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Torvalds Keeps An Open Mind About Open Solaris

Linus Torvalds claims he is taking Sun Microsystems seriously--Sun plans to offer an open-source version of its Solaris 10 operating system--but the Linux creator and chief developer says he'll reserve judgment until code becomes available.

At a panel Tuesday during Enterprise Linux Summit, Torvalds said Sun's efforts to open-source Solaris 10 according to the OSI-approved Community Development and Distribution License (CDDL) could give Linux a viable open-source rival in the operating-system market. But while Sun's CDDL is a bona fide open-source license, Torvalds said he will have to wait until Open Solaris is released later this year to gauge its ability to compete against Linux.

During the past five years, Linux has usurped significant server OS market share from Sun.

"It all looks good. I was disappointed in their Java work. It was a complete disaster, and Sun took control of it," Torvalds told CRN, alluding to the Java Community Process. "But CDDL is different. Everything is in place for it to work well."

Torvalds said he doesn't know if there will be enough interest in Solaris to grow a viable open-source community, or if the Unix OS has become too "marginalized," but he isn't complacent about Sun's efforts.

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