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Since mid 2014 Deirdré is no longer working at Joyent. This page still has a lot of good information.
(AFAIK (sjorge) she is also no longer active as Community Manager)

Deirdré Straughan writes:

As many of you know or will have guessed, in December I was asked by the illumos admin council to become the illumos community manager, in addition to my job as Joyent's SmartOS community manager. My boss at Joyent, Bryan Cantrill, is happy for me to take on this additional role for the benefit of the larger illumos community.

For those who don't already know me, here's how I introduced myself to the SmartOS community back in September.

The tasks encompassed by my new role are still being defined, but they include fostering community communications, and encouraging transparency. As part of that, I hope to do newsletters like this once a month or so.

So let's talk about how illumos as a community is working...

illumos Governance

I use the term tongue in cheek, because we've been light on governance and are largely agreed on keeping it that way. The historical reasons for our reluctance to be governed can be learned in Bryan's now-famous "lawnmower" speech at USENIX LISA '11. Garrett talks about his philosophy of governance for illumos in Part 2 of his SCALE talk (below).

When Garrett announced the illumos project in August, 2010, he formed separate administrative and technical councils. The Admin Council was intended to draw from a broad spectrum of community members who were not necessarily developers, but would have some name recognition or would contribute in other ways. The council makes administrative decisions such as how the illumos foundation will be formed and funded (more on that in a moment).

Current membership:

  1. Simon Phipps, consultant
  2. Evan Powell, Nexenta
  3. Garrett D'Amore, startup
  4. Andre van Eyssen, Frontline Systems Australia
  5. Alasdair Lumsden, EveryCity
  6. Bryan Cantrill, Joyent (joined Feb 1)

The Dev Council, originally drawn from well-known developers of Solaris, is a technical steering committee whose role is to make high-level architecture decisions.

Current membership:

  1. Garrett D'Amore
  2. Bryan Cantrill
  3. Adam Leventhal, Delphix
  4. Rich Lowe, unaffiliated
  5. Jim Carlson, ?

The Dev Council also appoints the illumos Advocates, a very narrowly-focused list of people who integrate code:

  1. Adam Leventhal
  2. Rich Lowe
  3. Robert Mustacchi, Joyent
  4. Eric Schrock, Delphix
  5. Garrett D'Amore
  6. Gordon Ross
  7. Albert Lee, Nexenta

The illumos Foundation

The illumos trademark was (and still is, for now) in the hands of Garrett D'Amore, founder of the project. His intention from the start was to hand it all over to a body which would protect illumos as an open source project, and protect its contributors from, eg, lawsuits. It now appears that the best way to do this will be to form a "trade association" as defined under US tax law - a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, similar to the Linux Foundation. We're working on this, and will keep the community informed as we make progress.

Once that is settled, it will be possible for the new illumos foundation to take in and disburse funds (and, yes, sell t-shirts!).

In the meantime, the project is supported by the generous contributions (in staff time, code, and services) of a few companies: EveryCity, Joyent, Listbox, Nexenta, Emulex, and others as well as a number of energetic individual contributors.


Another communications area we're working on (along with other contributors!) is the illumos website. The illumos infrastructure team (Bryan Horstmann-Allen, Josh Clulow and Rich Lowe) have set up this wiki, which will be the home for illumos documentation and other material (we're moving over and cleaning up the old content from the Redmine wiki). There is also room for any and all of illumos' children to keep whatever distro-specific information and documentation they wish.

If you want to contribute to the wiki, sign up and go! 


Here's some detail on events, past and future. You can find a full listing of past events here.

illumos Meetup

Jan 10, Delphix's Menlo Park office

In honor of the 10th anniversary of ZFS, this meetup was mostly about what's happening in ZFS now and the near future. See Adam Leventhal's post for details and videos.

This was also streamed live on UStream; we encourage others to stream and/or record their events for the global illumos community to share. (If you need technical help with that, let us know.)


Garrett D'Amore spoke and ran an illumos booth at SCALE last year, and was invited back to speak this year, along with Robert Mustacchi and Brendan Gregg of Joyent and Gordon Ross of Nexenta. The talks were well attended, and the videos now available online are getting hundreds of views:

…more to come!

We also had a busy booth, giving away illumos t-shirts and educating the 1500 attendees on illumos, SmartOS, Joyent, Nexenta… Many thanks to Delya Bakhisheva of Nexenta who managed the booth, which she and a Nexenta staffer manned along with Shannon Fiume and Alex Salkever of Joyent. Joyent also sponsored a crowded BoF session Saturday evening.


Linda Kateley of Nexenta organized an illumos booth and meetup at FOSDEM in Belgium, as well as a talk on illumian, Nexenta's new distro.

Upcoming illumos Events


April 3, San Francisco - This is a DTrace community event (since DTrace is in other OSes besides illumos), sponsored by Joyent (anyone else interested in sponsoring should contact, info and registration here.

Future illumos Meetups

If we can find some meaty content to present, we may have another illumos meetup in the Bay Area in late February/early March - suggestions welcome, who would you like to hear speak, and about what, related to illumos?

We're also thinking of having an informal get-together the evening of Monday, April 2nd, at Joyent's San Francisco offices (assuming that some people traveling in for the dtrace.conf attendees may be interested in joining).

If you would like to have an illumos meetup in your area and need help with speakers or getting the word out, please ask.

If you know of any other events at which illumos will be present, feel free to add to the table above. If you've got an idea for a place and time or event where illumos should be represented, please let us know how we can help.

I hope this newsletter format does not discourage dialog. I've been working with online communities for a long time, and have always found that "my" best ideas came from community members. Please DO respond, let us know what you think, make suggestions, tell us how we can make this illumos experience easier and better for you. --

best regards,

Deirdré Straughan

illumos Community Manager