OpenIndiana aims to be binary and package compatible with the upcoming Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express, and most of the operating system is built from source code that Oracle continues to make available. So in some ways, our relationship is similar to the way the CentOS project tracks Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
OpenIndiana provides a complete, ready-to-use operating system (distribution) similar to the OpenSolaris distribution. The Illumos Project develops the core software for the operating system such as the kernel. As Illumos is not a distribution, OpenIndiana will combine the Illumos core with additional software that Oracle still develops in the open. This is analogous to how Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu all use the Linux kernel and software from the GNU Project, but combine them with additional software to produce a complete system.
Further, OpenIndiana is a member of The Illumos Foundation, a not-for profit legal entity within the United States.
At the moment we will be producing regular development builds. Later we intend to provide a stable release, suitable for use in production.
Yes, absolutely. We view this as one of the key missing features that prevented widescale adoption of OpenSolaris in production environments.
On 14th September 2010 we will be announcing our project to the press, as well as making available our first development build.
This project is a continuation 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.
Oracle have already discontinued providing real-time access to the OS/Net consolidation (kernel and core userland components). A leaked memo suggests that Oracle will provide updated source for this after each major Solaris release - we hope this will be the case. However, this is not a problem for us as we will be switching to using Illumos for these components once the project matures.
In addition, all the other core desktop components such as XNV (X Window System), SFW (Solaris Freeware), JDS (Java Desktop System), pkg (Image Packaging System), Caiman (Installer) are still for now being developed in the open, and OpenIndiana will continue to build these components.
Should Oracle cease providing access to these components, we will continue their development independently, like any other Linux/BSD distribution.
Yes, from 14th September you will be able to download our first ISO - please see http://openindiana.org/downloads.
We will also make IPS repositories available that you can use to update an existing install from OpenSolaris to OpenIndiana.
No. Sun/Oracle have made available almost everything the community needs to build the distribution. The Distribution Constructor publicly 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.
There are some closed source components (devpro consolidation including tools such as make) or components to which the source is significantly out of date, such as libm. For now, all components in the /release and /dev OpenSolaris.org IPS repositories are redistributable, so we will ship those binary components. Illumos are working on providing replacements, and once these are ready we will use those.
Eventually we hope to replace all closed source components.
Please join our mailing lists – http://openindiana.org/mailman
We have a Wiki at http://wiki.openindiana.org (Which you're on now!)
Finally we have a bug tracker available at: http://www.illumos.org/projects/openindiana/issues
As a clone of OpenSolaris, the answer is both -- OpenIndiana will be a general-purpose operating system. However OpenSolaris contains some amazing enterprise server features, including the ZFS filesystem, DTrace system introspection, Crossbow networking stack, SMF service management, FMA fault management, COMSTAR iSCSI framework, 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.
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 de-facto OpenSolaris distribution installed on production servers where security and bug fixes are required free of charge.
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.
As a community project, we depend on people doing just that! So please do head over to our Getting Involved wiki page!