Back last year Oracle canned the OpenSolaris project. A group of developers forked the source and created the Illumos project which aimed to maintain the base of OpenSolaris as well as develop open code to replace the closed binaries that OpenSolaris included.
The community was generally very happy with the release of Illumos, however, it soon realised that the project wasn’t there to replace the desktop and server OS that users knew and loved. Enter OpenIndiana!
OpenIndiana aims to fill the hole left by OpenSolaris. It is a release that will be based on Illumos (though for now it is still based on the underlying OpenSolaris code) and aims to provide users with a server/desktop OS that is nicely packaged up.
I have been using OpenIndiana since about November and must say that it has been very stable for my needs. The last stable release of OpenSolaris fell over from time to time on my home server, but I’ve had no such hiccoughs with OI. I updated my OpenSolaris machine using the upgrade instructions found here.
While OpenIndiana doesn’t change much cosmetically, it’s a step in the right direction, giving consumers a chance to run a Solaris derived OS for free. I hope that one day it can compete on a desktop level with some of the more popular Linux distros, though I reckon it’ll do most of it’s battle in the data centre.