Is Sun Backtracking on Linux?
Xen Feature Offered as Alternative
Jun. 17, 2005 05:00 AM
Sun Microsystems announced its Open Solaris project earlier in the week, but missing in action was the ability to run unmodified Linux applications. This feature, which had previously been codenamed Project Janus, would follow the mythical god's lead and let the OS literally show two non-complementary faces.
However, that strategy has apparently been replaced by Project Xen, which will officially be called the Linux Application Environment. This idea is more like a traditional industry OS virtualizer, taking Linux code and translating it into Solaris, thus enabling Linux programs to run on x86 systems.
Sun had previously stated that Solaris 10 would allow Linux apps to run next to Solaris apps, but Sun now says that its OSS project will, in effect, achieve the same result. Sun reportedly expects that "the Xen feature will get wider use and provide more value to customers," and reportedly still expects to offer Janus at some point in the future.
Much ado about nothing? Or something that signifies Sun's continuing ambivalance toward Linux?
For his part, Sun COO Jonathan Schwartz had this to say about the Open Solaris announcement, via his blog:
"There have been a few moments in my career where I've really felt like taking a step back, and saying 'I'm proud to have been a part of that.'
"Today is just one of those moments. This is one instance where a broad cross section of the industry, focused on by a few incredible participants, did something our kids will learn about years from now. Because in the pantheon of internet history, this will have its own chapter.