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I wrote some open source Linux/BSD software with a command line interface and would like to know if I can easily make it run on Solaris too. What would be the easy options (i.e. about equally easy as Linux/BSD) to install an amd64 virtual machine with Solaris or one of its derivatives for people who know almost nothing about Solaris?

It should have (out of the box or easily installable):

  • internet connectivity
  • ssh client and server
  • bash or zsh
  • git
  • tar
  • make
  • some text editor nicer than vi (vim or an emacs clone is fine)
  • whatever C compiler and linker is popular among Solaris programmers (do lots of people just use GCC nowadays?)
  • C headers for libc, kernel syscall interface, and whatever else is normally needed
  • an easy package manager would be nice, but if it ships with the above things that's fine too
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    Solaris 11 is available for free and you are allowed to use it for "developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications" according to its license. Oracle even provides a "VirtualBox Template" of Solaris 11. – Kusalananda Apr 23 at 22:30
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The following options work:

  • I just installed the stable version of OmniOS Community Edition. It was just as easy to install and use as Linux distros and BSDs. It comes with an SSH server. Vim is available out of the box. You can install git and gcc via sudo pkg install which works just like other package managers. Use pkg search to find more packages.

  • Solaris 11 is available for free and you are allowed to use it for "developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications" according to its license. Oracle even provides a "VirtualBox Template" of Solaris 11. (Mentioned by @Kusalananda)

Feel free to edit this answer to add more easy alternatives. Apparently the usability of Solaris for open source work has greatly improved in only a few years.

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In the past there was OpenSolaris which is the open source version of Solaris from Sun Microsystems. After Oracle bought Sun they discontinued the development of OpenSolaris, so enthusiasts forked it into OpenIndiana and later illumos. You can check them out

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