Desktop OpenSolaris fork OpenIndiana releases Hipster • The Register

The OpenIndiana project opened the gates to Hipster, its latest release and first this year, and it includes MATE 1.26, LibreOffice, and more.

OpenIndiana is a desktop variant of illumos, which has been developing OpenSolaris since 2010. In the project’s own words on version 2022.10:

Hipster is a codename for OpenIndiana’s fast-paced development branch. Hipster uses the rolling release model and only releases installation ISOs every now and then.

Judging by the project’s announcement page, this is the first new release the project has announced since that time last year, although there have been semi-annual updates in previous years. The 2022.10 release integrates over 2,500 pull requests and updates several components including version 1.26 of the MATE desktop, 64-bit LibreOffice 7.2.7, and Perl 5.36.

The distribution now includes the latest GCC 10, as well as the GCC 11 and Clang 13 option. It also updates the included nVidia drivers, but we weren’t able to test that as the Reg FOSS desk isn’t missing a kit with a recent nVidia GPU.

OpenIndiana looks like any Linux with MATE, but under the hood is the Solaris kernel

OpenIndiana looks like any Linux with MATE, but under the hood is the Solaris kernel

In all honesty, we suspect that even if we had something that shiny lying around, we might not have been able to test it anyway. We tried launching OpenIndiana on our trusted ThinkPad T420 and W520 testbed machines, as well as an old W500 and an X220 without a dedicated GPU, but it failed to finish booting on any of them, either in the BIOS or UEFI Mode. It boots, installs and runs flawlessly in VirtualBox – as one might expect when both the operating system and hypervisor come from the same parent company. Given the MATE desktop and apps, it looks and feels similar to Linux, although that reassuring sense of familiarity fades fairly quickly once you open up a terminal emulator.

Although there isn’t much news from the Illumos project, various distributions are alive and well. Although the sponsors have withdrawn from it, the Community Edition of OmniOS, a server-oriented, text-only product, is still being updated. Such is the Tribblix distribution.

Joyent pared down OpenSolaris to develop a hypervisor and container host called SmartOS and offered a hosted service called Triton.

Although Samsung shut down Joyent’s cloud three years after the acquisition in 2016, Triton’s data center and commercial support business was bought earlier this year and the service is still available. SmartOS is still around and updating: it boots from a USB stick, keeps only the configuration on disk and makes version upgrades very easy.

Solaris engineer, Joyent veteran and DTrace co-creator Bryan Cantrill is still on the illumos council. He’s the co-founder and CTO of a new company, Oxide Computer, which hasn’t launched its combined storage and compute product yet, but for those curious, there’s code on Github. Oxid is working on a Rust-based microkernel called Hubris, but we suspect Illumos will also be involved somewhere. ®

Youtube video Desktop OpenSolaris fork OpenIndiana releases Hipster • The Register

Rick Schindler

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