Several weeks ago, Oracle declared that it would no longer be releasing code to the open source community as it was developed, as well as cutting off communication with the OpenSolaris Governing Board (and thus, the community). The Illumos project was created to continue the kernel development; in the same arena, OpenIndiana now continues the open source ideals with an open version of OpenSolaris under the Illumos Project banner.

Downloads are already available, although it is not yet recommended for production use.

I find the prospects of OpenIndiana exciting; this project is separate from Oracle, who cannot be relied upon for any support of open source. With a serious community behind it, OpenIndiana could very well be a way for shops to run the very capable Solaris environment without having to succumb to a costly support contract before they can afford it. It also allows individuals to run a version of Solaris with current features, quick bug fixes, and more software.

In spite of the general demise of OpenSolaris as a driving force, the times are exciting for the Solaris-based community.