Solaris 11.4 released

Congrats to my colleagues in the Solaris team who released Solaris 11.4 today. Despite the 11.x moniker, this is actually a major Solaris release; Oracle has just decided to go down the perpetual macOS X / Windows 10 version numbering route from now on. (This development is unlikely to faze Solaris veterans, who have been using SunOS 5.x since 1992.)

Being the first major Solaris release in 7 years, it’s also the first to ship with a GNOME 3 desktop. So thanks, as always, to everyone in the GNOME and related FOSS communities who made that possible.

On a personal note, this version also ships the last significant Solaris project I worked on, which during development was known as the Analytics WebUI, but now goes by the marketing-approved moniker of the Observability Tools System Web Interface. It’s always nice when something you’ve worked on sees the light of day, and it’s even nicer when you know somebody else will have to deal with any complaints 😊

Solaris 11 Express 2010.11

Yesterday, Oracle released Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 (complete with GNOME 2.30.2 as its default, and indeed only desktop), the first interim step along the road to Solaris 11 since OpenSolaris 2009.06 was released almost 18 months ago.

The change in name reflects that, unlike its OpenSolaris predecessors, Solaris Express is not a freely-redistributable distro (check out the OpenIndiana project if you need one of those), and it remains free to use only for “the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications”—business or commercial usage now requires a support contract. However, the download itself for x86 or SPARC remains free of charge, and it’s also possible to upgrade from an existing OpenSolaris installation (see the release notes for details).

As you’d expect, there are many new things to play with in this release—the one I’ve been most closely involved with is the new Network Auto-Magic GUI, which has many more features than the one that shipped in 2009.06.

I know a lot of GNOME folks won’t be delighted by this apparent step backwards in Solaris open-ness. On the other hand, things are really no different now from how they were for the first five years or so of Sun’s involvement in GNOME, when nobody could have imagined there would ever be an open source version of Solaris. And we all got along just fine then, so I hope we can continue to do so now :)

Feel free to take Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 for a spin in VirtualBox and let us know what you think.

VirtualBox 2.0

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0.0 was released today, and is available for download from virtualbox.org. New features include 64-bit guest support, host interface networking on Solaris and OS X hosts, support for nested paging on modern AMD CPUs, and a native front end for the OS X client (and a move to Qt 4 for the others).

More detailed changelog here.