How does the Linux distribution model work?
People often refer to Linux as a single platform and a complete operating
system, but its not that. Its just one part of the complete operating system.
The role of Linux distribution is to take the Linux kernel, and aggregate and
integrate other open source technologies around it to form the platform that
forms the operating system. So, a pool of open source technologiesLinux,
Apache, Gnome and various distributionsare aggregating together.
Now the problem is that they are pooling from the same technology at
different times, they are adding their own patches. At the end of the day, they
are all competing with each other, they have to differentiate from each other,
and they do things differently. The popular conception of Linux as the single
platform has not actually matched the reality and there is a bunch of different
platforms which are compatible with each other but different in some important
How would you differentiate Solaris from OpenSolaris?
To the point of Linux not being one platform but many, the problem is that
it looks like a good thing which means you have a lot of choiceone Linux and
you have a whole lot of favors around it; but the thing that drives a platform
is the ecosystem that you can build around it.
Ian Murdock, VP,
With OpenSolaris, we can consume open source applications and participate in
those communities and make them fully integrated with the Solaris platform. But
think about ISVs, packaged applications; if you look at Linux, even if there is
a lot of different choices in terms of distribution, ISVs support just two of
Basically, we have one Solaris-one technology, and we think of it as an
ongoing stream of innovation in software and operating systems and we have two
release cycles on top of that.
Where do you see all this heading?
We were late to the game and its more accurate to say that we have returned
to our roots. For twenty-five years, Sun has been about open standards, we had
too much success in the nineties and forgot some of those things. So, you are
going to see more things like OpenSolaris reaching new markets, and more things
Prasad Ramasubramanian/CyberMedia News