Solaris to Get Linux Features

BOSTON (Reuters) – Sun Microsystems Inc. is revamping its Solaris operating system, incorporating key pieces of rival Linux software in a move that could gain better support from developers who have massed behind Linux.

Solaris is one of the main varieties of the Unix family of operating systems, known for their ability to safely and securely handle major computing tasks rather than for ease of use.

Sun itself is known for its business computers that can handle major corporate loads and it long has courted programmers who cooperatively develop Linux and other so-called open-source software, with mixed success.

The revamped Solaris system will have features borrowed from Linux that could make it easier to use, correspondence on Sun’s Web site shows.

“This is a big deal to the extent that it lowers the barrier for adoption of Solaris,” said IDC software analyst Al Gillen.

The new system will keep the Solaris kernel, which is a basic group of code at the heart of the operating system that controls the way other programs interact with each other as well as the computer’s hardware.

“Solaris is hard to set up. It doesn’t have good hardware support,” said Ladislav Bodnar, founder of, a Web site that reviews open-source software. “The hope is that things may change.”

Sun executives declined to comment in advance of a formal unveiling next week of the plans, called Project Indiana.

Written by: PC World


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