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Open-source OS being killed after five years of work

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April 25, 2017

After five long years of hard work, the development of OmniOS, an Oracle open-source variant of Solaris is being cancelled, to the great surprise of many.

The day-to-day development of OmniOS is being suspended until further news, with its current beta iteration being the final release.

By definition, OmniOS is a distribution of Illumos, which is derived from OpenSolaris, the old Sun Microsystem open-source flavor of Solaris OS developed.

Solaris is a Unix operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems. It superseded their earlier SunOS in 1993.

OmniOS's development was being managed by OmniTI chief executive Robert Treat. He promised his company would still run quite a bit of the OmniOS project's infrastructure, and that some staff may continue to contribute.

OmniTI spun up OmniOS to push forward the OpenSolaris ecosystem used in its day-to-day business since mid-2012.

OpenSolaris was choked to death by Oracle after its purchase of Sun Microsystems. The last OpenSolaris editions were released in 2009 and 2010, not long after Oracle's purchase. There's been no updates since.

But according to Treat, it seems his plan to create a open-source community around OmniOS have come to nothing, even after 5 years of work.

"We felt it was important for us to take the first initial steps. In the long term, we really would prefer that OmniOS become an open-source project maintained by its community rather than remaining as the open-source product of a single commercial entity," Treat asserted the IT community.

However, that ecosystem did not materialise, leading Treat to conclude-- "If we are ever to change the nature of OmniOS, we need to take a radical approach. The current model does not work for OmniTI nor do we believe it is healthy for the Omni OS community as a whole."

But he didn't go into specifics as to what went wrong. Treat did note, however, that the majority of the community was employing OmniOS mostly for storage and not the high-scale web platform it seems he wanted from the getgo.

OmniOS was built on Illumos, a variation subset of OpenSolaris packing in containerization, Crossbow for networking, the ZFS file system, and DTrace.

Started in April 2012, it was hoped that OmniOS would be community-driven, simple to use, and fast to install and operate. Regrettably, Treat's dream didn't come true.

Source: The OmniOS development team.


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