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):

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

Distro Comparison Table

NameCreated/maintained byPackaging SystemDefault UserlandRecommended UseNotes
Belenix rpm   
DilOSIgor Kozhukhovdpkg/aptGNUxen34-dom0, vmware guests, SPARC, etc. General purpose - servers with ssh access 
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 ToGonapp-itIPS Ready to use images for USB sticks on supported hardware with all napp-it add-ons and Web-UI preinstalled 
NexentaStorNexentadeb/aptGNUStorage appliances


OmniOSOmniOS Community AssociationIPS General purpose - serversWas originally maintained by OmniTI
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Superseded by:
StormOS Next-portageNative (GNU optional)General purpose - developer focused 
TribblixPeter TribbleSVR4 Desktop, but will expand to server 
v9osAlexander EreminIPS General purpose - SPARC servers 
XStreamOSSonicleIPS General purpose