Feb 21, 2010

BeleniX: A first class OpenSolaris environment

BeleniX is an OpenSolaris Distribution with a Live CD (runs directly off the CD). It can be installed to harddisk and is free to use, modify and distribute.

BeleniX is essentially a first class OpenSolaris operating environment with very little modifications to the base. It is also very stable and very compatible with SUN’s OpenSolaris having derived packages out of sources from JDS, SFW, FOX, G11N, Caiman and other repos plus it’s own repo. It is also a full-blown OpenSolaris development environment being completely self-hosting. Every package delivered for BeleniX is built on BeleniX including the base OS (ON).

The BeleniX LiveCD allows you to test drive OpenSolaris in less than 2 minutes. BeleniX can also be installed to USB thumb drive in LiveUSB mode. BeleniX provided the foundation for SUN's offical OpenSolaris distro.

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KDE desktop screenshot

Background & Philosophy

BeleniX is a *NIX distribution that is built using the OpenSolaris source base. It is currently a LiveCD distribution but is intended to grow into a complete distro that can be installed to hard disk. BeleniX has been developed out of Bangalore, the silicon capital of India, and it was born at the India Engineering Center of SUN Microsystems. But BeleniX is not a SUN project. It grew out of a personal passion of a couple of guys who happened to work for SUN. BeleniX is now a community project with contributors both inside and outside of SUN. There were a variety of other considerations:

  1. An easily available OpenSolaris distribution is needed to popularize OpenSolaris among the BIG Indian Open Source community.
  2. In interactions with the community, it was pointed out several times that a LiveCD initially and a full distro later on will go a long way in spreading OpenSolaris.
  3. Official Solaris is now an Open OS. In fact it is a complete OpenSolaris distribution that is highly tested and very stable. Many people will want to use this. However there are many folks in the OSS community: students, hackers, power users and professors who are quite interested in having a distro developed by the community for the community. They are always willing to try out bleeding edge stuff not bothering about stability etc. So, I developed BeleniX as community member in an attempt to meet this interest.
  4. No technical documentation was available on how to go about building bootable LiveOS CDs for OpenSolaris, or even, what is required to have self-hosting pure OpenSolaris environment without depending on Solaris Express - This was the situation when I contemplated this project.
  5. No open-source tools and scripts were available that enable people to easily build OSS packages on OpenSolaris and generate CD images as well - Again this situation existed when I began.

BeleniX was conceptualized and developed over a period of 3 months and it demonstrates the fact that Solaris is now a truly Open Source operating system.

Visit http://www.belenix.org/home for more information and download

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