OpenSolaris 2008.11

Sun are officially launching OpenSolaris 2008.11 today… although as the name suggests, it was pretty much ready to go at the end of last month, and those in the know have been able to download it from both the community website and the distro website since then 🙂 You can join us at 1700 UTC today for a web chat with some of the people involved.

Glynn has written up a good summary of new features, which include GNOME 2.24, ZFS Time Slider, accessible install, and big improvements to plug’n’play printer support, automatic network configuration, and laptop suspend/resume. The number of additional packages available in the repositories has greatly improved since the 2008.05 release, and we now have various repos and a new process that will make contributing packages easier than ever.

Roman Strobl has produced a 12 minute screencast to show off some of the new bits, and Erwann Chénedé has a shorter one that focuses exclusively on Time Slider, which seems to have been generating a lot of interest.

Of course, 2008.11 still has all the usual Solaris goodness like ZFS, Zones and Dtrace built-in, with the Solaris Trusted Extensions now just a click away too, giving you access to one of the most secure desktops on the planet*.

So why not give the LiveCD a spin? You can grab it via BitTorrent, or download the ISO directly from Sun (or alternatively, from the genunix mirror, or via FTP from LTH in Sweden).

* Probably 🙂 (OpenSolaris Trusted Extensions hasn’t received Common Criteria Certfication yet, but the Solaris 10 version was most recently certified at EAL 4+. More information here.)

6 thoughts on “OpenSolaris 2008.11”

  1. Make a version that works with 0.5 GB RAM and I am in. ATM it just sucks for me. Linux with Gnome works just great with 512MB.

  2. The final release of 2008.11 should work better with 512Mb (the release candidates did require 768Mb to install, though). If you have performance or installation issues with a 512Mb setup, please report them at — we can only fix the problems we know about.

  3. Sorry to say that, but i tried OpenSolaris 2008.11 and it totally failed.
    I could not connect to the internet, due to missing drivers for my WLAN USB stick and also due to missing drivers for my Ethernet device. There are source-code avaiable for both devices, but the missing development environment was the raison, that they couldn’t be installed. It would be nice, if someone would package a dvd with all the binary drivers out there and also includes development files. A better documentation is also welcome.
    So, i’m waiting now another year, till i will give OenSolaris my next try.

  4. @fogman: that’s unfortunate, although of course that’s why we put the Hardware Compatibility tool on the desktop of the LiveCD environment, so you can check if all your hardware is supported before you install. It’s certainly quite unusual to hear of a wired ethernet device that isn’t supported.

    But we’re still improving hardware compatibility all the time–we know Linux has a big head start on us there–and I wouldn’t be surprised if we also produce a “Live DVD” version at some point that does include much more software, including a full development environment.

    Don’t forget there are also other OpenSolaris distros out there apart from Sun’s, which may meet your needs in the meantime– they’re listed on

  5. what an appalling waste of time.. just how hard is it to get this OS to run in a reasonable amount of ram? Given that I went to the effort to supply the machine with a disk containing a 1gb swap slice why does the installer not notice it or use it or ask the user for instructions. Utter Garbage

  6. My scant understanding of such things is that ZFS does not require or use a swap slice by default, but you ought to ask the installer community at It may also be that Solaris Express is the better OpenSolaris distro for you at present if you need finer control over the install process.

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