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OpenSolaris distros

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A few months ago we looked at OpenSolaris, Sun's effort to get the community involved in its Unix flavour. Now we explore some of the spin-off projects that have popped up, including MilaX, Belenix and Nexenta...

OpenSolaris is the much talked-about open source version of Sun's industrial strength operating system. It's a Unix derivative aimed at the same general demographic as Linux or the free BSDs: system administrators, developers, and desktop users. Under the guidance of Debian founder Ian Murdock, OpenSolaris has taken its place alongside Linux and the free BSDs as another viable alternative operating system, and has built up support for 12 languages. It offers commonly used software as found in Linux such as Gnome, Evolution, Pidgin and Firefox. In addition, OpenSolaris includes graphical config tools such as the Device Drivers utility and Package Management suite - the latter having a look and feel that's not alien to Synaptic users.

OpenSolaris 2008.11 was released two months ago and initial reports are positive. Gnome has been updated to 2.24 and Firefox is currently 3.0.4. The interface sports attractive and useful visual enhancements as well.

Much like with Linux distros, OpenSolaris has been used as a base for several derivatives. Each seems to target different demographics and purposes, so one just might be right for you. We're looking at the biggest three here.

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