"OpenSolaris 2008.11, the second major release of Sun
Microsystems' freely-licensed, Solaris-based operating system, hit
the Web late last year packed with feature enhancements that
illustrate that Sun isn't about to cede the platform stage to
Linux, as brothers-in-Unix such as IBM's AIX and Hewlett-Packard's
HP-UX have done.
"Taking a cue from popular Linux distributions, Sun's
OpenSolaris improvements center around a bolstered software package
management framework that includes both client-side tools for
installing and updating applications, and back-end facilities for
channeling community packaging efforts into the project.
"In my tests, I found Sun's package management framework, which
is anchored by the still-young Image Packaging System, much
improved from the facilities that shipped with Solaris 10. However,
while Sun is on the right track here, I found the software tools
less streamlined and the breadth of available software packages
less broad than what I've come to expect from Linux distributions
such as Ubuntu."