I could not find good comparison between OmniOS and SmartOS (or OpenIndiana). So what are pros to use OmniOS than SmartOS?

(As some people are nitpickers I had to make the question like this. But I would like to know pros/cons...)

  • 2
    I do not want that my Solaris clone would differ too much from Oracle Solaris. But still I cannot decide which one to choose. Strong background and big user base is a must.
    – jirib
    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:12
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    Instead of commenting, you should incorporate further information into your question, by editing it.
    – vonbrand
    Jan 11, 2016 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


OmniOS looks like normal system, SmartOS is more livecd-like system

I've considered using OmniOS to let me do more things in the global zone (configuring CIFS was quite annoying!) but that's too much work and downtime for me right now. If I had to start over I might start there.

unhappy_mage, 2013-04-24
in: SmartOS "all-in-one"? - [H]ard|Forum
Source: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1039840231

SmartOS is an extremely lean version of illumos, and it is not intended to occupy space on the filesystem. Rather it boots from a <2Gb image,either USB key, PXE network boot, or CDR image, and occupies space in RAM. The OS is kept off the filesystem to simplify upgrades - attach a new image and reboot. [...] One does not use the root system to work on the machine, only to configure and install Zones from which work is done. [...] If you prefer an illumOS distribution presents itself more like a CentOS server, you can try OmniOS.

Christopher Hogue, 2013-03-24
in: Why SmartOS in my lab? - SmartOS
Source: http://smartos.blueprint.org/home/why-smartos-in-my-lab

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    Summary: when somebody would like to have an Illumos distro which would look like normal OS (be able to configure everything in global zone) then it is OmniOS. When you look more for a way to have global zone to looks like a hypervisor management domain, then you should consider SmartOS as its global zone runs from memory and the rest of storage is dedicated for /var and zones. Thus, it depends what is your goal.
    – jirib
    Oct 25, 2013 at 9:07

One should mention that OmniOS is not a general purpose OS and provides only a minimal set of packages, while OpenIndiana Hipster is more suitable for use in a graphical environment.

OmniOS takes a "layer cake" approach to packaging. The core OS contains the packages needed to build the OS, plus a few small frills (more shells, tmux/screen, etc.) Users are encouraged to either create their own package repos for additional software they want to run (and where they like it to be installed) or use repos published by other users.

See: https://omnios.org/info/ipsrepos.html

OpenIndiana provides about 3200 packages including desktop environment along with usual server applications.

See: http://www.openindiana.org/overview/the-hipster-branch/

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