The illumos Family
Similar to other operating systems, there are many different OS distributions based on the 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.
Active Distributions and projects built on the illumos kernel include (in alphabetical order):
- 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.
- Dyson is a general-purpose operating system, a Debian derivative using the illumos kernel, libc, and SMF init system.
- 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
sun4vWorkstations, 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.
- 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!
Older / Legacy 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)
- 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:
- 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).
- 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).
Distro Comparison Table
|Name||Created/maintained by||Packaging System||Default Userland||Recommended Use||Notes|
|EON Storage||Andre Lue||Home/SOHO NAS and all-in-one servers: storage appliances, media streamers, web-servers, VM hosters...|
|illumian||Nexenta||deb/apt||GNU||General purpose - servers|
|napp-it to Go||napp-it||IPS||Ready to use images for USB sticks on supported hardware with all napp-it add-ons and Web-UI preinstalled|
|OmniOS||OmniTI||IPS||General purpose - servers|
|OpenIndiana||EveryCity/community||IPS||GNU (Native optional)||General purpose - servers and desktop|
|OpenSXCE||Martin Bochnig||SVR4||General purpose - SPARC and x86 servers and desktops|
|SmartOS||Joyent||pkgsrc||GNU||Cloud computing hypervisor, appliances|
GNU (NCP2 based)
|General purpose - desktop|
|StormOS Next||-||portage||Native (GNU optional)||General purpose - developer focused|
|Tribblix||Peter Tribble||SVR4||Desktop, but will expand to server|