A few months ago I wrote an article, claiming that Oracle would kill OpenSolaris. Many readers weren’t happy with my take on the issue, claiming Oracle would do nothing but continue to support OpenSolaris and that I should just get over myself. While the latter is probably true, Oracle has finally announced that it has indeed killed OpenSolaris (also confirmed by an Oracle employee).
Oracle had already stopped nightly builds of the operating system and they have now confirmed that there will simply be no future releases:
We will not release any other binary distributions, such as nightly or bi-weekly builds of Solaris binaries, or an OpenSolaris 2010.05 or later distribution.
They are now going to instead focus on a binary distribution, called Solaris 11 Express under a free developer RTU license.
Even if a fork of Solaris like Illumos was to go ahead, I’m not sure how well it would work out given the following:
We will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis.
Oracle will be holding back on the code, and you can guarantee they won’t like any competing products.
Are we surprised? I’m not. The signs were obviously there and they had done similar things to other products, like the once free ODF plugin for Microsoft Office, which you now have to pay a license for.
Oracle didn’t buy Sun to give away money, but it’s clear they don’t understand free software. Solaris was already dead, but Sun helped to pro-long its life by open sourcing it. Now that Oracle has un-done much of that hard work, they too will die, if they don’t see the errors of their ways.