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Prediction: they aren't going to do the decent thing and open-source the whole thing when they stop it.

Is there anything interesting left that's not already in illumos?

Some of their changes to ZFS that were under development at Sun before OpenSolaris was killed would be useful to the community. Also, there was a ton of driver work that they did that the Illumos community could use.

Which drivers? I just looked at a document of theirs which details how they ripped out a whole bunch of drivers on the i86pc platform. For example, if I were crazy enough to upgrade to Solaris 11.3, my cadp160(9D) wouldn't work any more because they ripped it out. All of a sudden, my system could no longer talk UltraSCSI 160. IPFilter - gone. They ripped out a whole bunch of libraries like libpng out. Paravirtualization has been ripped out. Cheap UltraSPARC hardware support like the M3000, T1000, T2000, T5220, T5240, T3-1, all ripped out. /etc/defaultrouter gone. zone archive formats gone. Adobe Flash player gone. sysidtool(1M) gone. smdiskless(1M) gone. SmartCard support gone. lx-branded zones gone and they tell me to use XEN on Linux, no way! PostgreSQL - gone.


No thanks.

USB 3.0 for one. Then there is their port of Intel's video driver from Linux and drivers for wireless NICs.

xhci for SmartOS is actually code-complete and in its final testing.[1]

[1] https://www.mail-archive.com/smartos-discuss@lists.smartos.o...

Awesome. Thanks for letting me know that Robert got this working. It is probably obvious by now that I am behind on reading mailing lists. I'll try to catch up before year's end. :)

I don't care enough about USB 3.0 - servers don't need it, and I boot my servers from the network via PXE and DHCP anyway.

intel video - couldn't care less either - I just buy Nvidia, download their SVR4 Solaris package and am up and running in seconds. It JustWorks(SM), so I always buy Nvidia - go sgi engineers.

After a certain level of driver support, more drivers are nice, but they have diminishing returns in the number of people impacted by them. It is quite understandable that it does not matter to you. My point in that having those drivers released as OSS for integration into Illumos would be nice still stands though. :)

Support for ZFS pool/FS versions that were added after the source was closed back up

I thought everyone who cared about that kind of thing moved to Linux or BSD years ago?

The interesting parts of Solaris (ZFS and dtrace) aren't under a GPL-compatible license, so the distribution situation is kind of interesting for people who want them. (I think it's something like "they can only be distributed as source, and there's a big script to make your package manager automatically compile the kernel module when you install it, and then your kernel is tainted".)

1. So how does FreeBSD ship it? I thought their whole OS (kernel+main userspace) is under a BSD lisence.

2. Why can't Linux vendors ship source code to be compiled on clients computers, so no distribution (forgot the legal term) takes place?

3. If the patent license only covers the code they released (and they reserve the right to sue over reimplementations), what will FreeBSD (or illumios) do if they'res a bug in the code? Once you change the code, you very sued

1. CDDL is fully BSD compatible. The license is file based, so it's non-infecting, and binaries can be re-licensed. Win/win.

2. Most already do. Some even believe that 1 makes CDDL compatible with GPL as well and so ship binaries.

3. Patent protection in CDDL is extremely strong. Rumor has it that Oracle wanted to kill illumos via litigation, but never went ahead with it because they knew they'd never win because of the CDDL.

3. So why can't Linux black-box re-implement it?

In my opinion, reimplementing ZFS from scratch would cost at least $100 million and take 5 to 10 years of development by many talented people. Given that we already have the source code under the CDDL and it is good enough, no one is willing to spend that kind of money. Why would they? There is no business case.

If anything, Oracle's software patents are a case against it because they could sue a clean room implementation like they did with Android's Java implementation. They would have a stronger case too due to the hundreds of patents covering ZFS. That is the elephant in the room with btrfs that no one discusses. :/

Anyway, I see no need to reimplement ZFS from scratch after consultation with attorneys of the SFLC and others.

Linux has a black-box reimplementation of DTrace (with different design sensibilities, but essentially all the same functionality) under the name of eBPF, and bcc for the userspace bits. Linux is trying to do that for ZFS under the name of btrfs, but it's not as good.

Oracle also ported Dtrace to Oracle Linux, and was available if you purchased support from Oracle.

> 2. Why can't Linux vendors ship source code to be compiled on clients computers, so no distribution (forgot the legal term) takes place?

For ZFS, they do. Debian's legal advisors say that shipping it as a DKMS module (i.e., as you describe) is fine, so they do that.



Ubuntu's legal advisors say that shipping the compiled module is fine, so they ship that.


DTrace is rather more closely coupled to the kernel than a filesystem, and there are good Linux-native alternatives now.


FreeBSD ships a large chunk of software under licenses other than BSD, and used to ship even more until the last couple of versions.

illumos / SmartOS. And we've had lotsa help from our friends in the FreeBSD camp, bless their hearts.

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