SUN’s free software credentials took a big step forward today with Ian Murdock’s decision to join the company. Congratulations all round. Now we have to find a new CTO at the Linux Foundation, and one with big shoes to fill. Hopefully, Ian’s experience will lead to something ISV’s very dearly want – commonality and standardisation across their non-Windows target platforms. Here’s to an interesting year!

17 Responses to “Linux and Solaris – common ground ahead?”

  1. Thom May Says:

    To some extent I’m quite excited by what this might mean for OpenSolaris going forward, but Nexenta have been pushing the OS/Debian (or Ubuntu, more accurately) integration kick for some while without actully seeming to get any (public) traction within Sun…
    I’ve also been disappointed by how little Ian seems to be in touch with how linux development works these days, but that’s mostly from what he’s been writing in public, rather than any particularly interaction with him, so hopefully that’s not a fair summary.
    I really hope that Sun can actually make this work.

  2. Smaran Says:

    Glad to see Sun start to appreciate all the work the foundation does. I think it’s pretty cool that they hired Ian. Congrats!

  3. Ian Murdock and Sun Says:

    […] This is what I just wrote on Mark’s blog about Ian’s move to Sun: […]

  4. Thom May Says:

    I turned this into something of an essay on my own blog

  5. Nirmal Says:

    .. and here! [glug glug]

  6. Joe Says:

    Isn’t Ian going to stay at CTO of LSB? iirc he said that on his blog

  7. the debian user » Blog Archive » Debian founder to join Sun Says:

    […] More on his blog, including comments, questions, and best wishes from lots of people, including Mark Shuttleworth from Ubuntu. […]

  8. Jonathan Carter Says:

    This is good news for Nexenta too. I think it’s quite cool that Sun is taking on some more free software heavyweights.

    A bit off topic, I just took a look at yet? It’s an evil Microsoft website where they explain how to target existing Linux users and migrate them to Microsoft products. As evil as it is, it’s an interesting marketing concept. It also shows that, even after the Microsoft-Novell deal, Microsoft is still blatantly anti-Linux, especially with a front page that says “Winning against Linux the smart way”.

  9. Sean Clarke Says:

    Hi Mark,
    I couldn’t agree with your title any more, a quick look at Nexenta ( shows what is really possible with the merging of to of the best systems around. All the latest Solaris 10 goodies (FireEngine, DTrace, Zones etc.) with the Ubuntu derived GNU packages.

    It’s a lttle out of date, but hopefully they’ll resync after Feisty, Erast and crowd are doing lots of good work in that department.

  10. Simone Brunozzi Says:

    Well, Ian at Sun is wonderful news!
    I hope he’ll be able to reunite various linuxes and sun under one umbrella. And maybe… Instead of Dell’s, we’ll see Sun’s PCs on the market, with Linux preinstalled. 🙂
    And, obviously, many other things as well!

  11. Ubuntu | Thom May: Ian Murdock and Sun Says:

    […] This is what I just wrote on Mark’s blog about Ian’s move to Sun: […]

  12. Mark McCoy Says:

    > And maybe… Instead of Dell’s, we’ll see Sun’s PCs on the market, with Linux preinstalled.

    You can already buy Sun PC’s and x86 servers with Linux preinstalled. Your choice, SLES, RHEL (3 or 4), and you can install Ubuntu on the UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara) servers after the fact as well. OK, the last isn’t preinstalled, but it is pretty flippin cool, nonetheless.

  13. A Says:

    Points to ponder:

    Wise ones would do well to stick with Linux.

  14. David Mackey Says:

    Pretty exciting stuff. Will be interesting to see what happens with Solaris being open source these days.

  15. James LaRue Says:

    Mr. Carter, I clicked on the the linuxpersonas link and got:

    “This material is being updated and will be made available to Microsoft partners shortly.” Thanks for outing them! But I’m sorry to have missed it.

  16. Linux 4U » Il papà di Debian assunto da Sun Says:

    […] Mr Debian continua a stupire. Dopo aver pubblicamente ammesso di utilizzare Ubuntu, Ian Murdock ha annunciato sul suo blog una notizia importante: il passaggio a Sun Microsystem. Ian ha dichiarato di essere da sempre un fan di Solaris e di apprezzare molto le scelte fatte da Sun negli ultimi anni. Ora il compito principale di Murdock consisterà nel colmare il gap in termini di usabilità di Solaris rispetto a Gnu/Linux facendo diventare il sistema operativo della Sun un “concorrente” del pinguino innovativo e adatto agli utenti. Il neonato sodalizio con Sun ha come diretta conseguenza l’abbandono della Linux Foundation da parte di Murdock che comunque continuerà presiedere la Linux Standard Base. Congratulazioni sono arrivate da Mark Shuttleworth che tuttavia non ha mancato di notare come la Linux Foundation abbia bisogno al più presto di trovare un valido sostituto, cosa non proprio facilissima viste le qualità di Ian Murdock. […]

  17. Snow Says:


    If there is going to be deeper collaboration between the Sun community and the Linux community, do you ever see Canonical packaging Ubuntu with the Solaris kernel (which would include ZFS, Zones, Dtrace, etc)? I heard you mention in a talk that the Linux kernel does not have a framework that easily allows new drivers to be hooked in yet other kernels support this in a much better way. Would this be an opportunity to pilot test an Ubuntu distribution with the Solaris kernel at its heart? I know the Nexenta project is doing just this, but it would be far better distribution if Sun and Canonical worked together on it. Thoughts?


    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    That would be a very interesting combination. For the moment, though, Linux is all the kernel we need. If rumours of Sun’s plans to GPL OpenSolaris are true, then ZFS and Dtrace etc will quickly be available on Linux too. We can keep an eye on OpenSolaris, and if the community embraces it widely then it would be reasonable for us to reflect that in Ubuntu.