An OpenSolaris/Linux Mashup

To non-technical readers of this blog, or those uninterested in the ebbs and tides of the free software world… this might be a good entry to skip.

I was just forwarded a pointer to this note regarding Sun and OpenSolaris, written by the eponymous Linus Torvalds. And I wanted to respond directly.



First, I’m glad you give credit to Sun for the contributions we’ve made to the open source world, and Linux specifically – we take the commitment seriously. It’s why we freed OpenOffice, elements of Gnome, Mozilla, delivered Java, and a long list of other contributions that show up in almost every distro. Individuals will always define communities, but Sun as a company has done its part to grow the market – for others as much as ourselves.

But I disagree with a few of your points. Did the Linux community hurt Sun? No, not a bit. It was the companies that leveraged their work. I draw a very sharp distinction – even if our competition is conveniently reckless. They like to paint the battle as Sun vs. the community, and it’s not. Companies compete, communities simply fracture.

And OpenSolaris has come a very long way since you last looked. It and its community are growing, as a result of more than ZFS (although we seem to be generating a lot of interest there, not all intentional) – OpenSolaris scales on any hardware, has built in virtualization,
great web service infrastucture
, fault management, diagnosability, and tons more. Feel free to try for yourself (and yes, we’re fixing installability, no fair knocking us for that.)

Now despite what you suggest, we love where the FSF’s GPL3 is headed. For a variety of mechanical reasons, GPL2 is harder for us with OpenSolaris – but not impossible, or even out of the question. This has nothing to do with being afraid of the community (if it was, we wouldn’t be so interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full patent indemnity). Why does open sourcing take so long? Because we’re starting from products that exist, in which a diversity of contributors and licensors/licensees have rights we have to negotiate. Indulge me when I say It’s different than starting from scratch. I would love to go faster, and we are all doing everything under our control to accelerate progress. (Remember, we can’t even pick GPL3 yet – it doesn’t officially exist.) It’s also a delicate dance to manage this transition while growing a corporation.

But most of all, from where I sit, we should put the swords down – you’re not the enemy for us, we’re not the enemy for you. Most of the world doesn’t have access to the internet – that’s the enemy to slay, the divide that separates us. By joining our communities, we can bring transparency and opportunity to the whole planet. Are we after your drivers? No more than you’re after ZFS or Crossbow or dtrace – it’s not predation, it’s prudence. Let’s stop wasting time recreating wheels we both need to roll forward.

I wanted you to hear this from me directly. We want to work together, we want to join hands and communities – we have no intention of holding anything back, or pulling patent nonsense. And to prove the sincerity of the offer, I invite you to my house for dinner. I’ll cook, you bring the wine. A mashup in the truest sense.


President, Chief Executive Officer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Filed under General

133 responses to “An OpenSolaris/Linux Mashup

  1. The quicker Sun gets the open source bandwagon rolling, the quicker such accusations will die out. Linus, you’ve got one company rooting for open source like no company ever, and all you do – is to accuse them of being one-way and stuff, which, irrespective of whether it is useful for the Linux community or not, definitely remains the pinnacle of open source contributions from a mainstream company.

  2. Just to add some simple points
    I am using Linux from last 6 year and have also used Solaris and OpenSolaris and I feel Linux kernel needs some more couple of years to come closer to Solaris when it comes to stability and performance.

  3. It is nice to know that if Sun and Linux community could work together. I hope in this regard the meeting between Jonathan and Linus would be a step forward.
    I wish you good luck.

  4. Jonathan, I wish the above was true. 15 years ago I was the biggest Sun fan.
    Today I speak as the project leader for another set of open source projects — OpenBSD and OpenSSH. OpenSSH will be better known to your audience, as it is what they use daily to connect securely to and from their Solaris (or Linux) machines. OpenSSH killed telnet and rlogin, for those who still remember those mechanisms. We give our software completely freely to the world, without even the standard encumberances people see in the GPL or CDDL.
    Yet when we turn around and ask Sun to give us documentation for the chips on their machines — chips Sun themselves designed, not via contractors — Sun drags their feet. Recently we tried to reopen these 10-year-old repeated requests, and once again nothing positive happened. You may remember, because you and David Yen were in an email conversation with us. Lots of nice open words were exchanged, but no action.
    However, let me give an example of the duplicity of Sun. (I wish I could use a lighter word).
    Two operating systems run on Sun’s latest PCI-e based (smallish) Ultrasparc-III machines, the v215/v245 — Solaris and OpenBSD. The latter system runs on those machines because the code to support the non-processor chips on the board had to be written after painstaking reverse engineering, because Sun refuses to make available documentation for how these chips are programmed. Now we will readily admit that not every programmer in the world needs to know how to program these chips.
    But does every programmer in the world need to know how to program every little detail on Sun’s processors, in system mode? Sun gets great press out of UltraSPARC being all “open”, but what use is supervisor-mode documentation when the rest of the chips that the supervisor-mode code has to communicate with are entirely undocumented??? The press does not spot this problem, but Jonathan, you should clearly understand this is a fallacy.
    There are two operating systems which surprisingly do not run on the Sun v215/v245 — Linux and OpenSolaris.
    OpenSolaris?? Yes — Sun isn’t even open enough to give the OpenSolaris community enough documentation to support their new machines.
    So I think that Linus is right, and Sun has a long road ahead.

  5. This is very interesting. I got some questions:
    1. How can you say, that companies and communities do not compete? That is total Bullshit! Communities and Companies compete more then ever these days. The same as Bloggers compete with the old school media. There is a hell of a lot competition going on. Gnome and KDE are another wonderful example of how communities compete against each other. Ubuntu and Gentoo are another wonderful example!
    2. The Old Software development and distribution models do not work anymore and Sun will find out, if they want or if they do not want. Sun needs to learn more – lots more – from the OpenSource development model if they want to prosper in the future.
    3. As Linus puts it, merely trying to take away the best people from the Linux Kernel will not work. Sun needs to realize that they must organize them selfs more and more like the Kernel development model is organized.
    4. OpenSource tactics can and will be implemented in the Future business world as well.
    5. Linux is a 21st century role model.

  6. Awesome. I gotta say, Schwartz has class. A response via blog-post from a major CEO at a bit past midnight, even more awesome.

  7. It’s great that you replied openly to Linus’ email here. I think we all realize that Linus was being as cynical as can be in a hypothetical sense, and I hope everyone really moves forward in good faith like they say they want to 🙂

  8. I for one hope Linus takes you up on that offer for dinner; I’ve been a linux user since 1995, and I just took around 3 hours to look into DTrace and ZFS, and I definitely like what I see.
    I’m curious if your comment:
    “we wouldn’t be so interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full patent indemnity”
    refers to ‘ignoring’ linux’s use of these patents, or contributing them to the Open Invention Network ( )?
    Personally, I’m hoping for the latter, as the technology Sun is coming up with is truly a thing of beauty, and deserves to be shared with the world.
    And remember, Linus, only Californian wine will do! 😉
    (I was linked to this Blog post from here: in a comment Posted by TRS-80 — Thank you!)

  9. That was a fair response. I used to have installed Java Desktop System and a gave a try to OpenSolaris sometime ago, but I guess I felt more confortable with Linux. Anyway, your point is valid, and the arguments done by Linus are in some ways relevant, but in my opinion, he’s overreacting and being even a little bit paranoid.
    As you’ve said, starting from the scratch is one thing. Doing it with products that have been so long in the market is a completely different thing. So I hope you really keep on releasing solutions with Open Source licenses, so all can benefit from them in a broader way.
    Good luck, and keep on working so good.

  10. Good response.
    Let the communities walk in the same direction!
    I think Sun is on the right way.

  11. edouard tavinor

    gnu/linux and solaris should really see how much they can work together. each has some really great features and co-operation here can only be beneficial.
    (maybe mark shuttleworth should bring dessert. the co-operation between sun and canonical is also very positive. redhat/suse are the past, ubuntu is the future.)

  12. Go for it Jonathan.
    Sun has already proved-out the openness of ZFS and dtrace via their integration into FreeBSD (now if your licensing people could just fix the license on the header files such that dtrace could be included as a binary build, rather than needing to be “built-in” via compilation.
    The best response from the “linux camp” to ZFS so far? Zumastor, which is nice, but its literally a shell script, .vs the ZFS integration that is happening in both FreeBSD and MacOS X.5 (little slip-up and all, ZFS is still in 10.5, rumors to the contrary. The “read-only” thing has to be positioning, because ZFS is great on laptops, and Apple makes some great laptops. Further, the Free Software license on ZFS should mean that the source code to same on MacOS X is available, and thus, some enterprising hacker will make it all work ‘right’.
    Nobody seems to mention that dtrace is part of MacOS 10.5 as well.
    FreeBSD seems to scale better on multicore systems than the Linux kernel on the same hardware.
    At the risk of offending man, “Linux, you’re surrounded! Come out of the house with your hands up!”
    But hey, at least your a part of the conversation, right?
    ex-Sun employee #819-something

  13. Thanks for clearing my doubts regarding SUN’s strategy with Open Source and Linux. SUN We love you. I just can’t wait to see ZFS with Linux.

  14. I *really* love your no-nonsense, direct attitude. I think we got a new contender for the ‘most charismatic CEO’ title.

  15. Oren Goldschmidt

    All things being equal, Linux stands to be much improved by ZFS (And having dtrace implemented in the Linux kernel would be a Godsend for admins). I say give praise where praise is due, both of our communities stand to benefit from improvement via *nix-osmosis.

  16. Right. While GNU/Linux as a company product may have hurt Sun’s renevue, especially GNU as a community has a lot of potential helping Sun to get back on the tracks. The Solaris userland feels very antique to me (although this is only my opinion), so a GNU/Solaris sounds very appealing to me. I’d love to see some more drivers in Solaris. And I’d love to see ZFS in Linux. Hell, Solinux anyone? 😉
    Btw, Jonathan: nice attitude!

  17. igb

    I’m lucky enough to have had an hour with Jonathan a few years ago, so I’m predisposed to place the best interpretation on his writings. But I think he’s not articulating one key point: Solaris vs Linux is a contest for who can be the world’s tallest dwarf. It takes us back to OSF, SVR4 and HPUX. It takes us back to all the workstation companies hitting each other over the head while, further up the coast, NT was being written. If the *nix community fractures, we all lose, and arguing the toss about the relative merits of small technical details will simply take all of us back to the mid 1980s.

  18. Tony Wasserman

    The dinner sounds like a great idea, and I hope that Linus will accept the invitation. As an alternative to California wines, he could bring an Oregon Pinot Noir instead. (I’d be glad to contribute the wine, too, and live only about 5 minutes away from you.) Many of us would like to see this meeting happen, and hope that you can host a small event for a larger audience afterward, perhaps in downtown SF during LinuxWorld in early August. Cheers.

  19. ivo welch

    theo (and others): all your criticisms are correct, but you misunderstand corporations. they don’t have one set of easy motives (even though jonathan may have easy motives). decisions are painfully spread around, and new priorities and people distract corporations easily from what they were planning to do. I often find it easier to work myself, not because the corporation is unwilling, but by the time the lawyers are involved, it becomes so slow and painful that it is just easier to move ahead myself. you may get luckier prodding jonathan nicely every once in a while.
    jonathan seems as classy and terrific a CEO as we will ever find. (wanna talk to ballmer? 😉 ). and his response here was terrific and productive, too.
    and no, if I were jonathan, I would keep some stuff proprietary, even if the open source community does not like it. but the extent to which sun has been contributing has been amazing, too. let’s give credit where it is due, and continue prodding jonathan to move sun.

  20. Joe

    Maybe have Steve Ballmer at that dinner, as Microsoft has been talking about how they are embracing OpenSource, and have even released a few OpenSource things? And, they’ve even granted indemnity to Linux companies who pay them.

  21. Joe Buck

    Mr. Schwartz,
    This note is promising. But could you please clarify one thing.
    You write that you are “… so interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full patent indemnity”. However, the legal language that you published in the past does not grant “full patent indemnity” to GPL (v2 or v3) implementations. Furthermore, there are about 50 patents related to ZFS. Since Sun hasn’t made its intent clear, every one of those has to be considered a ticking bomb by open source programmers.
    Would you be willing to revise the published legal language in your patent promise, or contribute the patents to the OIN, or both? Until this happens, I’m afraid that the more cynical will doubt that you are sincere.
    You also might try to find something to praise in Linux besides its device drivers. Just saying.

  22. Jim

    Jonathan, While I’m sure that your offer of dinner for Linux was sincere and honest, I can see how you have opened yourself up to a plethora of classic metaphors (perhaps “The Register” will have more) including
    Linus Last supper
    Linus being lead to the lions
    Linus being fattened for the killPerhaps a better one would beThe lion laying down with the lamb I’ll leave it for discussion as to who is what!

  23. Jim

    Jonathan, While I’m sure that your offer of dinner for Linux was sincere and honest, I can see how you have opened yourself up to a plethora of classic metaphors (perhaps “The Register” will have more) including
    Linus Last supper
    Linus being lead to the lions
    Linus being fattened for the killPerhaps a better one would beThe lion laying down with the lamb I’ll leave it for discussion as to who is what!

  24. Pat

    Hey, can I bring the cheese and bread?
    I swear I wont be too noisy.

  25. Funny that Theo de Raadt makes a better arguement than Linus Torvalds did, at least to the way I read things. I’ve posted a somewhat more detailed explanation on my blog.

  26. joe vitka

    gentlemen gentlemen…..

  27. I think you all better get to dinner fast because as far as I’m concerned, there is a possibility that Apple is working on either building an OSX on Linux, which they would Open Source or releasing a non open source OSX86. Why do I think this? Read on… We all know how kick ass Linux is, and it’s the word of mouth stuff that happens which is making it grow… If you read this Jon or Linux… Thanks a lot! The folks like me who work around Unix in the Enterprise also talk a lot about how much of a backbone Solaris is and how important a role it plays there.
    Think of how much momentum would be killed if Apple would release an open source monster? Their brand power is simply too much to stop. Even now they have their browser (the most important vector on any desktop OS) exposed to every person with an internet connection in the world. Sure it’s getting torn apart but isn’t that the point?
    This–in my opinion–is a direct statement from Apple that they are getting the browser out there so it can get “Hardened” and then they are going to release a scaled down version of OSX/Linux, or perhaps just start Selling OSX. Even if an official OSX86 wasn’t open source, the cool factor would do a lot of damage to both of your causes. People would look back and say that the competition couldn’t (John and Linux) even get along with each other to put their mutual strengths together, and this is perhaps why Linux became less popular, and Solaris became not so great.
    I’m not crazy, I do understand this statement is pretty farfetched, but it is possible, Apple is not releasing their browser to the world for nothing. If I were either one of you I would consider it an act of war.
    Jon, I hope you telling Linux to bring the wine was not a low level sarcastic statement but you and him need to pull your troops together. There will be nothing but more and more and more competition and you two should be working as one.

  28. Very good response from the CEO of a company Linus accused (to the extent of sounding like FUD) in the mail thread. The Linus mail would made some think he’s getting increasingly scared of OpenSolaris. He was a more reasonable guy sometime back.
    Anyhow, hope the dinner works out well for both of you.

  29. Andrew Stöckert

    That dinner would be interesting.
    PS.: Geek Speaker, his name is Linus Torvalds not Linux Torvalds.

  30. puzzled

    OK. Give these guys a break. On one hand half the comments to Jon’s blogs berate him for giving things away for free and not making money, while the other half give him grief for not giving away enough, and behaving like a corporate entity.
    Last I heard, Sun is not a .org, it is a .com, a public one at that.
    All in all, I’d say its a very tough balance, and lets give these guys a break.

  31. ns

    Jonathan, Do you mind answering to Theo as well :). A direct response

  32. puzzled

    OK. Give these guys a break. On one hand half the comments to Jon’s blogs berate him for giving things away for free and not making money, while the other half give him grief for not giving away enough, and behaving like a corporate entity.
    Last I heard, Sun is not a .org, it is a .com, a public one at that.
    All in all, I’d say its a very tough balance, and lets give these guys a break.

  33. Very relevant (and long due) writeup. Its taken us (Sun) a while to express our true intent to the rest of the community, but better late than never. However, a few individuals (for reasons best known to them) conveniently assume that Sun is anti Linux. It might take time, but we’ll win them over, one at a time.

  34. Well, obviously a good wine can’t fix cynicism…

    While OpenSolaris still has a lot to do before being “the easy/best choice” (I would prefer RHEL for most cases, and please don’t lie by saying that Solaris is cheaper, because It is not, and the outrageously aggressive entitlements are scaring people away), there is nonetheless true that the bugginess of the Linux kernel is continuously increasing, and this can’t be fixed by an “upgrade” from GPLv2 to GPLv3!

    OTOH, Linus might be right when saying “to Sun, a GPLv3-only release would actually let them look good”, but this is only because the very noisy “license-Nazis” try to make people believe that GPL is “the only good license”, or that Linux is widespread (more than *BSD, for instance) mainly because of the “wisely choosen” license–which is not true.

    I fail to understand by which “mechanical reasons” is GPLv3 easier than GPLv2 for Sun, but I simply don’t care what is the open license that will be used. I would simply be glad to have as much as possible open sourced, particularly because OpenSolaris needs to be adopted by a larger user community before being adopted by more companies!

    We need OpenSolaris 11. Released. Soon. RELEASED.

    We need an easy easy to D/L it. No registration. Plain FTP. Full ISO images. Period. Stop being freaky about DOWNLOADS.

    We don’t need software entitlements with KGB-like statements like: “14.0 During the term of the SLA and Entitlement, and for a period of three (3) years thereafter, You agree to keep proper records and documentation of Your compliance with the SLA and Entitlement.” CAPISCI?

    OpenSolaris would also benefit from KDE 3.5 for a broader adoption, I suppose.

    Nexenta and Belenix and SchilliX are *not* what we need. They’re jokes the same way Ubuntu is a joke.

    I hope openSolaris will be used one day by an amount of people comparable with the Fedora + the openSUSE + the Debian communities. (Ubuntu users are unable to understand the meaning of the term ‘stability’.)

    I hope Linux will come to dinner. (But please, “for a period of three (3) years thereafter, You agree to keep proper records and documentation of” Linus coming to dinner…)

  35. Raj K

    As a shareholder, I d much rather see you cut costs and improve profits at Sun, than indulge Mr.Linus Torvalds. His flamebait emails are nothing new, and I dont see this helping the stock any.

  36. My previous attempt to comment was “marked as spam and will not be displayed”. I won’t comment on the quality of this blog engine…Here is my comment.

  37. Sum Yung Gai

    While Theo de Raadt is an arrogant, and very often rude, individual, he has raised some excellent points here, and has made a solid case for continued skepticism of Sun. Why *does* Sun hold so tightly to its programming specs for its hardware to the point that even OpenSolaris cannot properly support Sun’s own boxes? That’s one great case for going x86-64. No matter which vendor I pick for x86-64, I know that my box will work with Linux, *BSD, even MS Windows. Why? The specs are generally known. Isn’t that part of why Sun chose LSI Logic MegaRAID controllers instead of those from, say, 3ware (closed) or Adaptec (even more closed)?
    No, Jonathan, Sun still looks to be acting in a schizophrenic manner regarding open-ness. As much I like the idea of the Niagara boxes, I’m continuing to recommend x86-64 to my boss. We’ve been bitten before by hardware for which the CPU might’ve been open, but other critical parts weren’t. Some of those were Sun boxes (e. g. UltraSPARC III). It’s also why we’ve never gone with server gear from Apple–the hardware’s too proprietary.
    Just publish your specs, for Pete’s sake. And do it without NDA requirements.

  38. MJ

    Sun has the Storage, Servers but they don’t have the database like IBM, Sun has great software (Solaris, Java, StarOffice) but they don’t have the search engine to distribute it like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Nothing stopping Google from moving into your turf if they were to buy lets say Red Hat.

  39. Tuomas

    Raj K, Sun doesn’t produce toothpaste or cleaning utensils. Those are different businesses! Kindly keep your quarterly-only views away from these discussions — Jon has to see a lot more than just the bottom line or share price figures to actually run a business… TY, HAND!

  40. Peter

    Jonathan, first of all, this was an excellent response. That said, Linus is fundamentally right to distrust Sun. Sun has a split personality. On one hand, you’ve done more for free software than all but two or three other companies out there. On the other hand, you have, on many opportunities, violently attacked GNU/Linux. You have announced many times more initiatives to help the free software community than you have completed. The impression I, as an outsider, have is that Sun is a divided company. There are people in Sun trying to embrace free software (from this post, hopefully including the CEO), and there are people at Sun trying to kill free software, or at least GNU/Linux. This makes a lot of people in the community confused about how to treat Sun. On one hand, we appreciate everything you’ve done. On the other hand, we tend to distrust your motives and future actions.

  41. Levi

    “Why is Linux surprised that a commercial company might be holding back on open sourcing a large amount of its intellectual property? Thats what they make money out of.”
    Stability is one thing. But without drivers stability doesn’t really matter. And if you compare OpenSolaris and Linux on that base, OpenSolaris has a _long way to go.

  42. inder

    Jonathan, how about acquiring Ubuntu and let it grow side-by-side with solaris. A natural cross-pollination of the two distribution will advance both very well. That will also give Sun a good foothold in the linux community. I am sure the thought has crossed your mind, so go with your instincts. Just dont botch it up like Sun linux or prior linux acquisitions.

  43. Mr. Schwartz, as in, “Linus, don’t use the Schwvortz!”, is a crafty guy, hopefully crafty enough to keep all the people under him working, and Sun’s BODs and stockholders happy, or blissfully ignorant as some off these rediculous “lets’ all party in the SUNshine with each other and get along” posts are, as Sun becomes more and more irrelevant to the future of Linux or Open Source.
    Java Open Sourced, who cares? Irrelevant at this point. I haven’t read a single article or post from anyone, even world class Java developers, who are excited about it. Have you reader? If so, please be kind enough to send me the paradignm shifting consciousness raising article/blog post/whatever on how Open Source Java is the next big thing.
    What total mismanagement of Java for short term gains and to feed a fear-driven attempt by Sun’s cognoscenti, err, ahh, greed-no-cogito, to remain relevant as the “thought leader” and Internet generation “technology leader” – JavaFX? Puhhhlease. The quote and the idea, “The network is the computer,” is the only thing cool that will remain of Sun in Sun’s present form anyway, and yes Jason, I would be happy to bet say 25% of my net worth to 25% of yours to meet up for WINE in ten years to see if I am right. Maybe we should meet up at the shiny new very UNDER-USED Sun corporate campus in Burlington, MA?
    Mr. Schwartz’s reply is actually quite disingenuous even on the most cursory read through – hence my clearly fed-up tone. Jason, BSing techies is a CAKE walk compared to BSing the Lower Manhattan or Greenwhich CT boys.
    Mr. Schwartz doesn’t directly address any of Linus’ claims/concerns/examples (oh yeah, installability, with the comment, “not fair to hit us there.” huh? WTF is he talking about? Who is Mr. Schwartz talking to? This is the way a good politician operates, he doesnt answer the questions or the criticism, he takes the opportunity to expound the positive message he wishes to, often tangential to the direct criticism supposedly on the table for OPEN discussion. Mr. Schwartz’s pony-tail is a sad vestigial appendage for a political slant he clearly lost LONG ago in his rise to corporate chiefdom, and that’s fine, to each his own.
    Mr. Schwartz’s words will be compared to the actual behavior of Sun that can reasonably be credited to “his watch”, and then as we all must, he will have to stand on the difference, or I would rather hope, the alignment between his words, and they aren’t particularly motivating to me, and “his” companies actions. Duplicity is the correct word here, as written by the SSH lead in his above post.
    I think Mr. Schvortz has been BSing for so long that he apparently is unable to simply respond to valid concerns, he has forgotten what the truth is, and when he remembers, sort of like Reagan or Bush in this way, what it is – as he occasionally must – he seeks to employ whatever talent he has, and given Sun’s stock performance even Wall Street doesn’t accord Mr. Schvortz much talent, to obfuscating the truth.
    Let’s be plain, Jason, and you can come to dinner here in Cambridge any time you want my friend, I’ll buy the WINE and the food, isn’t giving any of us reason to dance. Oh, you say, he is? How so then Dear Bleeding Heart Deacon?
    None of this would matter at all and Mr. Schwartz could be forgiven if his company actually made products people want to buy, I mean look at what Mr. Jobs is forgiven simply because he produces objects a materially large number of people wish to own and use. Are you a Sun stockholder Mr. or Mrs. Reader? If so, are you happy?
    Imagine that I am trying with good faith to have a serious conversation with someone and the best they can do is wave me off with an offer of wine and home cooking? Not funny, not amusing, a pretty silly attempt at subverting/transmogrifying the conversation into yet another useless “dialogue.” Hey, everyone with serious technical experience, background, and concerns, we’re all in this together, so let’s get drunk on wine, and hang out at my house!
    Jason, get your shit together Dude – or, at least, wrap a little more enigma around your rhetoric so it’s not so completely transparent and off-topic.

  44. If Java is GPL2 why can it not be included in the latest F7 with Firefox support all set up right out of the box? I still don’t understand that.

  45. KL

    Personally, I think Sun should tell the Linux community where to go, and continue doing what they have been. The work Pawel has done porting ZFS to FreeBSD is nothing short of amazing, especially considering the short period of time he’s been working on it. I think it also proves the CDDL is open enough.
    Sun does NOT need the Linux community. If Sun needs drivers, they’d be better served by looking at what the various BSD camps have done (especially Theo de Raadt), NOT the mess that passes for drivers in the Linux world. The GNU/Linux camp just wants everything to be licensed under the GPL, to further their political agenda.
    Sun recently hired Ian Murdock, supposedly one of Ian’s goals is to make Solaris more Linux-like – I think this is the last thing Solaris needs, and I’m actually afraid of what might come from that. Nexenta and other projects exist for people who want a more Linux-like SunOS system, Solaris proper should be left as is. If Sun wants to bring in more user-friendly userland tools, that’s fine – but don’t make it more Linux-like! The system should still be identifiable as Solaris.
    I would however like to see Sun (and other companies) more open with regards to hardware specs, like Theo has (repeatedly) called for.

  46. Just a note, many of my words above were supposed to be Linus, not Linux. Stupid WinWord, I thought it was just trying to make Linus capital. 🙂

  47. Robert Devi

    The key thing to recognize is that Linus is from the “talk is cheep”
    world. More than a few well intentioned starry eyed dreamers have
    come to the kernel with a vision that doesn’t ever materialize, or
    if it does, doesn’t integrate as cleanly or perform as well (or
    problem free) as was claimed (e.g. Reiser4). A far larger number
    of people come to the kernel with hype, looking for good PR.
    So you can understand his cynacism. A simple dinner won’t change it.

    The relicensing takes time and effort comment you mentioned, is
    true. Mozilla took a long time to finish relicensing and I don’t
    doubt the Linux would too even if a concerted effort was made.
    So, even though Linus hopes you’re honest, he likely sees you
    more as a starry eyed dreamer, rather than someone who will actually
    follow up and change the Sun beaurocracy to be friendly to open
    source. (Linus doesn’t care about Java and might not care about
    OpenOffice since he’s a KDE user, so he doesn’t personally see
    your current contributions to changing Sun are relevant to him.)

    That being said, there is something you can do. ZFS is relatively
    new and it’s already licensed under a very liberal license, the
    CDDL, so it should be possible to dual-license it as CDDL+GPLv3
    much faster than relicensing all of OpenSolaris. Of course, Linux
    wouldn’t be able to use it until it was GPLv3, but at least it
    would prove your sincerity and give a nudge to Linus to start
    the relicensing process of Linux as GPLv3 (or GPLv2+GPLv3). An
    alternative approach is the make the CDDL GPLv3 compatible. From
    the FSF licensing discussion ( )
    the CDDL isn’t that far from being GPLv3 compatible. So CDDLv2
    removed the offending restrictions (and possibly replaced them
    with some GPLv3 compatible restrictions), and if OpenSolaris
    were relicensed as CDDLv2 (much easier to do than relicensing
    all of OpenSolaris, including the binary blobs), then that
    would remove any and all doubt of Sun’s intentions (and your
    abilities to deliver on those intentions) and the nudge to
    relicense Linux under GPLv3 (or GPLv2+GPLv3) would be a lot

  48. Daryl Smith

    Jonathan is right. Linux and Solaris are not and should not be enemies. They are complementary. Linux is an easy solution for smaller general systems or (with a bit more work) for specialized setups (computing clusters, etc). Solaris excels at stability, and installs with little difficulty on Sun’s larger hardware. Microsoft remains the competition of both Linux and Solaris. Had it not been for Sun, the community likely wouldn’t have a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. Java and ZFS in the same vein continue to offer good quality open technology as a lure to windows users in order to keep Microsoft from further monopolizing the computing environment. We KNOW from experience that Microsoft closes access where ever possible in order to strangle competitors or restrict options. If Microsoft were actually trying to do what was best for users, Office would have had an open format and/or a pdf converter a long time ago.

    I applaud Sun’s stance on ZFS. It has cost a fair amount of money to make this technology and the Java/OpenOffice applications available for all to use. The Linux and Open Source communities need to acknowledge that Sun should be able to make some money off its technology and products. There is no free lunch (except for Linus at Jonathan’s house).

  49. Dear Jonathan, thank you for a very interesting response and great attitude. I’m so amazed you took the opportunity to comment on Linus’ post. This conversation will surely one day become classic, so I would really like it to continue.

    On the other hand, I also see Theo raising some very important questions and would absolutely love to hear your opinion on that matters.

  50. Wow! If that offer of walking together is sincere, the work coordinated of the community and the people of Sun would be a great leap ahead.
    I really don’t understand why do people shout about taking from community and no giving… YOU ARE DOING IT FOR FREE! If you do something and give it away, it is our choice to give something back, there is no obligation.
    If by using Linux I am forced to give something back… What is the difference between M$ and Linux? If using Linux implies I HAVE TO COLLABORATE WITH OPEN SOURCE, that I am forced to do it, I prefer other choice, because it’s easier to pay money than to pay time.

  51. AT

    I am a stock holder of Sun as well, and I for one value the open approach to business that Mr. Schwartz writes about. The value of a company does not hinge on short-term profits, but in how its vision will increase its longevity. Microsoft has its monopolizing, terrorizing vision that keeps it firmly planted, but its roots will eventually give. On the other hand, companies like Apple and Nintendo focus on plans to keep their brand exciting to the consumer through genuine innovation (whether in aesthetics, UI, or technology). I’d like to see Sun keep indulging the free software community, because that will have more longevity than any closed environment will.

  52. Suresh Kumar

    I really get amused when some one mentions that they use Linux because it is free and it is open source. My immediate naïve question to them would be is – so which Linux do you use? The answer 99.99% would be – RedHat or Novell!! They do not realize that they “paid” RedHat or Novell for the distribution. So Johnathan is right RedHat and Novell hurt Sun more than what Linux did to Solaris. So did Sun really learn from RedHat regarding packaging or distributing an operating system? No it did not, it never will.

    Honestly, I think Linux has a growth issue and its vast user base has to be nervous about it. Sun’s investment in Solaris might not have any impact on the share holder value for a while, but Linux has a lot of catching up to do.

  53. David S. Miller

    Theo, Linux actually does support the v215, I wrote the PCI-Fire
    PCI-E driver a little over a month ago on an Ultra45, it’s the sane
    PCI-E chip in the v215 et al.
    It’s about 20 or so lines of code, you can see it in the latest tree in
    I also think your criticism of Sun is very unfounded. I think you might
    have a less rocky road if you tried to build a relationship (a healthy
    one) with Sun as I have.

  54. Jon Feder

    I am a longtime Sun user, software developer and admin. I started with SunOS and build some kind of career on Sun gear. I sticked with Sun through thick and thin (Roadrunner 386, Solaris 2.0, C++ 3/Workshop 4 and more atrocities I am ashamed to mention). I guess one could have called me a Sun fanboy in the past.

    What put me off was Sun’s Solaris x86 politics and their Linux / (no) Java (inside) Desktop politics. Since then I can’t make much sense out of Sun’s strategy. Open-sourcing Solaris, but under an own, handmade license, specifically crafted to be incompatible with the GPL. And at the same time complaining about open source license proliferation. Pushing out new Java APIs, editions, and initiatives at a near-hourly rate, just to let most of them rot away. Hey, Sun can’t even provide a RS232 Java interface for Windows any more. Vigorously protecting the Java source and protecting development behind the JCP, then suddenly open-sourcing Java, this time with the GPL. But of course spoiling the party by going for such a closed project setup that the RedHat guys felt the need to set up an own development “experiment”. Can you say fork? Sun wants open source contributors, but first punishes potential contributors with a contract even lawyers can’t decode. Sun can’t get their OpenSolaris to run on their own gear, can’t get good USB driver support into the regular Solaris, can’t modernize userland in Solaris (awk vs. nawk, do I need to say more?), is seriously lacking behind on the Solaris desktop, doesn’t manage to properly maintain Java any more but did mess with messing with and with FreeBSD and is at the same time still adding features to the language.

    It just doesn’t make sense. Sun storms in one direction, then one half of the troops do a U-turn and storm in the other direction, while the other half continues as stubborn as before. The result is yet another train wreck.

    For deities sake, provide the FOSS developers with the hardware specs they are asking for and maybe give them the driver code for the hardware under the GPL and BSD license. Give your lawyers a serious kick in the lower body parts and force them to write contributor contracts in plain English. Fix the license mess you created with the CDDL, the SPL, the SISSL, the SCSL, the SSC(FR)L, the JTL, the DLJ, the BCLA, the BCLA with supplemental license terms, the JRL, the JDL, the SLA, the Entitlement for Software, and whatnot your overeager, underperforming lawyers have created.

  55. I think Linus’ comments on Solaris show just how out of touch he is with other operating systems and the reason Linux has plateaued technically as an OS. Linus’ says ZFS is the only thing interesting about Solaris? That’s one thing more than Linux has going for it.

  56. Iker De Echaniz

    So linux trolls and you invite him for dinner xDDDD

    Do not feed the troll 😛

    BTW no one should waste time reversing what others had done before. I like reversing for fun/research but I prefer good documentation. Both Sun and Linux community, has and could, benefit each other.


  57. gg

    Right now, Sun has superior tools for Solaris then what’s available for the Linux camp.
    If you choose to relicense everything under the GPL, you’ll have handed the Linux companies your guns. You’ll become sucked by the Linux gravitational pull. In practice, it means they’ll leave you dry. OpenSolaris will be dragged in the mud and left for dead.
    The FSF political agenda is really just a pawn for the companies competing with Sun. In practice, it’ll be just dandy for IBM, for instance. What will you be getting out of it?
    It’s not Sun’s problem that not everything fits the GPL/FSF world view. Play nice with the open source community (read what Theo de Raadt said), but don’t let your code be contaminated by the GPL. What, you think Linus’ life work will stop? So what if Linus won’t use the ZFS? That should actually sound like great news to you.
    Wise up, Sun Microsystems.

  58. Daniel W.

    Jonathan talks about being friends, working together, etc., but one thing it seems they don’t want to talk about (and everyone else has forgotten) is their multi-million dollar “investment” in SCO several years ago which helped SCO continue their FUD campaign against Linux. The two big contributors to SCO’s war chest were Microsoft and Sun. That’s some company to keep for a company claiming to be friendly to the open-source community.
    I realize that Sun is under new leadership now, but that still doesn’t absolve them of past misdeeds. It’s time to come clean and publicly apologize, and contribute an equal dollar amount to the open-source community in retribution for the damage it caused.

  59. Hi Jonathan,
    if you really want to make open solaris really really popular and very fast rate and make tons of money and pull Sun out of deep S&%* than I can give you free & unique strategy (MashUp Strategy )
    1) Release Open Solaris code in GPL (2 or 3) your wish really fast !!
    2) Find a way mesh up or combine linux code with solaris (check out
    3) Have Talk with Ubuntu Shuleworth and Merge two projects (SUbuntu ….at least Ubuntu Server part )combine the best (ease of use and packages of ubuntu and enterprise features of Solaris
    4)Offer end to End enterprise support to Subuntu and Utlra spark / Niagara or ur server hardware
    Now lets talk about how this will help you & Sun…..
    Solaris will take another thousand years to reach popularity of Ubuntu not its because its not a great product bcos it lacks traction …so merging it with ubuntu (subuntu ) it will gain traction
    2) By offering Best of the both worlds your enterprise customer will no longer be afraid to attept to try they run huge array of linux apps with opensolaris based tools like ZFS , Dtrace etc .Their adoption will increase . Folks like who do cosultaion for startups can easily recommend Subuntu
    3)What Ubuntu lacks is Enterprise credibility (being a young project ) but its strength is its popularity , Sun has it but solaris is no as popular ….combination will be deadly ….with one swoop you can eradicate dominance of evil and greedy linux vendors like $use and RedHat
    Email me if you want more details 😉
    ps : I hope you actually read this stuff and blog comments or your PA / MT (management trainee ) does it

  60. Robert Devi

    > If you choose to relicense everything under the GPL, you’ll have handed the Linux
    > companies your guns. You’ll become sucked by the Linux gravitational pull.

    This is shortsighted. If everything then there will be a few consequences:
    * They will be ported to Linux (true)
    * The user base will expand, making Solaris technology more popular
    * Since Sun knows Solaris technology better than anyone else, it will have more consulting and support contracts
    * Since the user base will expand, the “number of itches that need to be scratched” increase, meaning the number of contributers will increase to handle things actually need — making Sun technology better.
    * Unix open source history has proved that if you have a good make-configure script, it will be maintained to keep all ports active, so contrary to what’s been said, Solaris won’t be bled dry — it’s technology will be improved such that it will benefit Solaris too.

  61. AS

    Jonathan – Excellent Attitude and Response. You should be of the smartest CEOs around ! And you are something of a cult icon for many of us, especially the ones with the ponytails 😉 But beware, the Linux community has a lot of people who talk patent nonsense. It might get unwieldy if you try to counter all FUD ramblings.
    There are only 3 areas where GNU/Linux can score over Solaris technically – Installation Ease, GNU userland, Hardware/Driver Support. Otherwise Solaris kicks Linux ass whether Linus buys it or not.
    But there are a lot of ‘other’ issues that you need to consider before Solaris becomes atleast 50% as popular as Linux. All the cool dudes and funky programmers that I hang out with, program on Linux. All the documents, blogs, tutorials I read on the net refer to Linux. My CS textbooks talk only about Linux. There was only ONE book in the CS curriculum that said something called Solaris existed. The latest version of my favorite music player runs only on Linux. The Solaris version is many YEARS old. I see Linux ads in the news paper and TV. Never heard of a Solaris ad. The hottest computer company on earth (GOOG) is a big Linux fan and publicist.
    It is cool, geeky and fun to be a Linux programmer. But I feel alone and lost in the Solaris world. I doubt that you can solve THOSE things. I can only hope or dream that one day in the distant future, it will once again be the time when we can be proud to be Solaris programmers.

  62. nobody

    In response to Daniel’s post, don’t you think their giving free use of patents to the community and licensing Java under the GPL makes up for that? I’ve put it all behind me because I believe Sun has changed. I was once one of their most vocal opponents. Now I’m hoping I can help them repair of the damage we both caused. They said the wrong things, we dragged them through the coals for it. Enough is enough, its time to move on. Please tell me you accept this olive branch, I see no reason for you not to. SCO lost, but let’s see if we can prop up Sun Microsystems as the FOSS leader they were meant to be. They’re ready and willing… What’s our problem? We have nothing to complain about. They’re trying to help us rebuild our industry before Microsoft destroys it. Open your eyes.

  63. A more interesting merger-of-interests would be Apple’s multimedia applications +
    interface usability with Sun’s server and Unix system strengths, not a boring mixture of
    two Unix forks.
    Or the Google world on Sun hardware, which could still happen with the right kind
    of cost/performance plus software porting effort.

  64. I hope the dinner happens… and if it does, please be sure to offer Linus some cheese with his whine…

    (And yes, I know that’s an old joke)

  65. Rich Kulawiec

    I’ve been a Sun customer since the beginning (and an alpha/beta tester back in the 80’s).
    I’m also an OpenBSD user and a Linux user and a MacOS user. So…from my point of
    view, these internecine squabbles look as pointless as those between OpenWindows
    and Motif or v7 and BSD. The primary beneficiary of all of them is…


    Which is no doubt why in addition to spreading FUD as usual, M$ also does what it can
    to foment disagreement.

    What’s needed here, frankly, is to lock Schwartz and Torvalds and de Raadt and a few
    others in a room *with no lawyers allowed* and make a deal — THEN inform the lawyers
    that their task is to write it up and make it happen. Done that way, there could be
    significant wins for everyone — ZFS for Linux, specs for OpenBSD, drivers for Solaris,
    and so on. More important than those relatively ephemeral bits of technology would
    be the principle of such an agreement.

    Or everyone can spend another decade sniping at each other while Redmond laughs.

  66. Mr. E.

    Jonathan – pure class. Linus is obviously making valid points within his sphere of influence. You’ve countered with friendly, professional and intelligent thoughts.

  67. Jon Feder

    Indeed Sun still didn’t come clean about their SCO involvement. A few details have finally emerged in the SCO v Novell case

    Particularly why Sun thought it was a good idea to pay $10 million for the right to use Linux (a right SCO could maybe not grant or is maybe not needed) and a covenant not to sue is still a big question. The Sun – SCO deal is a very good reason why Linus is not a big fan of Sun. According to the SCO v Novell documents Sun was even paying before Microsoft did cough up money. Sun set the precedence. Their money was the first in the SCO war chest. When SCO has to start scrapping the bottom of the barrel for money it’ll be the Sun money they’ll find and will let them go on for some more time. It really smells.

    Or maybe Sun indeed payed $10 million for “SCO IP” in Linux. But “IP” which apparently turned out to be a few hundred trivial header lines. If this is what happened, then someone at Sun was rather stupid and wasted a big bundle of shareholder money. Very stupid for not checking what they got for their $10 million. Hey, I have a nice bridge to sell:

    ^^      ..                                       ..
    []                                       []
    .:[]:_          ^^                       ,:[]:.
    .: :[]: :-.                             ,-: :[]: :.
    .: : :[]: : :`._                       ,.': : :[]: : :.
    .: : : :[]: : : : :-._               _,-: : : : :[]: : : :.
    _..: : : : :[]: : : : : : :-._________.-: : : : : : :[]: : : : :-._
    []                                       []
    []                                       []
    []                                       []
    ~~^-~^_~^~/  \~^-~^~_~^-~_^~-^~_^~~-^~_~^~-~_~-^~_^/  \~^-~_~^-~~-
    ~ _~~- ~^-^~-^~~- ^~_^-^~~_ -~^_ -~_-~~^- _~~_~-^_ ~^-^~~-_^-~ ~^
    ~ ^- _~~_-  ~~ _ ~  ^~  - ~~^ _ -  ^~-  ~ _  ~~^  - ~_   - ~^_~
    ~-  ^_  ~^ -  ^~ _ - ~^~ _   _~^~-  _ ~~^ - _ ~ - _ ~~^ -
    ~^ -_ ~^^ -_ ~ _ - _ ~^~-  _~ -_   ~- _ ~^ _ -  ~ ^-
    ~^~ - _ ^ - ~~~ _ - _ ~-^ ~ __- ~_ - ~  ~^_-
    ~ ~- ^~ -  ~^ -  ~ ^~ - ~~  ^~ - ~
  68. Howard Owen

    There sure is a lot of residual mistrust of and resentment against Sun these days. I feel some myself. But Mr. Schwartz has talked and walked a good Free Software game plan since becoming CEO, and that counts for quite a bit, in my book.
    But strip away Mr. Torvald’s customary rudeness, and you have a cogent set of concerns about Sun’s real motives in selecting GPLv3 for Open Solaris, and in sticking to their own license for ZFS. Mr. Schwartz does not address the latter issue, but hints that GPLv2 is not “out of the question” for Open Solaris. Since Mr Torvalds claims the only thing he’s seen in Sun’s technology mix is ZFS (that’s his famous bluntness on technical matters, again, plus a sneering tone that he didn’t have in days of yore,) the lack of an answer on that technology is interesting. It tends to make my distrust of Sun’s motives increase a little.
    But I’m ultimately not concerned about whether Sun is a faithful Free Software believer. If they are, their actions down the road will tell the tale. Up to now, their actions are a mixed bag in that respect, but not inconsistent with the idea that they are headed toward Genuine GPL Goodness. I’m more interested to see a real Open Source Solaris take the stage. If it’s GPL of any blend, it’s likely to gather talent over time, inevitably at the expense of Linux. But I’m interested, as a user of Linux, and a once and possibly future Solaris user, in seeing amity and compatibility, including source code license compatibility, between the two camps. Anything else would be a clear indication that Sun is disingenuous in it’s protestations of good intentions regarding the GPL, and would be a loss for many communities, not just the followers of rms.
    Sun isn’t alone in trying to leverage Open Source and Free Software, of course. I don’t mean to suggest that Sun will be necessarily better or worse than their competition based on how closely they match rhetoric and action on the GPL. And license compatibility between Solaris and Linux isn’t their sole responsibility. Linus could change too. He says as much in the referenced post. His sneer against everything Sun except ZFS will probably change over time, both as a result of the progress of Open Solaris, and if he gets broader exposure to some of Sun’s other technology. But compared with the initial decision to Open Source Solaris, steering the license towards greater or lesser compatibility with Linux seems like it would be a piece of cake. Here’s one potential customer’s vote that you make it easier, Mr. Schwartz.

  69. Jake Vig

    Through past actions and comments made over the years Sun was Linux’s enemy – it is well known that Linux’s server market share growth is at the expense of the corporate (read: expensive) Unix’s.
    That said, it does look like Sun is becoming a notable patron of open source especially under your leadership. Although issues that are akin with the old SUN still exist today (read: Theo’s repeated requests for open hardware specs). The guy is only trying to support your platform. You really should be jumping through hoops to help devs like him. Hell if you haven’t any doco available, give him your code as he will probably be fixing bugs while he is porting it to OpenBSD.

  70. PRINCE
    This blog post doth make good the friar's words,
    Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
    And here he writes that he did buy a license
    Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
    Came to this vault to die, and lie with Linus.
    Where be these enemies? Linux community! Sun product management!
    See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
    That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
    And I for winking at your discords too
    Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.
  71. Can I come? I promise I won’t talk.

  72. thetruebeliever

    Sun sucks…that’s all.

  73. Even if Linus’ cynicism is justified, I still feel that the computing world has changed so much over the last 5 years that Sun, and most other players in this business, are heading into new territory and their past behaviour may be less relevant. The growth of the open-source world has made many of the old strategies and habits impossible now.

  74. Sun multi OS guy

    Slightly off topic, slightly on topic …. I am very interested in putting together a compendium of Linux (any and all distributions) memory DIMM correctable error logging, counting, and diagnostic tools. Would love to participate in any relevent discussions, simply name the blog(s) and I’ll go there. I may even start a special purpose blog for this. Thanks!

  75. A couple bottles of wine later, Jonathan offers Linus a job.
    Whom do you trust? What’s the brand of trust you’re peddling?

  76. vruz

    Great post and the right attitude from all of the top gentlemen involved. (Linus, Jonathan, and now Theo)
    Good we’re all friends: enough excercise of bargaining power on all sides.

    There’s enough of a cross-pollination agenda:

    Drivers for OpenSolaris
    ZFS for Linux
    Same stuff applicable to OpenBSD and the other BSDs around.
    Java at the core of Linux and Solaris as a response to the DANGER of M$ Singularity.
    (M$ has managed to survive however inneficient and obtuse they’ve been, you don’t want to wait until they actually have a real competitive product !!!)

    From there on:

    Subset of Java to write drivers that run on both Solaris and Linux, think Sing#, F# and a wide array of other sharp stuff !
    I would have more to beg about on the RIA/user interface side of things, but this is probably not the right place to discuss that now

    Great work guys ! Keep rocking

  77. J2002

    Politics in the technology world are so amusing. If solaris and Linux could share innovations and code it would no doubt improve both immesurably. Programmers do computer science degrees, its about time they acted like real scientists and shared the knowledge.
    Incidently there are quite a few posts about how GNU/Linux users are all religious zealots – maybe GNU/Linux users – to be honest, i know RMS has done allot of good work for free software/open source/whatever you like to call it, but when you start using words like “megacorporations” and “tivoisation” it means you’ve lost it, I think I spoke like that when I was a pretentious teenager. (most) Linux users on the other hand, care about the quality and not some millitant agenda

  78. sumit singh

    It is very important that you mix the stability and repo of solaris with feature and tech-rich linux and provide a much better turn around solution that every mom and dad can use beside a techie. You both being the titans are still missing the main point and concentrating on whether zfs/dfs will make linux good as highend or linux driver/features will make solaris much better.Still usability for a novice is where most of concentration and hardwork is required.
    If you and linus still fighting about zfs and dtrace source code, i believe m$soft/apple has still years to fear linux on desktops.
    Frankly speaking i believe, technologically solaris and linux should merge and come up as a nice configuration option while compiling kernel and that’s it beyond that there is no solaris or linux! [that will be the litmus test of sun microsystem being opensourced and linus being a good adopter].
    Grow up guys, be one and try to make it usable for moms and dads!

  79. Night

    Linux gives me choice and choice is bad from Sun’s perspective. Get it to run on the latest Sun hardware and maybe you’ll turn the company around. However continue to waffle and just watch the Sun brand become diminished, irrelevant and broken. I would say this is a crucial time in Sun’s history and the comments Torvalds made are feelings held by others. If you don’t believe me then ask yourself why are the data centers I walk into these days getting rid of their Sun equipment and failing to purchase new from Sun? Its about empowering the end user, man, and not tying his hands.

  80. OpenSolaris is indeed great and yes, it scales very nicely. I appreciate Sun’s effort into going Open source and they are doing so at a steady pace. Its hard for a company like Sun to open when adoption of open source in enterprises is still picking up. Our clients shudder at the thought of their software being open – to them, open means insecure. Its hard to change their mindset or their conventional ways. Kudos to Sun for their open initiative.

  81. RamaRao Ayyagari

    Think should not compare apples and oranges. Choice should be left to the user. Solaris has its benefits and Linux its.
    My fear SUN opens everything, it may be ceases to be a viable company into the future..
    SUN speaks of devices but not have any PDA products. Why? I would love to see some of these PDA from SUN.

  82. Linus Torvalds

    What will you cook?

  83. Anonymous

    Don’t do it! Keep it closed source! There are so many gaps you could capitalize on! ZFS, virt, power req, etc. Linux is a clone of an OS that is almost 40 years old! There is sooo many things you can add to it that people would pay for. You have the best engineers in the world, charge the big bucks and deliver the next generation of OS! oh yeah BTW Drop the Java and go with the Ruby! and don’t listen to that theo guy, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    ps Better yet, hire me as your advisor for one day!!!! 🙂 –open source developer/consultant

  84. Jonathan, you say that Sun is “interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full patent indemnity.”
    If this is so, then tell us: will you be releasing ZFS under GPLv3, in its entirety? Because if you say yes, that basically ends all debate immediately, doesn’t it?
    Hey, you can even keep it under CDDL as well, so that there’s no problem for those who want to link ZFS to non-GPL binaries. Since you are the copyright holders for the whole shooting match, it should be a simple matter to dual license ZFS under both CDDL and GPLv3. Right?
    Despite all the good stuff you’re doing at Sun, and you’re doing plenty, this is the kind of stuff that continues to make everyone vaguely suspicious. You say “remember, we can’t put ZFS under GPLv3 because GPLv3 doesn’t even exist yet,” even though you’ve already proclaimed that it’s *precisely* what you plan to do with OpenSolaris. Why? Because it suits you to say “OpenSolaris will be GPLv3,” and yet somehow it does not suit you to say “ZFS will be GPLv3”, for some reason that you can’t quite explain. “Indulge me,” you say, and then you seem surprised and hurt when people like Linus (and Theo, heh) don’t.
    Personally, I have my own suspicions. But I’d be legitimately delighted to see them proven wrong. 🙂

  85. I believe the point that Linus was attempting to make was that although Sun’s contributions to open source have been numerous their motivations are questionable. I see nothing wrong with taking a pragmatic approach and judging them based on their actions instead of past deeds. ZFS seems to be on Linus’ radar as a possible contender for integration into the kernel should Sun’s chosen license allow for this. Sun wants to increase Solaris adoption and they believe their code would benefit from a development model similar to the Linux kernel. I’m not sure they’ll have the success they’re hoping for but the alternative is to do nothing, hoard the innovative technologies they’ve developed and hope to capture market share along the Linux periphery. IMHO Schwartz should be commended for being willing to take a different and uncertain path that may benefit both Sun and the Linux community.

  86. Tony Wasserman

    I’m surprised by the number of comments who suggest that Jonathan and Linus shouldn’t talk to one another. Anyone can see how well *that* approach works just by looking at the recent “diplomatic” history of certain governments. In my view, Jonathan’s approach is not just to set up a one-time meeting, but to create a relationship and an ongoing dialogue. This whole discussion shows that we *all* need to be talking to one another about the various issues, and that it will take quite a bit of time. Everyone needs to vent a bit before we can really sit down and work toward resolving them. There are at least five separate perspectives on this blog discussion alone: the non-commercial Linux (and other “free/libre” software) view, the open source (including “commercial” open source) view, the Sun/Solaris corporate view, the commercial hardware/software (e.g., Apple or Microsoft) view, and the single topic (e.g., specific hardware) view. That makes for a lot of different interest groups and wish lists, especially since many of us can identify with more than one of these views. (Speaking for myself, I was one of Sun’s first ISVs and am a Sun shareholder, but now work for a university. I write this from within Firefox on my MacBook Pro, but I have another laptop that dual-boots Ubuntu Feisty and XP, though rarely the latter.) So here’s to Jonathan for trying to improve the lines of communication. He sets a good example for us all to follow.

  87. Mr Kaos has a comment about my comment made earlier on this blog and also here. I have the following to say to Mr Kaos:

    1. Well on his Blog Jonathan says “Companies compete, communities simply fracture”. What I do not agree with is that “communities simply” fracture. It sound disrespecting to communities, like the king sitting on the big throne talking about “hobbyists” as other people say. Companies fracture as well. Companies produce products and some of these products end up having a long life cycle where as other products end up having a very short live cycle. Btw. people “fracture” as well. I believe it is in nature to “fracture”. It is a life cycle thing.

    2. Communities cooperate but companies have to cooperate more and more as well if they want to prosper in the 21st century. Just because SUN had a great reputation does not mean they will have one in the 21st century. I believe Linux is about a highly sophisticated cooperation model. Modern companies should cooperate more like i.e. the Linux movement does with its professional kernel developers.

    3. Well profit is what the stock market wants. That I can understand. But in the long run I believe great companies are about their customers and their satisfied customers. That in return returns the profit. Just doing profit for profits sake is not a long term business model for me.

    4. Well yes, I believe Sun and MS will cooperate more in the future if that is what their clients want. I believe software users want more and more collaboration across platforms and software. I believe Sun and Microsoft will share and compete in the future as Gentoo and Ubuntu do. They compete but they still inter operate. The isolationistic approach of one standard for all does not work in a modern democracy, as everybody wants to be as individual as possible. So yes, if the customer profits you will see a collaboration between Sun and MS. Btw MS is trying to get into the Linux business by their own standard of doing businss: sining up with Novell, Linspire and a few others. That is the Bill Gates approach ;).

    5. I believe great software is about individual leaders, great people and their compassion for software. Linus is a role model and he must be granted that leadership. The more companies like MS and Sun admit that them self the more they will prospers as well. In other words; the sooner SUN gives out their ZFS under GPLv2 the better for SUN! The faster SUN can learn and will prosper because they actively participate in a modern model of software development. SUN can profit heeps from the Linux software development model. I’m sure Blender is great as well but I believe that the Linux Kernel is the better role model.

    6. Now this point is highly interesting. Who is looking on whom and who can profit from whom! That is indeed a very good question. I believe SUN can profit a lot more from Linux then Linux from SUN. With “profit” I actually mean learn. Learn and observe how the kernel development process works. Learn how GIT works. Use GIT to develop and improve ZFS. The question – to me – is not if it is in SUN’s interests or not. The question is how fast SUN realizes that it is in SUN’s interest to inter operate with the OSS world. I believe it is the companies who have to look to the Linux kernel development process and not vice versa. Of course both have great people but it is not only about the people but how to get the most from the developers and their creative minds. That is where Linus and the Linux development model excel more/ the most.

    7. I do understand that SUN has liabilities to its customers, but: If the court needs to step into a new development process then the court needs to do so. Still I believe it is not about the court, its about the process to develop software in the 21st century. It is about interoperability and customer satisfaction. Linux customers are among the happiest in the world because the kernel model produces great software. Because the process of the Linux kernel model to produce great software works and is a 21st century role model. Linux also has compliance issues (SCO, Microsoft) but they do not build software “in fear of compliance” issues. They build software because they believe in the Kernel. Of course they respect the law and work within the law.

    8. All I am trying to say is that Linux works as Software AND as business model. It is not exactly the same but look what happened with Linux. We have Red Hat,SuSE, Caldera, Gentoo, Ubuntu, etc. Some of them are listed on the stock market some art not. We have a huge playing field inter operating and competing at the same time. That is what I mean with “Linux is a 21st century role model”. Yes, chefs have been copying recipes – in fact – nature has been copying itself over and over. That is true for languages. Japanese “copied” Chinese (Kanji) but then extended it to their needs. The OpenSource role model is a great model for Software and for Business, though it my not be identical.

    9. You are returning to the fear of “Lawyers” again. I have it like Linus. Lawyers come after the software. Before the lawyers can act, they need a reason (i.e. software, divorce, etc.) to act upon. This is where the importance of the GPLv2 vs GPLv3 discussion steps in. Togehter with the whole difference between Software and Hardware. Linus is making good statements there as well. See this and this.

    10. I will check out that book. Thank you for the hint.

  88. Hi Jonathan,

    I opened up an email conversation, calling for chipset documentation. Parties to the thread were yourself and a number of others, such as David Yen and Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD, as mentioned above. In the email thread that went on for several months, many nice sounding words were exchanged, as above, yet no action whatsoever has been forcomming. Why?

    I am very bemused by the fact that I would not be able to perform my job as a Sun employee without OpenSSH. The Solaris ssh man page clearly states that OpenSSH is used and that Theo de Raadt is one of the developers.

    Since Sun depends in part on OpenSSH to generate its income, why does Sun refuse to work with Theo de Raadt and open up chipset documentation?

    Is this a case of: what’s mine is mine, and what’s your’s in mine too?

    As I stated in one of the earlier emails:

    “Now Java is in the process of being opened up, as is Solaris, and in view of the above notes regarding “bring Linux to the SPARC platform”, why not ask for chipset docs? Jonathan Schwartz seems to be keen on opening up as much as possible to create sales. He constantly blogs about how openness is the way forward. Why not call him on it WRT chipset docs?

    Since OpenBSD can manipulate data in a Sparc processor, is it not too much to ask to get the data from the processor out across the host adaptors/PCI interfaces to the network/storage?”

    And: “Sun is gaining momentum in becoming even more open …. and with the declaration that there is now a push on for Linux on Sparc, I thought that the time is right, as Linux will hit the same problems that OpenBSD now has WRT chipset docs.”

    As Theo points out above, “Two operating systems run on Sun’s latest .. . machines, the v215/v245 — Solaris and OpenBSD….. There are two operating systems which surprisingly do not run on …[this]… Linux and OpenSolaris. OpenSolaris?? Yes — Sun isn’t even open enough to give the OpenSolaris community enough documentation to support their new machines.” Hmmm. Are we talking but not walking?

    I also stated in the email thread: “The reality is Sun sell computers. At random, an OpenBSD developer lists: the U1, the T2000, and V1280. OpenBSD never really had a problem with running code on the actual CPU for any of these. The ABI and CPU opcodes have to be documented so people can write applications, such as Oracle, that runs on them, in any operating system.

    The issue is that people buy these COMPUTERS, which do have CPUs in
    them, but they also have host to PCI bridges, network cards and storage
    controllers. if you’re writing an operating system like the OpenBSD
    developers do, you need to know how they work. The three computers
    listed above all eat the same CPU instructions, but their bus hardware
    and topologies are really different to each other. Knowing how the CPU
    works doesn’t help run another OS on them. That is true for any
    “alternative” operating system that people want to run on these machines.

    A demonstration of the above is that the OpenBSD kernel can be loaded onto these machines and they will actually start running, so the CPU is not an issue. However, on a machine that lacks documentation will quickly panic. Not because the CPU is mis-understood, but because drivers for the hardware in the machines are lacking. If the PCI busses can’t be found, nothing else can be attached, such as network cards and
    storage. If the developers do manage to get PCI working, but don’t have drivers for the devices on it, they become stuck again interfacing the network, storage, etc, etc.”

    In the email thread various concerns where raised by some Sun employees, and solutions were provided, then promises were made, but no documentation was made available.

    There are many Open Source developers world wide that would like nothing more that to hack on Sun hardware without having to grope about doing reverse engineering. Since Sun uses Open Source software in Solaris, why not release docs for Sun chipsets so that more sales result?

    Sun has opened up docs for CPUs because apps run on them. OSes also run on chipsets. So, from Sun’s actions, it seems that Sun would prefer it if only Solaris is used on Sun hardware. This is just a case of a tree being know by its fruit, and calling a spade a spade.

    Like I stated in my original email: “Jonathan and David, the ball is in your court. The community is calling on Sun to stand up like men and become more open. The alternative is to behave like other companies that continue to cower, emasculated, behind legal teams.”

  89. Simon

    Any why should Sun be trusted when it back pedaled on its original promise to create an independent OpenOffice Foundation?

  90. I agree with Geek Speaker. If the *nix folks get their sh!t together Apple will take over the world. Imagine a OSX that ran on non proprietary hardware. This would make all these other operating system efforts moot.
    BTW: OSX everywhere wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

  91. Please stop referring to Theo as though he’s a spokesman for anyone but himself. He’s done much more harm than good to his own distro lately, and doesn’t represent most BSD users.

  92. I’m so ANGRY Jonathan!!!
    Invite me too for this dinner and give me a job in Sun that i’ll resolve all this strategics questions! I promisse!

  93. Mps

    Jonathan, Do you mind answering to Theo as well :). A direct response (2)

  94. Todd

    If Linus doesn’t accept your dinner offer, I will.

  95. Looking forward to seeing Solaris released under a GPLv3 licence (Sooner than later). And maybe it is a good thing to resolve the differences between the Linux camp and the Sun Microsystem camp.

  96. Anonymous

    To be fair, (I read Linus’s post earlier), Sun is just beginning to put “rubber to to road” in terms of their open source commitment. Linus, in fact, give direct credit to you, Mr. Schwarz, for making that happen. I find reasonable skepticism in Linus’s tone for reasons he made very clear. That does not make him an adversary in that sense. This is a prime time for collaboration not confrontation. Open source makes that a possibility. Don’t buy into this adversarial (Linus vs. Schwartz) B.S. I’ll leave that FUD to Microsoft.

  97. mike

    who ever did the bridge drawing has to little to do

  98. Mike Smiley

    It is 40 years to date

    can you please work together


  99. It’s great that you replied openly to Linus’ email here.

  100. iCode

    I’m wondering why everyone is clamoring for GPL Solaris? After all Solaris is Sun’s product and they should utilize it to their advantage. The amount of effort put into Solaris costs money, which Sun (and its investors) should be able to recoop at a minimum.
    Linux was good enough to make Sun offer their OS for a reasonable price, so I, Joe Programmer (in my garage) can afford it without a mortgage. But Linux is not good enough to build a next generation operating system on.
    It seems everyone is running after Microsoft, when, we should be looking in new directions. Solaris has the basis for a very solid 21st century operating system including ZFS and DTrace (which Linux does not have, thank God!). It lacks a user interface, which so happens, Apple has pegged.
    We don’t need to GPL anything as long as Sun and Apple offer reasonably priced products, with plenty of documentation so that drivers can be written. Although in the past Apple and Sun had talked (as I understand) it is time to seriously make that cooperation happen.
    I may be going out on a limb here, but I can’t believe that anyone with experience in software development would consider Linux an ideal platform because it has the GPL. It is “free” software, which means you are on your own if you get off the beaten path. All the Linux lemmings are running after Microsoft, so we have DVD rippers, MP3 players, jucy GUIs for Linux, but underneath it is rotten to the core.
    How about taking Solaris in directions that Microsoft has no hope of ever following. For example, everyone I work with has multiples of x86 hardware sitting around. I have a half dozen Opteron class boxes myself, I want to run my applications on ALL OF THEM AT ONCE! I want to display the results on my pretty Mac user interface. I want my Mac to talk seamlessly with my cluster of Solaris Opteron boxes… I want, I want, I want. What is more imporant is that I’m willing to pay for it. The guy sitting in the next cube (to me) runs video rendering over the weekend (these are just weddings, birthdays, etc.) I’m pretty sure he’d goble up a few Solaris licenses if he could use the x86 boxes he has for rendering tasks instead of having them in his closet collecting dust.
    Trying to chase down Microsoft (for the desktop) is a fools errand. Change the game so that people realize they need Solaris more than they need Windows and relegate the Linux community (Linus included) to keeping Sun/Apple from becoming the next Microsoft.
    I just hope Sun makes money so they will be around to supply me with a rock solid operating system.

  101. Thera

    Sun seems to be getting desperate.
    With dropping earnings, the increasing unpopularity of Java and shrinking market share for Solaris, they are looking at irrelevance. In less than 7 years, they will have gone the way of SGI.

  102. DCC

    Dear Linux, and Johnatan.
    I am a greatful user of all kind of technologies since i live from selling support and the best recomendations on which tecnology to use
    for each purpose. But i have a few issues i want to share with you in order to repair my own profession, and to go further into selling
    support and smooth tech services to all my clients in this city and others who may need me around the world.
    This is a great moment to use this post to support all your work and explain my needs as the <u>best tech support around</u>
    for non academics enterprises. Mostly because academics think that the advance of technology is their own creation.
    Since i am not any kind of important person except that grandpa were the first to make multichannel transmission on a single ‘wire’ i’ll explain you
    what is the meaning of software technology to me.
    I have been in a lot of trouble since i joined the open source community, the translation of the GNU to spanish, and a few proyects more involving
    this kind of ‘free’ technologies./
    I want you to join efforts to show me the difference betwen companies that support the open source movement (Including GNU) because i lost
    most of my faith in development and computing.
    I paid too much since i have been treated by a cracker by people who wanted to be like me (a computer support genius) so i have been in much trouble
    for supporting all your movements in terms of offering computing services to the third world.
    I would like to see a real joint betwen the Linux grous and the Sun corp, because there is where i put all my faith in technology.
    Even i am a poor windows user with a few licences, i think that the world do not deserve to lost time in small diffs betwen a ‘testing purposes’
    Os like linux is, and a High End Corporate brick like Solaris is.
    I used to work on both systems because my support profile were once high profiled in the three technologies which are Windows servers, Linux and Solaris.
    Of course this happend a lot of times in my life, but that once were the perfect example.
    Solaris worked 24/7 and only need to be mantained a few times when the corporative firewall hanged and the solaris became unstable.
    Then i was one of the ones who had to restart and repair services a few times all with the level of account i had. (Dificult task for a beginner)
    Linux were used on the intranet and as the web server for the call center, that were my second job as clients got solved their eternal Point to Point perfomance failures.
    By the other side, Windows were on the corporate web servers and housing servers. Hard work for at least twenty people in the NOC.

    Once i integrated perfectly the Linux in that corporation, the attacks begun,
    First the Windows servers were defaced. Then the Sun DNS server were totally hacked, and finally i went out of job and most of the company
    were fired by the administration of this American ISP. The ISP in my country broke, and were sold to a brazilian ISP were the salaries were 1/3
    and plenty of lawyers well prepared to make precise agreements were the clients were who always lose.

    That’s the reality for the third world, but the only difference is that i am not a dummy.
    That’s why i ask you to really worry about what happend to the technology workers since year 2000 to be precise, perfectly starting with the year 2000 glitch.
    I hope to get some answers from you, well trained and plenty of future geniuses in your companies because
    i love computing, but the market has become so hard since year 2000 that i really think twice before
    recomending any kind of technology at all.

    Many thanks in name of all my tiny, small, medium and corporate clients.
    Best regards

  103. see here for what one linux developer thinks of Theo.

    I tend to concur.

  104. Edward O'Callaghan

    Hi Jonathan,
    As a big Sun fan and a student/dev, I wish to pass on my views to you…
    Can Sun put more of a drive for:
    a) Solaris to be pre-installed on some OEM x86 laptops, instead of having to pay for Windows Vista then removing it! Maybe talk to Asus/FIC or such and do a deal, I don’t see any Sun x86 laptops and could be a untapped market in the Dev sector.
    b) More Solaris in schools, kids are tomorows admins/dev, let them find out about Solaris at a age where they can take change and learning is at its peak…
    Thanks and I hope this gets over to your side,

  105. This is encouraging and it would be good to see Sun working more closely with Linus and also the Linux community, however it takes alot more than words. This is a step forward but only a small one, there ahve been other small ones though. Let us hope this continues, though I do not agree that companies do not compete with communities, the M company competes with everyone and everything. What we need is less versions off open source operating systems, but more software for the available ones. Open Office was great thing for making the Windows to Linux conversion possible, we need more.

  106. ramarao ayyagari

    Apple: Solaris + Linux = Solix (serious computing)
    Orange: Linux (for home users like me- Fun computing)…
    Thanks Sun for Java!
    Thanks Linus for Linux!

  107. Vext01

    Just a note to say that OpenBSD also release the OpenSSH code under a very liberal license that is suitable for solaris, linux etc… Would be nice to see things like DTrace and ZFS with a license that OpenBSD could take back.

  108. If Linus doesn’t accept your dinner offer, I will too…
    love your words, good luck to your sun.

  109. Linus Torvalds

    See here for what one developer thinks of Jim Thompson:
    I think you’re just missing the point and simply don’t understand Theo and his mis-understood ways. Perhaps you should write back when you yourself grow up.

  110. G Fernandes

    It’s more than a little funny that the very person who simply says re-licensing the Linux kernel under the GPL v3 is “impossible” blames anyone else for dragging their feet in guess what? changing a license!
    Funnier still is that when faced with the prospect of a one-way code movement – e.g. BSD code can be used in a GPLv2 system but not vice-versa: simillarly GPLv2 code can be used in a GPLv3 system but not vice versa – Mr. Trovalds suddenly seems to think that moving the kernel to GPLv3 might actually be a good idea in the case that OpenSolaris is released under the GPLv3!
    Mr. Trovalds must really like the leather his shoes are made of – he seems to have his feet in his mouth so often.

  111. Shareholder

    Please keep us informed of developments, even if Linus says no. This info is now in public and should keep its public status — within reason, of course.

  112. Rob Levandowski

    Perhaps Sun should move to Linux for hosting SunSolve? Solaris doesn’t seem to be able to cut it for running Sun’s own customer-support websites. They’re constantly slow, buggy, unavailable…
    If Sun’s grand strategy is to give away the product and make money on support, they’ll be bankrupt before long. Sun’s paid online support products are among the worst I have ever had to deal with.

  113. melanie

    Jonathan, you are so classy.

  114. Will Senn


    I realize that Linus is a very influential person in the area of Operating Systems in that he has contributed an idea of enormous and far reaching effect – Linux. However, his posts tend towards the petulant. I think that you actually lift him up and shield him from his total lack of sophistication by treating his claims so seriously.

    Thanks for keeping your word vis a vis making Java and Solaris open source and keep up the good work. You and Sun need to make money, but if a little beneficence and philanthropy sneak in and make their presence felt, so much the better for Sun and the community.

  115. Anonymous

    You misused eponymous.

  116. I just wanted to have my words on the same page Theo de Raadt’s,what an honor!! gotta love the internetS 😉

  117. omgomg

    Even Theo might have some points, his inability to express himself with grace turns him be the laughter of the crows.
    The only way Theo can make himself (and unfortunately his distro as well) “known” lately is only when Theo releases his antiques around. It really does sound as “desperation” even if I am sure it is not the case.
    Theo, listen to other’s opinions, do yourself a favor and hire someone who can actually speak in your and your community name.

  118. Dear Jonathan,
    Did you find the sources or the right person to find them of the Thank you for looking into it. We mailed about that quite some time ago, but you didn’t respond to several inquiries by mail. The lead developer of GNUstep also
    contacted you about this, among several other people. I am looking forward to some big success stories once the sources are opened.
    Kind regards,

  119. no

    I have some “free software” dreams for few monts …
    Dreams for new and successful financing models, for better integration of software packages …and platforms , effective
    “write once run everywhere ” development and better understanding
    of how ethic values ,technology and money should give one
    solution that lasts (more than a newspapper)…
    Linux , BSD and Sun are different parts of one thing i.e.
    comparing them is veri much like asking which part of an
    elephant is more “elephant” than others …there is no
    elephant head without elephant body at least not living one .
    1.Linux is just a kernel(-not-micro-kernel)…but there is
    Linux distros for every taste so everyone can find what looks for…
    2.On the other side BSD is a complete software platform
    and should be managed as such …Separate BSD foundation for
    Free Net and Open BSD makes no sense for me .OpenBSD which
    I love more than everything else seems to be in bigest toubles
    -Financing by CDs sold is absolutely outdated model – burning
    a CD at home become so cheap that problem is what to do used CDs
    internet is cheaper and software changes too fast …there is
    almost no such market so it doesen’t worth to ask about share of
    it one have.Where I live sending money cost 30$ and few people
    have more than 300$/month salaries so it is another problem –
    too much will be wasted for if I want to send 100$ I’ll sponsor
    …the bank – so local accounts are maybe good idea.
    BSD have great network support if You don’t have old laptop and
    PCMCIA NIC(linux handle it without any problem) or You don’t need
    browser that really work …Ethic values are important
    but if there is not DesktopOpenBSD in near future i’m afraid there
    will be no OpenBSD at all .And I think people need time to listen
    and think on ethic values OpenBSD defend -repetitive sounds is not
    what humans can hear – and they need to see quality and style of
    OpenBSD even if they don’t have big server home …I’m sorry but
    a lot more people use desktopPCs than all other processors ,platforms …
    I wish – single source of packages for all BSDs ,
    I wish – new ways of funding for all BSDs
    I wish to forget stupide marketing and financing now we have
    I wish to forget times when good software can’t run on my favorite
    OS because it is not absolutely free
    I wish in the future people to know that not open software will becomme open and that it is unfair after all if someone write good
    software to be punished because company he works for doesen’t open
    it one is related to programming etics and other to business ethics
    and I WISH OPEN STANDARDS before it is too late …in open software
    world should be important to write right thing no who writes it
    3.I remember how once my father was unhappy that he is assignet
    new project and should leave software his team just wrote to support
    (i.e. no further development ) … I asked him why he doesn’t give
    sources to just anyone who want to work on it , and he answered that
    even if he want he doesen’t own the rights … what is crazy is it
    happen in end of 80-ies in communist country where everyone could
    have *free* TurboPascal. I hope that will help those who cry against
    Sun to understand that what Sun is doing is a revolution in culture
    comparable to invention of computer …To open source is maybe great
    idea but it came in many brains at different times – to decide that
    it could be successful business model is genial .It is not RedHat’s
    way – which is not different than the way mini- , micro- nano?
    computers become succsess -“same work for less money” or
    “disruptive technology” .Or IBMerce influencing influencers .It is like Internet – much more for almost no money. You can’t do that
    model if You are OpenBSD for example-people should see what You do
    they will not trust You if they know nothing about You …so money will not come,no mather if You work for a noble cause.If You are IBM maybe You are so blind to have best minds working for You and still trying to earn from fact that You are the only player in the
    First time it didn’t worked for Sun HotJava failed ,”Network is the
    computer” failed … But think about it like “free and open
    software is the network ”
    Now I really miss HotJava (-I think it was the name of java browser)
    I miss open and free Opera (on OpenBSD especialy)
    I miss free and open GUI programing environment (Qt) to replace
    I miss someone to shutdown Mozilla -it would be a pleasant surprise if some day (soon) they have browser that do what is expected to do but better stop waste of money
    In two words open n free software players should pursue not-free-n-open companies’ money not to fight each others.I believe that
    Sun will have less and less reasons to not share info…but I’m
    not so sure BSD will be ready for that.It is Wired’s world and
    (predictably) Wired’s rule “open or die” – argumenting who is
    more and better open …is not part of the game those who are not
    will desappear
    I just guess what will happen if I write 17+6 or 20+3 for answer of
    “this simple math question 6+17=____?
    oh well now it become 96+2

  120. Criveti Mihai

    Why must everything be interpreted as some kind of conspiracy to kill of Linux? I see SCO being brought up here too.
    SCO Server Software Division and Services Divisions + UnixWare and OpenServer were acquired by Caldera. What was left of SCO was the Tarantella Division that changed its name to Tarantella and was bought by Sun (See Tarantella – Sun Secure Global Desktop). Caldera International later changed it’s name to SCO.
    Sun has done more for the Open Source community than ANY other company. Not just OpenSolaris, think NFS, OpenOffice, OpenSPARC, OpenJDK, NetBeans, Glassfish, OpenBOOT and the whole BSD / vi / Bill Joy deal back in the days. Not to mention involvement with many many communities (OpenMPI, Gnome etc. now for example).
    Yes, there are obstacles and 3rd parties that stop some things from being open sourced right now (think CDE, they’d have to get IBM, HP and a bunch of other long dead vendors to cooperate to open source that), but it’s still moving along nicely.
    And the OpenSolaris community is growing at a huge rate, a lot of progress is being made.
    The response from major community leaders saddens me. I think they could all learn a valuable lesson in diplomacy from Jonathan’s response.

  121. oBSD_Fanboy

    C’mon Sun, quit pissing around.
    There is a lot of money to be made in FOSS for all of us. Be a Revolutionary, make history.
    OpenBSD rocks. Go Theo!

  122. Osgood Hobgoblin

    Jonathan, one of your last comments was that the real battle should be about how so much of the rest of the world has no connectivity to the internet. Who cares? Do you really think a pit like Sierra Leone, torn apart by continuous civil war will be any better with connectivity and free software? I can see it now, mama Mbellesi cowering in her grass hut, trying to protect her children from marauding bandits posing as “soldiers”, and surfing for bread recipes. The secret is, there is no battle, and arguments like these are largely pointless, ego duels between self important gobs.

  123. Akar

    SCO had to be brought up because SCO is actually out there to destroy Linux. That is not a conspiracy theory, that is a fact. And Sun gave SCO, the new SCO, formerly known as Caldera, $10 million just before the attacks from SCO started. Sun was even before Microsoft when it came to giving money to SCO. Sun has never told anyone, not the public, not the shareholders, what it got in return for this $10 million. Shouldn’t at least the shareholders know why Sun happily gave $10 million away and what Sun got in return?

    Again, this has nothing to do with a conspiracy theory. Sun gave the money. The timing is, to say the least, “interesting”. Sun refuses to discuss the issue. So what is the most obvious explanation? Sun was paying SCO to attack Linux.

    I have a very simple question for Jonathan: What did Sun get in return for the $10 million, what did Sun pay SCO for?

  124. Tom Davidson

    Sun does seem to suffer from DID but FUD and poisoning the well type rejections suffer more grievous fallacies.
    If I were to prescribe treatment to the multiple personality disorder suffered by Sun and others would be to get rid of public corporate structure, go private and forget quarterly profit reports.
    Image Sun’s and Mr. Schwatz’s abilities if they did not have to report to one-track minded share holders every three months.
    Maybe I am wrong, wouldn’t be the first nor the last time. Hey, Sun stock holders would you be pissed if Sun’s actions and policies were for a public good and for a more substantial model on 10 or 20 year time lines – it would most likely kill the next quarter earnings…. ?

  125. nobody

    I disagree, I think its probable Sun will boost quarterly earnings while improving the economy in many regions. OpenOffice helps entire economies standardize on open cross-platform document formats. Sparc, Java, their commitment to quality and excellence, it all makes people like me want to buy from them, because now they “get it”. I want more than the technology that’s hot this quarter, I want to build a business on the technology that will be cost-effective today and perform this decade, while designed to scale for the next. That’s why I want Core 2 today for integer, AMD for floating point, and Sparc for threads.. or whatever makes sense at the moment, with room to grow at my own pace. I love Sun’s vision, strategy and overall plan to help us all out, no matter if we love or hate ’em. That’s the beauty of being open.

  126. Simon Phipps writes in his blog :
    “Sun’s engineers have actually designed chips specifically for the work at hand. … Sun’s engineers often had no business need to document the chip design ..”
    The OpenBSD project cosiders _any_ “lack of documentation” a “BUG”. Here is the disconnect. Ive seen that Devices always outlive the “business need” of it’s vendors.
    He also wrote :
    “The documentation may not exist. Writing it would require costly reverse engineering (even if people with the skills to do so are still at Sun)”
    What does “even if” mean?
    Im still dazed by the transparency, even if there is no “bottom line” to this to the community. Thanks Sun, Thanks Jonathan.

  127. Jonathan,
    I hope, it’s not to late. Big Blues OS dies painful death. Right now are the Microsoft’s idiots about to destroy the rest of useful things on the planet. Talk to IBM bail out java, talk to Linus to survive at all. Those brilliant, internet wired brains are the only thing that outweights billions of Microsoft dollars. It’s not for you, the sun or moon, it’s for the amazingly cool humans and their children.

  128. Chandra Shekhar Tewary

    Linus manifested past histories of Sun which are not healthy for open source tie-up with Sun. Sun should conc on full fledged support to open source and it is really rubbish if they are trying to get talented kernel developers of open source community by enforcing a bit of openness . Anyways, A great move by Jonathan indeed , who undoubtedly presents a great stature but, still it needs a lot from Sun to make open source initiative neat &amp;amp; clean as in sync with Linus’s linux or per se more better. Good luck for Jonatahn , Linus and linux Open source team .

  129. Jonathan, I have to concur with Both Linus, as well as Theo on the
    topic of "Open Sourcing Products that exist"
    It really is a question of Open-ness in terms of the publications
    Sun would need to make.
    Lets put this in Context:  i386, PowerPC, Alpha, Sparc, and s/390.
    All these are Processor standards for processors that are were in
    production and are being actively used/supported in the open source
    There is only One Vendor who does not have a end-user lockup on
    their technologies.
    That happens to be Intel.
    Intel got to where it got to, by realising that even though the
    Microsoft Platform contributed to an enormous percentage of their
    product sales, by openly defining, publishing, and distributing
    Intel technologies to any/all parties;
    The Intel Platform would be the platform of choice -- not due
    to its technological superiority, but due to developmental
    acceptance, and Intels ability to deliver.
    It was due to delivery that Apple decided that since Sony was
    selling more PowerPC's in the Sony Playstation2, and PowerPC
    deliveries were biased to that end (To Apple's detriment) it
    was a pretty Clear Choice for Steve Jobs to understand what
    his engineering staff were telling him:
    Move to Intel. For reasons of adaptability.
    Not that Intel looks rosy Either.
    Since there is proprietary technologies in WPA used in
    the firmwares for Intels Wireless Chipsets, Intels hands
    are bound when it comes to releasing information for
    supporting these non-processor technologies.
    But at least Intel does acknowledge that, and if possible;
    could release information to provide a modicum of operations
    without the proprietary technologies, that would be great.
    That is also a utopian vision if any, and we won't see
    any light at the end of those tunnels anytime soon.
    Really, to affect change, Sun would need to relook at
    its relevance with SVR5 technologies vs Linux2.6 technologies.
    Even with OpenSolaris, Sun is not Open, so Theo's reference
    to Doublespeak stands.
    We may not see Sun becoming Open until like Apple, Sun
    drops the Sparc processor and uses Intel.  :P
    So what about the other processors?
    S/390 --  Linux 2.6 running on IBM z-series mainframes.
    All information is available in the source trees. Not much alse.
    Excepting significant BLOBS IBM uses for Proprietary technology
    modules where Open Source would contradict prior agreements.
    PowerPC -- Linux2.6, OpenBSD, NetBSD, AIX, Windows NT(now defunct)
    Only Processor Specific information available.
    Additional Support Chipsets documentation/implementation
    dependent on equipment Vendor.
    Alpha -- Linux2.6 (Debian), OpenBSD, NetBSD, Digital Unix,
    Windows NT(now defunct)
    Sparc -- Linux2.6 (Debian 32-bit), OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris,
    i386 -- Pretty Most of all of the above
    excepting AIX, Tru64 Unix, Ultrix, and AmigaOS...
    As for Support Chips and peripherals, Apple has seen a
    significant jump in technology sales relating to the MacOS
    Platform, once moved over to the Intel Platform.
    Primary of this reason is the Open-ness to Peripheral and
    Vendor developers of both MacOS X, and the Base
    configuration for Apple Hardware.  (USB, or Internal)
    Oddly, I Forsee the Intel Flavors of both Windows Vista,
    and Intel Unixes, flavoring to run on Apple Hardware
    being some of the most easy and Open to port to.
    After All, it does sell Apple Mac's and MacOS X
    which co-exist, and the OS only costs $149.00 at that.
    I wonder if we would see Sun doing that?
    I have my doubts.
  130. Sean,
    Two words: “Yellow Book”(s)
    Intel is not as “open” as you state.

  131. chris

    I truly appreciate Sun’s effort towards “open” culture. I do understand that there is a long way to go…But the foundation is laid and that seems to be well-targeted, unfaltering and steadfast. Good Luck.

  132. roger

    I am in the process of ordering another SUN workstation and may opt for the AMD chip this time. However I may need to run LINUS while I wait for RTI to transport SUDAAN to Solaris x86. So LINUS allows me to buy the hardware while I wait for the software. Meanwhile, I’ll be setting up a SUN N1 Grid and switching to ZFS. Loved the SUN conference in DC!

    If Sun is using OpenSSH why aren’t they donating to the project?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s