Sun Microsystems is set to <a href=" ">embrace a more open source future</a>, but will it do so with the help of a software layer that <a href=" ">"doesn't matter if Solaris or Linux is underneath?"</a>

Michael Singer, Contributor

May 4, 2007

2 Min Read

Sun Microsystems is set to embrace a more open source future, but will it do so with the help of a software layer that "doesn't matter if Solaris or Linux is underneath?"Word on the street (thanks to Jonathan Schwartz's latest blog) is that Ian Murdock will help make an announcement next week that will help dispel any more competition between the two operating systems. The founder of Debian GNU/Linux and former CTO at the Linux Foundation joined Sun earlier this year and now serves as chief operating platforms officer.

His first tour of public duty for Sun is Monday's CommunityOne event, where he will talk about how Linux and Solaris have much more in common than people may think.

"Both are open source, have common ancestry, and are similar enough that both users and developers can move back and forth between them with comparative ease. The "vs." mentality is caused as much by lack of understanding of the "other side" as anything else.

Murdock said he'll also join Tim O'Reilly, Rich Green, and Tim Bray during a keynote on Tuesday. That would be the perfect opportunity to lay it on the Java tribes.

The name Project Indiana comes from the name of Murdock's home state. Specifics on the technology on Project Indiana are sketchy. Some say it will be a batch of operating system APIs (Application Program Interface) that will allow developers and programmers to write to one software stack and control servers running either.

Murdock is a big believer in narrowing the gap between the two and has written several posts to suggest that it's not only possible, but necessary for Solaris to remain competitive -- and backward compatible, too.

Now that Solaris has its open source counterpart in OpenSolaris, and Java also is headed for the GPL file, why not?

His post, entitled "No good deed goes unpunished," points out the wonderful nature of a Debian-based OpenSolaris distribution produced by Nexenta Systems. (If it's neither Linux nor Solaris, does that make it Lolaris or Sinux?)

Any guesses to how long it will take Novell or Red Hat to issue their rebuttal? This might also be a big fly in the ointment for IBM as well.

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