The winding history of the Sun Microsystems environments has landed Solaris in an interesting list. TechRadar has included the Solaris operating environment in a list of Best Alternative Operating Systems.
There are some geninely offbeat OS’s in the listing, environments that have never gotten much past hobbyist status. That’s to say that something like TempleOS or Haiku won’t be powering commercial enterprises soon. There are also environments that have deep pedigrees, like the BeOS roots of Haiku, or the OS/2 heritage behind ArcaOS.
Solaris, though, has been through lifetimes as a Sun mainstay, as an open source offering, and finally as the Oracle product still powering a world of SPARC servers. The OS that’s been in use since the 1990s in one version or another has long development, something that Tech Radar sees as an asset in an OS, alternative or not.
“Solaris offers long development, a period of community improvement, and the backing of a large tech company that makes it perfect for systems with high demand and support requirements,” the article says.
The work that the world’s engineers have done to take Solaris to its place in the OS vanguard is part of the Tech Radar report. It identifies Solaris as having begun as a “proprietary Unix distribution designed to support Sun’s SPARC processors. Its hardware reach widened as it grew, and in 2005 Sun released the source code in the form of OpenSolaris, leading to advanced community development.”
A return to the Oracle fold means the OS needs a support contract to be a commercial asset, of course. Few operating environments have made the trip from proprietary OS to open source and then back into a corporate price list. The SunOS was not an alternative while it was building the bedrock of the Internet; it was the essential mortar for the bricks of applications.
See the full list to catch up on the legacy of operating environments like FreeDOS and the successors to the Amiga operating systems. It’s a nice spot to be a part of history at the same time as having everyday production work to accomplish.
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