Is OpenIndiana a "Fork"?
No – OpenIndiana tracks the official Oracle OpenSolaris (and potentially the forthcoming Solaris Next) releases, similar to the way the CentOS project tracks Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Will OpenIndiana provide security and bug fixes to their stable releases?
Yes, absolutely. We view this as one of the key missing features that prevented widescale adoption of OpenSolaris in production environments.
Will OpenIndiana use the IPS packaging system?
This project is a clone of the OpenSolaris distribution, not of Solaris 10 nor of Solaris Express Community Edition. As such the package manager will indeed be IPS. Using a different packaging system would defeat the purpose of this project.
What if Oracle discontinue providing access to the OpenSolaris source?
We have very strong reasons to believe Oracle will not do this. However thanks to OpenIndiana being a downstream distribution of Illumos, it will be business as usual, just at a slower pace. We would become more dependent upon community involvement to keep the free/open source software up to date, and the core operating system would become dependent upon the community. However, over time, we would hope that the unique features of OpenSolaris would attract talented developers.
Is there a live CD I can download and try?
Not yet, but we are working on it. We have binary builds produced of the ONNV consolidation (The Kernel and core bits of the userland) available on our IPS PKG repository which you can update your system to for development purposes, please see our wiki.
Are there any key components missing that represent significant challenges to producing OpenIndiana?
No. Sun/Oracle have made available almost everything the community needs to build the distribution. The Distribution Constructor publically available is the same tool used by Solaris Release Engineering to produce the OpenSolaris live CD and automated installer CD. However there is no single source of documentation available for putting the whole operating system together. OpenIndiana community members are currently working hard on this.
Where can I get more info/keep up to date with the project?
Please see our Wiki at http://wiki.openindiana.org
Please join our mailing lists – http://openindiana.org/mailman
Also, see our IRC channel, #openindiana on irc.freenode.net
Is OpenIndiana a desktop or a server operating system?
As a clone of OpenSolaris, the answer is both. However OpenSolaris contains some amazing enterprise server features, including the ZFS filesystem, COMSTAR iSCSI Framework, Crossbow Networking stack, SMF Service management framework, Fault Management system, etc. We intend to make OpenIndiana more suitable for use on servers, for example by introducing a minimal/server install option to the Caiman installer.
Why another OpenSolaris distribution when others like Nexenta, BeleniX & SchilliX exist?
None of the other distributions are a clone of OpenSolaris, nor do they have the market penetration we believe we can obtain with this project. Our aim is to become the defacto OpenSolaris distribution installed on production servers where security and bug fixes are required free of charge.
What if Oracle discontinue Sun Studio (The primary closed source compiler for building OpenSolaris)?
The OpenSolaris kernel currently builds cleanly with the GCC compiler, although the result does not yet boot. This is being worked on by interested parties, and as such we are not too concerned. While it's unlikely Sun Studio will be open sourced, we see no reason for Oracle to discontinue providing it free of charge. There are also the PathScale and LLVM compiler suites available, should Sun Studio disappear.
How do I get involved?
We would love for as many people as possible to get involved! The success of this project depends on community members contributing time and energy to the project and we very much welcome this. There are ways people of all technical capabilities can contribute, from blogging and raising awareness of the project, to documenting features, through to helping us with builds, release engineering and backporting bug fixes.
To get involved, join our mailing list, join us on IRC, sign up to our Wiki and get stuck in! :-)