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The contents of this article is outdated and has been flagged as deprecated.

For updated information see the following resources:




Is OpenIndiana a "fork"?

Kind of.

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.

However there are differences, for example we intend to use illumos in place of the official OS/Net consolidation which is no longer open source, and we also intend to provide improvements on top.

What is the relationship between OpenIndiana and illumos?

OpenIndiana provides a complete, ready-to-use operating system (distribution) similar to the former 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.

Furthermore, OpenIndiana will be a member of the illumos Foundation, a not-for profit legal entity within the United States.

What type of releases will you make available?

At the moment we will be producing regular development builds. Later we intend to provide a stable release, suitable for use in production.

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.

When will OpenIndiana launch?

On 14th September 2010, we announced our project to the press, and made available our first development build.

Will OpenIndiana use the Image Packaging System (IPS)?

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.

What if Oracle discontinue providing access to the OpenSolaris source?

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.

Is there a live CD I can download and try?

Yes, from 14th September 2010 you will be able to download our first ISO - please see

We will also make IPS repositories available that you can use to update an existing install from OpenSolaris to OpenIndiana.

What are the hardware requirements?

Disk space: Recommended size is 7GB. A minimum of 3GB is required.

Memory: The minimum requirement is 512MB. Recommended size is 768MB.

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 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 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.

Where can I get more info or keep up to date with the project?

Please join our mailing lists –

Communication related to development happens on our IRC channel, #openindiana on

We have a Wiki at (Which you're on now!)

Finally we have a bug tracker available at:

Is OpenIndiana a desktop or a server operating system?

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.

Why another OpenSolaris distribution when others like Nexenta, BeleniX & SchilliX exist?

None of the other distributions are drop-in replacement for 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.

What if Oracle discontinue Sun Studio (the closed source and primary compiler for building OpenSolaris)?

The OpenSolaris kernel currently builds cleanly with the specially patched GCC 3.4 compiler shipped with OpenIndiana. Work is under way to allow building using a more recent GCC. There are also various other open source compiler suites to which we could turn, with more effort, should it turn out to be necessary or advantageous.

How do I get involved?

As a community project, we depend on people doing just that! So please do head over to our Getting Involved wiki page! (big grin)

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  1. Anonymous

    Please add an entry discussing the missing status of Xen support, and (ideally) any plans to restore it.  It's a significant trap for users looking to upgrade, that could stand to be better publicised and explained.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with previous Anonymous poster regarding Xen.

  3. Anonymous

    +1 Regarding Xen status. I suspect there are many who are now caught without an upgrade path due to the removal of Xen support.

  4. Anonymous

    Could someone finally update on Xen...?

    1. Xen support is in flux, Oracle removed it from the OpenSolaris that OI originally started from. Its being investigated where things are and how to restore it. OI works as a DomU, its Dom0 that got removed in OpenSolaris.

      Longer term, active discussions are ongoing about how OI virtualization should look.

      You're encouraged to join one the discussion groups (IRC or mailing list) so we channel the development energies in the most useful way for everyone.

      1. Anonymous

        I agree on that Xen dom0 support should be added back to OI.

  5. Anonymous

    ... a stupid question : Why you don't combine the efforts of Linux and legacy of Sun innovations to create even

    more powerful environment. Open source should not be only millions of free opinions but millions of innovative

    minds working together creating better environment for creativity ...

    Harri H. / CG

    1. Linux is a kernel (GNU is the userland), GNU exists on OI already (some userland is in OI and Nextenta offer most of the debian userland as well).

      The licenses are incompatible, unless Linux would be willing to give up the GPL, they can't be joined

      So even if wanted its not that simple. Good luck convincing Linux kernel devs to change to a less restrictive license , we can't as Sun/Oracle made the license as they wanted it (not GPL).

  6. Anonymous

    Can someone tell me the licensing language that must accompany a distribution of software that contains OpenIndiana?  I can't seem to find any information as to what the license should say.  I know it should contain some typical "open source" provisions, but don't know what they should be.


  7. Anonymous

    What's the status of OpenIndiana on SPARC?

    1. Anonymous

      There is a development SPARC version within OI IPS called oi_150, but not officially released. Only use Solaris 11 Express for true production data center usage.

      1. There is Martux Openindiana SPARC release, explained on this wiki page:

        Using Solaris11(Express and others) is not advised, since Oracle's ZFS is incompatible with standard ZFS present in Illumos/Openindiana, FreeBSD and ZfsOnLinux, using up to versio 28 of Zpool and now "Feature flags" and legacy version 1000. (smile)

  8. Anonymous

    Is there a forum for OpenIndiana somewhere on this site to discuss/problem-solve - or is it really all though mail-list / IRC (sad) ?

    Also aside from the Gnome GUI(or lack of) is there any differences between the server and desktop installations (I have not seen any details on this)?

  9. Anonymous

    Oracle is no longer providing the patched (Sept 2009) version of Sun Studio 12.1. Does anyone have a mirror? Where can we find more information about using other tool chains mentioned (LLVM, GCC or PathScale)

    1. Anonymous

      The Sept 2009 version doesnt seem available from Oracle. If you go to their "Patch" area, you are greated with a message stating you need a service contract ( The version I get from the Oracle link is an earlier version, i believe August 2008. It does not work.

      1. Anonymous

        You can get the sunstudio12u1 package from: -

        Clang/LLVM 2.9:

        You may want to look at SunStudio 12.2/12.3.

    2. Anonymous

      I would do this inetsad (off the top of my head, not evaluated thoroughly):- Write a C program to generate random numbers in the same way that $RANDOM does. Then call it in place of $RANDOM, like so (assume it’s called rnd).In code using $RANDOM => Use `rnd` or $(rnd)(Arrange for rnd.c to send its random number output to standard output.)Pros:- shorter than your solution using dd and /dev/urandom (Not much of a pro, except if using it a lot, and also, you could make your own solution shorter to type by packaging part of it in a shell script with a short name and then call that script with the rest of the original command line – or you might even be able to use a shell alias in cases where the dd / urandom code comes at the start of the command line).Cons:- Since it is a C program, not a bash built-in like $RANDOM, it would load slower, which could be an issue in loops that run many times, depending on whether the Linux version keeps the executable in memory or not between invocations.- C compiler may not be available on all Linux machines where you want to use it, whereas bash should be. Could carry the executable on a USB stick and run it from the stick, or copy it to hard disk, but would need to do it on each new machine you use (if you use a lot of machines).There can be other pros and cons, not evaluated in detail …- Vasudev

  10. Anonymous

    It would be nice to dedicate page to dev-il repository, with announces and changes.

    I have discovered this morning that OI 151.1 is available.
    Have no idea, but i am going to upgrade, since i am already running 151a.

    Also, i have disabled repository, since it looks to me that is NOT necessary anymore (would like if someone can explain that).

    Many thanks.