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illumos Day / ZFS Day

Final videos and slide decks gradually going up here.

About illumos

This is the home of the illumos project, the open source fork of Sun's OpenSolaris. Launched in 2010, the project enjoys financial and technical support from several key companies which rely on the illumos kernel as the technological foundation for their own products, as well as the backing of a growing developer community.

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The illumos Family

There are several widely different OS distributions based on common illumos kernel. Some of them are maintained by enthusiasts, others are primarily developed by commercial companies with their own priorities and target products (i.e. storage, virtualization, etc.) with different packaging systems (IPS, SVR4, DEB, RPM, etc). These projects contribute back to the common core set of software which the illumos project is about.

Distributions and projects built on the illumos kernel include (in alphabetical order):

  • Belenix – an old time distro, on which development has resumed again. Uses RPM. (www.belenix.org is down/dead as at Feb-4-2013)
  • DilOS from igork is an open-source illumos distro with dpkg/apt. Can be using on VM and bare metal with text console and SSH logins as development environment with DPKG & IPKG zones. Also it has illumos-kvm and illumos-kvm-cmd for KVM virtualization.
  • EON Storage – an old time distro based on OpenSolaris SXCE, EON Storage since version 1.0 is now based on illumos/OI. It is an OS designed to make the best use of your Home/SOHO NAS server, enhancing it with ZFS, web-serving, media streaming, VM hosting, etc. Additional packages are available. A specific feature of this distribution is use of boot media separate from the storage pool for your data, so updates or repairs might be as simple as changing your USB/CF flash boot device (256 Mb or higher); customizations for your local deployment are quite possible. See also:
    http://eonstorage.blogspot.cz/2013/01/eon-zfs-appliance-updates-fixes.html
    http://sites.google.com/site/eonstorage/updating-eon
  • illumian – general purpose server OS using Debian packaging rather than IPS (similar to OpenIndiana but without GUI components or other desktop packages). Currently no KVM virtualization support (feature to be possibly added later).
  • napp-it is a project of a ZFS storage server appliance based on illumian, OmniOS, OpenIndiana and Solaris 11 with a single-command online installer and a WEB-UI.
  • napp-it to GO is a preconfigured ready to use USB distribution based on napp-it for common used hardware like a HP Microserver or SuperMicro mainboards. Download, Clone (16 GB USB Sticks, tool included) and Run. USB ZFS mirror suggested.
    included and preinstalled: OmniOS with LZ4 support, napp-it Web-UI, Comstar, netatalk3, Xampp, Mediatomb DLNA mediaserver, Smartmontools6, performance tools etc.
  • NexentaStor - comercial distribution aimed at storage appliances. Sold by Nexenta Systems.
  • OmniOS – from OmniTI takes a minimalist approach to create a full Illumos-derived operating system. It includes all of the benefits of Illumos, such as zone and KVM virtualization, and is suitable for server use.
  • OpenIndiana is a successor to and derived from the original Sun OpenSolaris reference distribution, and is suitable for use on Servers and Desktops.
  • OpenSXCE is a project on which Martin Bochnig (previously creator of MartUX distribution based on OpenSolaris SXCE) slaved away for many months, investing all his time and scarce monies. It is ultimately an up-to-date distribution in sync for SPARC and x86, and on SPARC it supports all sun4u and sun4v Workstations, Servers, Telcos from the 1995' Ultra-1 to everything that came to market before 2011. All gfx cards have binary redistributable driver support. The distribution comes with Caiman text-install and gui-install, on CD.iso, DVD.iso and USB (even on select SPARC models).

  • SmartOS from Joyent is an open-source illumos distro designed for cloud computing. It includes a port of KVM, allowing other OSes such as Linux and Windows to run natively in SmartOS/illumos virtualized environments.

  • StormOS – originally a Desktop focused distribution based on Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 (NCP2) with thousands of packages backported from Ubuntu Jaunty and later Debian Sid.  Project was abandoned after rebasing on NCP4 and becoming unmaintainable. (Superseded by http://osdyson.org).
  • Tribblix from Peter Tribble uses SVR4 packaging with the Xfce and E17 desktops, providing a retro feel with modern components
  • XStreamOS is a distribution of the illumos kernel developed and maintained by Sonicle, featuring a customized text install, the ZFS fileystem, Crossbow network architecture, virtualization, zones, and a starting point to contribute and develop the illumos kernel.
  • Add your distro here!

Distro Comparison Table

NameCreated/maintained byPackaging SystemDefault UserlandRecommended UseNotes
Belenix rpm   
DilOSigorkdpkg/aptGNU  
EON StorageAndre Lue  Home/SOHO NAS and all-in-one servers: storage appliances, media streamers, web-servers, VM hosters... 
illumianNexentadeb/aptGNUGeneral purpose - servers 
napp-it to Gonapp-itIPS Ready to use images for USB sticks on supported hardware with all napp-it add-ons and Web-UI preinstalled 
NexentaStorNexentadeb/aptGNUStorage appliances

 

OmniOSOmniTIIPS General purpose - servers 
OpenIndianaEveryCity/communityIPSGNU (Native optional)General purpose - servers and desktop 
OpenSXCEMartin BochnigSVR4 General purpose - SPARC and x86 servers and desktops 
SmartOSJoyentpkgsrcGNUCloud computing hypervisor, appliances 
StormOSAndrew Stormontdeb/apt

GNU (NCP2 based)
illumos (NCP4 based)

General purpose - desktop

Superseded by:

http://osdyson.org
StormOS Next-portageNative (GNU optional)General purpose - developer focused 
TribblixPeter TribbleSVR4 Desktop, but will expand to server 
XStreamOSSonicleIPS General purpose 

 

 

Contributing to illumos

This is an evolving open-source project, and anyone can help advance it! You don't have to be a hard-core coder or software architect, there are many smaller things to take care of, such as finding bugs, updating and expanding the documentation, proposing ideas...

Developers

 

Guides

Other Resources

Non-Code Contributors

Want to help out, but you're not a software developer? There's plenty you can do!

  • Documentation (videos and screencasts are great, too!)
  • Translate: man pages, docs, software, sites...
  • Video transcription (it's possible to start from YouTube machine transcriptions, but these always need tweaking),
  • testing
  • code commenting

Documentation & Resources

Key illumos Technologies

  • DTrace - dynamic tracing to observe everything going on in your system
  • ZFS file system
  • Zones virtualization
  • Network Virtualization
  • KVM kernel virtual machine

Using illumos

Using the illumos Logo

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