or be able to do whatever they want with the code.

        Oh come on!!

        How many Linux *users* look at or even care about the source of their OS?

        All they want is to be able to get something for free and experience the fuzzy warm feeling of being cool

    2. Willy Messerschmitt
      Dead Vulture


      You are so funny. Could you please throw more salt into the wounds of the Slowaris Greybeards ?

      The tombstone is in reality a Salt Dispenser.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      exciting roadmap??

      > With the new exciting roadmap for SPARC,

      Come on, the SPARC roadmaps have always been exciting, but eventually SPARCs were behind the competition. Do you think anyone will believe that after all major tech heads have jumped the ship?

    4. Penti

      It isn't

      It isn't good for Solaris, they don't even sell Solaris workstations or desktops any more. No OpenSolaris mean no modern hardware support, no laptop support, no desktop support. You'll be lucky if the developer version is a VirtualBox image I guess.

      Sun is only for their existing enterprise customers now, before it was for everybody. Startups, mid-sized companies, developers and students. Now it's just moving to become some obscure enterprise product which many will not ever see or use. Every involvement with Xorg, Gnome etc will be lost. Why support a company that doesn't support the software of your choice? Their database offerings with bundled hardware hasn't even been well received they have destroyed or alienated any customers they might have had, and they clearly don't want Java to be everywhere, which is anti-competitive and dishonest and betraying past promises. And goes against Javas ambition itself. And is battle which they will loose. Hotspot is already out there free and open source, licensed to the like of IBM, HP, Azul systems etc which have contributed greatly to it. Iron rule will fail. We will simply move to competitors systems. They are a company set to leverage the "IP" to it's full extent which means not prohibit any unlicensed use. Which would be retarded. Even by MS standards. Sparc is cool but most doesn't run their software on it and Rock is dead. It doesn't help them a bit. It won't turn them into IBM. Or a "complete" company.

    5. Jesper Frimann

      Only Keb can make a positive spin on this story :)

      As always it takes Keb to make a positive spin on this rather sad story for the OpenSolaris community.

      // Jesper

  18. frank fegert

    Strangely though ...

    ... there is a job opening (ID: IRC1354555) for a sysadmin position supporting the OpenSolaris infrastructure posted on the Oracle recruitment site. I wonder how that fits together with the announcement of bailing out of OpenSolaris?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't take that job....

      They laid-off the sysadmins a couple of weeks ago and it was likely planned as far back as rolling up opensolaris was. At least it would appear that the systems won't be left to the developers, but if that job description is any indication, anyone with the amount of experience they're looking for would not be all that enthusiastic about applying for it. "Dynamic environment"? Excuse me whilst I chuckle.

  19. Mage Silver badge

    So like Google then?

    People have the mistaken idea that Android is FOSS development.

    The Android road map is secret.

    Google alone develops a new version of Android and *then* releases it as Open Source. Google decides what item of confectionery it will be called.

    So Oracle has taken a leaf out of Google's book :-)

  20. g e

    I predict

    Something MySQL related within 18 months

    1. Parsifal

      Shortly followed by

      Something JAVA related a few months later, Oracle will want to reap every penny they can out Sun's IP's , the current Google lawsuit is a strong indication of the direction they're heading.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Sun always worked hard to protect Java, that's hardly something Oracle has introduced. Remember the whole argument over Microsoft's JVM?

  21. Kebabbert

    To clarify why the future is bright:

    From the mail this news article refers to:

    "The growth opportunity for Solaris has never been greater. As one

    example, Solaris is used by about 40% of Oracle’s enterprise

    customers, which means we have a 60% growth opportunity in our top

    customers alone. In absolute numbers, there are 130,000 Oracle

    customers in North America alone who don’t use our servers and storage

    yet, and a global customer base of 350,000 (the prior Sun base was

    ~35,000). That’s a huge opportunity we can go attack as a combined

    company that will increase Solaris adoption and the overall Hardware

    server revenue. Our success will also increase the amount of effort

    ISVs exert optimizing their applications for Solaris."


    Sun had 35.000 customers. Oracle has 350.000 customers paying BIG money. If Oracle can make a tiny percent to switch to Solaris, then Oracle has reversed the trend of "declining Solaris". And Larry will see that there are strong business reasons to switch. Earlier there was only technological reasons to switch to Solaris.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: To clarify why the future is bright:

      Kebby, you forget that there has to be a compelling business reason for those Oracle customers not using Slowaris or Sun hardware to switch. The hardware front is the least likely - Snoreacle simply cannot match Dell, hp or IBM in servers or storage. It would take years of development to even get close, and the competition aren't exactly standing still. The server and hardware bizz has really become a commodity game where the economies of scale pick out the winners, and that's not Snoreacle.

      On the OS front, how can Snoreacle make Slowaris more appealling than Linux, Windows or the other commercial UNIX variants when Sun already failed to? Give it away free? Sun's Project Copy Linux already failed there. Free will mean lagging in features as the other OS vendors will have profits to plough back into OS development. Subsidised as a means of selling database licences? Well, that is just a slower version of free's lack of development, and ends up producing an OS that is only suited to one flavour of app - what about if the customers don't want Oracle's DB? As an appliance? Again, that means even mroe restricted as it is tuned to one app in one use scenario. That really does make Slowaris just a boot loader.

      Full-priced, possibly on a per-core LTU with a discount for SPARC? Well, that means going back to the playingfield where Sun already lost, and where they have fallen far behind Intel and IBM in chip dev. Despite John Fowler's usual wild optimism, I'm still not convinced Larry has a plan of how he's going to make SPARC servers for a profit. After all, I'm told the majority of new Oracle installations are on x64 servers, and that rate is less than the growth of M$ SQL Server. With the UNIX sector shrinking, Oracle's target market has got to be x64, and that means keeping the Oracle software products just as good on Windows and Linux as Slowaris on SPARC or x64. If Larry is silly enough to try tying his Oracle software to SPARC-Slowaris (i.e., crippling his x64 softwared) then he will just drive more customers to M$ and IBM.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Matt Bryant

        Matt, I don't know why you are so anti Solaris ... nor do I really care. But from my perspective, you are coming off as a sophomore marketing major who just discovered a new toy to worry, without actually understanding the underlying structure of said toy.

        Do stop. You are embarrassing yourself.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: @Matt Bryant

          "Matt, I don't know why you are so anti Solaris...." That's easy to answer - as a customer, I had to suffer Sun's broken promises, failing kit and flat-out lying marketting FUD for years. As a professional that works in real enterprise computing for a Fortune 100 company, I can see the reality of the industry and can comfortably predict that Slowaris is a zombie product. Oh, BTW, hp is at number 10 in the 2010 Fortune 100, IBM is 20th, Mickey$haft is 36th, Dell is 38th, whilst Snoreacle is outside the 100 at 105th.

          ".....nor do I really care...." Strange then that you seem so set on childish insults rather than providing some form of reasoned reply. If you are so confident that Slowaris is The Answer then try actually formulating an argument to counter my points. Go on, please at least try, if just for the humour value.

          "....Do stop. You are embarrassing yourself." I would suggest your lack of ability to formulate any form of technical or business-related argument simply demonstrates that it is you that is squealing in an embarrassing manner. You are the epitomy of a Sunshiner - no knowledge, no ability, and now no Sunshine machine to do your thinking for you. But, we won't have to wait long for you to stop, you'll soon be joining the rest of the committed Sunshiners at the Job Centre. Enjoy!


          1. jake Silver badge

            @Matt Bryant

            "That's easy to answer - as a customer, I had to suffer Sun's broken promises, failing kit and flat-out lying marketting FUD for years."

            Interesting. You claim you were a customer (implying you made $$ decisions), and yet you allowed yourself to "suffer" "for years"? Somehow, I don't think your commentary on this subject is very useful.

            Childish insults? Look within, Matt. "Slowaris", "Sunshiner", et alia ... projection is an ugly thing. Why are you so angry?

            Please note, above, where I suggested Solaris "RIP". It's hardly my religion.

            As for the "job center" ... I'm retired, thanks, but my 1988 Sun 3/470 "Pegasus" is still happily serving email, gopher, usenet, ftp and that new-fangled WWW-thingy, as it has for over twenty years :-)

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              RE: @Matt Bryant

              ".....You claim you were a customer (implying you made $$ decisions), and yet you allowed yourself to "suffer" "for years"? ....." Don't get me wrong, years ago in many cases I happilly accepted Sun offerings, but that gradually became less and less as they fell behind and started relying on FUD and pants-round-their-ankles discounts to get our business. As far as I was concerned, if the Sun solution did the job and the board was willing to pay for it then that was their decision. For me, it really started when Sun projects went rocky becuase Sun failed to deliver, and Sun's poor response to the subsequent problems. After that I would often give my technical view and then have to watch whilst the Sun reps and the company Sunshiners got to work on the FD and got their solution implemented instead. Internal politics made it even less smart to say "I told you so" later. Hence the reason for the "suffering".

              ".....Why are you so angry?....." That was exactly the problem with Sun, they just didn't realise that upsetting customers meant making trouble for themselves. In our company, Sun seemed to make a habit out of stuffing the second foot in their mouth right after the first, and still pretending they didn't have a problem. I remember being told waaaaaay back that, in the long-term, it's ten times more expensive to retain an unhappy customer than spend money on sorting out a problem. One of the reasons is because bad impressions are viral - one unhappy customer tells others of his bad experience and the bad impression spreads. My attitude towards Sun is that if you leave someone swimming in the brown stuff, don't be surprised if they pipe up with a few home-truths the next time you are telling the World your products are the next best thing to sliced bread. What killed Sun was there were far too many people piping up which killed far too many competitive sales, hence the Sunset. I don't think even the most ardent Sunshiner posting here will blindly pretend my posts are somehow solely to blame for Sun's demise.

              ".....Childish insults?...." Well, as I believe we have discussed before, the Slowaris moniker is from many other unhappy customers and I can't claim any credit for it. The fact it's so widely known just goes to show how bad Solaris's rep has become. The Sunshiner tag is pretty common here in the UK, I can't claim credit for that either, but I did think it had originated in the States as I always thought the Sunshine bit was a take on Amercian "moonshine" or "putting a shine on" something i.e. lying. Chalk one up for British wit if it is indeed not American! But, if you think they are childish, please explain the "adult" logic of those that posted here maintaining that Sun wasn't in trouble, "Rock" was a certainty, that the market-cap death-dive was irrellevant, etc, in some case even AFTER Sun's for-sale signs went public! The same people are still trying to talk-up Slowaris and SPARC. Sorry, but when dealing with that level of denial, it seems that "childish" is quite apt.

    2. Penti

      Failing misserbly

      They will fail, just as HP's HP-UX did and all the HP-UX business, with no workstations, no developers using the system for personal needs, no sysadmins using it desk side, not much happening enterprise side as they try to push it on "new exciting" enterprise hardware which doesn't even keep up with the latest advancements of x86.

      But at least IBM and HP as a consulting business can sell in complete solutions which they host on their proprietary hardware, while every body else has gone COTS including the Solaris Unix-people. Oracle can't sell it in that way, and they loose all the "none-customers" which would eventually move on to bigger and licensed stuff. If companies bought Solaris server from Dell because of Suns stiff North American style business and lack off good customer connection and sales channels why would an even stiffer organization sell the hardware better and gain back all the Sun shops who went to third party server-hardware providers? They won't. They will be migrating to RHEL and figure out a long term plan to migrate from Oracle, which will land them on commodity x86 servers and Power systems. With PostgreSQL/EnterpriseDB, DB2, MSSQL and so on instead. Oracle isn't really a complete "solutions company". Alienating it's users and customers won't getting people running to them.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Failing misserbly

        Actually, Penti, you point out a very salient fact - just about no-one is using hp-ux for workstations anymore. I certainly don't (though I do have an old zx6000 and an ancient c3750 hidden away), instead I mainly use a Windows laptop. The difference is hp saw it coming, didn't fight the wave, but instead offered options for Windows and Linux to all those customers that used to buy hp-ux workstations. Sun went the complete opposite way, driven by an egocentric belief that only Slowaris was good enough, and lost the fight against Windows and Linux. Just as no-one is using hp-ux for workstations, no-one who has the choice is using Slowaris, but they're probably still buying an hp system to use for that workstation role. That difference is why hp is still making a profit from workstations and is also still selling hp-ux, whilst Sun died and Snoreacle's only plan for Sun's software seems to be patent trolling.


        1. Penti

          @Matt Bryant

          Well you can't build a product on an EOLed platform.

          OpenSolaris did provide support for a few laptops, thats lost now. And kinda worked on a few others. Did HP-UX gain more developers from having no developer-systems? No.

          Solaris will stagnate too, and open source project will stop supporting it.

          No Solaris desktop means basically no commercial vendor with Gnome and that is supporting Gnome. Redhat might support it, but apart from Fedora Redhat WS isn't exactly bleeding edge. Canonical still seems to struggle with basic stuff.

          And fighting FUD with creation of FUD isn't exactly a good business plan. They will only sink themselves with the "use and licensing of IP". Not even the doc-format is proprietary any more. HP as EOLed all PA-RISC hardware now and how well did the switch to Itanium go? O well that was a huge failure. Nobody has asked to bring back sparc based desktops, but not having a solaris desktop certianly isn't good. As tech was moving away from being based on Win32 APIs and architecture it had actually become an alternative. And it was vital for supporting Sun-ray that's dependent on running stuff at solaris hosts. Developers was kinda tied in to Sun studio. Now there's no real platform for development.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was going to buy some books...

    on OpenSolaris and start learning about the Unix OS when talks of Sun being sold became serious. Although the knowledge wouldn't have hurt, loosing an OS that you'd expended energy on would have been upsetting.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Look on the bright side...

    If you want to show Ellison how you feel, you can always use SQL Server.

  24. Shannon Jacobs

    OSS needs a better economic model to squish Ellison

    My suggestion is that OSS needs a better economic models to help squash greedy bastards like Ellison, and I think I happen to have just that sort of idea. It's basically an open accounting model for charitable projects (including OSS as a special case). In software development, you use it so that the potential users can agree to pay for the features they want with an incentive to recruit more users. Each user would only pay something like $10 toward each feature (but less if they can get more people involved), but the programmers wouldn't actually start work until the funding was secure. Other advantages: Ellison's good programmers could make a living elsewhere (assuming he still has any good programmers in that awful company), donors could assess the track record of the programmers before supporting them, and the project budgets could include funded testing to prevent the kind of continuing quality slump that is ruining Ubuntu.

    Using the pickpocket icon as the best representation of Ellison's business model.

  25. Steve Medway

    Seems fair enough to me

    Urmm forgive my ignorance but what's the problem?

    Solaris was owned by Sun and now it's owned by Oracle. It was always up to the owner to decide the direction of the OS and Open Solaris just muddied the waters - Patches and Updates from the community may be good but they don't necessarily fit into the 'bigger plan' for an OS.

    Look on the bright side - we still get to have a free Solaris distro (Solaris 11 Express) which is a darn sight better than taking the OS fully closed and thus chargeable.

    So in summary - get over it, for the people that don't like it well move to modding Darwin ;-)

  26. meteort

    Possibly related?

    Best CR I have seen:

  27. Magnus_Pym

    Sheldon Crisis Alert!

    I think we can all see that old style big software is dead. It just doesn't know it yet. It is becoming more and more difficult to create the lock-in it requires. Ballmer and Ellison represent all that was wrong with the old empire. They may not be the last emperors but they will be the last with any power. Jobs and Brin represent what could go wrong with the new foundation. A single party state.

    What we need is a new business leader to speed up the transition. I wonder if we should be working on a new class of robots...

  28. paulc


    monumentally boring film... I've never been able to stay awake all through it... trying to watch it beats counting sheep for getting to sleep...

  29. Fenton


    Oracle could be potentially be sitting on a gold mine with solaris on x86.

    In the SAP benchmark world it's about 10% faster than running under windows.

    When things go wrong your average CIO wants to throttle somebody.

    So on x86 that would be Oracle or Microsoft, who do you sue if Linux breaks??

    We all know UNIX is becoming marginalized by x86.

    As far as I can see there are only two "Enterprise players" in the x86 space MS and Oracle.

    Personally I think HP should port HP-UX to x86 to give oracle come decent competition as itanium just can't compete in terms of price/performance.

    IBM at least have a compelling HW platform for AIX

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Oracle/Solaris/x86

      ".....So on x86 that would be Oracle or Microsoft, who do you sue if Linux breaks??...." Gee, I've never heard that bit of anti-Linux FUD before - not! If you have a support contract with someone like RedHat or Novell then you sue them. If you have purchased your Linux support through a vendor like hp, IBM or Dell then you go to them. But, more likely, you just enjoy the superior performance and lower costs of Linux compared to Slowaris.

      "....Personally I think HP should port HP-UX to x86...." <Yawn> Yeah, like the leading Linux server vendor is going to shoot itself in the foot with the Linux community by setting it's own proprietary OS up against Linux. Follow the money - hp make monster profits off Linux and Windows on ProLiant and big profits off hp-ux on Itanium, why do they need to "compete" with an OS bit player like Oracle when they are already winning?

      ".....itanium just can't compete in terms of price/performance....." Really? So you missed the bit where it was SPARC that died? Itanium and Power still make money for hp and IBM and probably will for a while yet, because companies are buying them. Those companies have reasons for buying them, usually because x64 solutions just don't do what's required for certain business requirements, just as mainframe customer keep buying mainframes. If they weren't then Itanium and Power (and mainframes) would already be dead since both hp and IBM are profit-hungry companies. Please get over this idea that the only thing that keeps Itanium (or Power) alive is some form of quasi-religeous charity mindset in big companies, it is quite the reverse - we buy UNIX because it is currently the best overall solution for some requirements, just as we buy x64 for other requirements that UNIX is not the best for. Whilst that will probably change in the long-term as Linux continues to develop, I can't see a day yet when Itanium "just can't compete" in terms of either price or performance for many tasks.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Sun just lost the plot when it came to business v's just doing cool stuff and hoping to make money!

    Sun just lost the plot when it came to business v's just doing cool stuff and hoping to make money!

    “During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle.”

    – Java founder James Gosling

    Never fails to amaze and sadden me when I read quotes like this, where was Sun's plan to make money?

    Lost of people here bemoan that Oracle is more interested in making money than pursuing cool innovative projects with no clue as to how they're going to make money, Sun is a prime example of how that's not an effective business model.

    1. Penti


      Retarded thats just a retarded statement, selling your open source derived products and offer support and solutions isn't bad business, killing everything Sun was about and alienating it's customers is. You can't sell something which nobody wants. Staroffice would be dead already if they hadn't open sourced it, Solaris would have lost all interest from developers and admins if they hadn't their inclusive posture. It has nothing to do with giving away stuff for free but about shutting your customers out. Java wouldn't be used by Linux distros themselves if it weren't available free. Oracle has killed the Sun Solaris workstation/desktop and any ambition of having developers on the platform. Being an enterprise only tool which nobody has any insight into will not gain them any new customers.

      Developer platforms like Eclipse and Netbeans would be nothing without a model of contribution and customization. Nobody would be using them. It has nothing to do with software freedoms and everything about reaching out to customers and being used and customized by developers. It's not anti-capitalistic. Companies join together all the time to do things collaboratively. Proprietary tools for a proprietary environment will stay that way, and when people don't use that proprietary environment they won't be using those tools either. With customers fleeing Oracle they are the ones being an example. Greed just isn't always the best motivation. You must also balance it.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Retarded

        "....selling your open source derived products and offer support and solutions isn't bad business, killing everything Sun was about and alienating it's customers is....." You have failed to grasp the fundamental concept of business - making a profit. Corporates are quite happy to be unpopular if they are makig monster profits as that keeps the shareholders happy and keeps the directors/management in well-paid jobs (even better-paid if they have shares). TBH, corporates sprout a load of hogwash about caring and the environment, etc, but unless there's a marketting angle or a means for them to save money (like tax deductions for charitable donations or government grants for "green" operations) then they really don't give a hoot. Same goes for software and hardware - they make business decisons to fit business cases, not charitable donations to IT companies they like. Sun failed because it could not offer as compelling a set of products as the other vendors, simple as that. For many years it was Sun that fought Linux and tried to kill it, so for you to say Sun was inclusive just makes me laugh. The Sun way was ultimately to business failure, no matter how salutory you think that "way" was.

        You then argue that inclusion is the only way an OS will be successful, ignoring the facts that Slowaris had its peak when it was most closed, or that the other closed OSs (e.g., hp-ux, AIX or Windows) are still making profits. Companies want the solution that involves the least risk and expense, not inclusion. I'm quite happy to recommend to my boss a completely closed stack if it does the job better than an open one, despite being a Linux fanboi. My use of Linux in the business is not some geekfest, I'm using it for purely selfish reasosn - it saves money or offers me somehting a Windows or UNIX solution cannot at the same pricepoint, and then usually with off-the-shelf Linux packages anyway. My own personal belief is Linux really only took hold because smart companies like IBM and hp (and Oracle) started pushing it when they saw that Linux could make them profits, not because they got some warm-and-fuzzy feeling from hugging the penguinistas. Companies collaborate for profit and companies buy solutions that promise to make them better profits. Inclusion is simply not a factor.

        1. Penti


          Like runnings on standard x86 computers from other vendors? They did that in the mid 90's. Now they don't any more. Isn't that exclusion?

          Corporations are free to be egoistic, but they can still contribute. Sun crashed but not because they were giving everything away for free. Now making sure your users can't use your products aren't going to net you any new business from them exactly.

          Solaris has always had IP from others. Especially in the early AT&T based days. Their proprietaryness isn't was what getting them business. Transparency isn't about being a freetard. If you don't see a way forward with Oracle why would you choose it. Attacking others because of the IP which was shared to them certainly don't born well for Java, Solaris etc..

  31. Kebabbert

    Solaris is opened up

    Solaris 10 source code was never available. It was closed. I think IBM AIX and HP-UX also have closed source code, yes?

    Oracle is opening up most of Solaris 11 code. This is an important change to what Sun did. The only thing is you have to wait until Oracle releases the binary upgrade/release.

    OpenSolaris has been rebranded as Solars 11 Express.

    When Oracle does something positive and opens up Solaris source code, everyone screams in anger. I dont see anyone complain on IBM and HP? I wonder why?

    1. Penti


      It's not a rebrand if I can't use it the same way as OpenSolaris. Which I just can't. If I download Solaris 10 now, I can just use it as trail. If I download 11 express later I can just use it for development. No production use, personal or otherwise. I could also before use it on none Sun-hardware. Solaris 10 Express was updated every three months before it was canceled.

      Because nobody uses HP-UX? Just few ten thousands of those systems are sold every year and you can't use those software on other systems.

      The world changes and you can no longer use Solaris on (new) COTS hardware thats a fact. Something that was possible while they where one of the largest. I.e. before the dot com crash and before the disappearance of Unix/SPARC workstations. They have reverse course not just renamed stuff.

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