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Distribution Comparison

I'm currently using OpenIndiana but I am on the lookout for a possible replacement, I like OpenIndiana but it's good to keep your mind open for other things. I've switched Linux distributions countless times so Solaris will be no different.

The opinions about these expressed here are my personal opinions! If you don't like em, send constructive criticism, else go to /dev/null!


Y yes
N no
#/10 score out of 10, where 1 is bad and 10 is good


name usage active pkg mgnt pkg selection KVM Zones installer documentation
OpenIndiana servers and desktops 3/101) IPS 5/102) Y3) IPKG,s10,sn1 8/10 7/104)
SmartOS hypervisor 10/105) pkgsrc 9/106) Y Sparse7),LX8),KVM 10/10 8/109)
OmniOS servers 8/1010) IPS 7/1011) Y IPKG,s10,sn1 8/10 6/1012)
DilOS servers 5/1013) APT 7/10 Y IPKG,DPKG,lx,s10,sn1 4/10 5/10

Additional Notes


Currently my main issue with OpenIndiana is the broken KVM, this is hard to fix however.

Some of the packages are bit older than OmniOS (OpenSSL for example), package selection is larger than OmniOS but I gave it a lower score. Mostly because OI aims to be a server and desktop operating system, while OmniOS only aims at servers. Due to this the overall package selection of OI appears less fresh. However for servers, there is little difference.

OI seems to be moving slower than OmniOS (time from bugfixes to release), however this may just be my perception.

OpenIndiana / OmniOS

They use the same installer, so same issues with it.

  1. Install over and over again on the same set of disks will have you ending up with rpool1, rpool2,…
  2. Impossible to install directly onto a mirror or raidz if multiple disks are available.
  3. Sometimes crashes if DVD-drive is to slow to respond (could be handled more cleanly)


I really like what I'm seeing here. APT instead of IPS, lots of extra's like lx zone, kvm and kvm for non-ept… On the other hand, the installer is not very user friendly, I gave it a 4 because it does more or less the bare minimum an installer should do.

However for now my concern is that it's development rests on one man. If he quits the project is dead.

Personally I would like to see large things of this merged to OI with a nice upgrade path. (APT, KVM, lx zone)

Some smaller annoyances, doing a clean upgrade is not as streamlined as using IPS. Going on my linux instinct I destroyed my first install :s

Decreasing activity due to lead leaving.
OK for servers, poor for desktops.
As of 151a5 still horribly broken.
Most Solaris 10 stuff applies, wiki has limited documentation.
Roughtly every 2 weeks
Also know as Joyent branded zones.
Wiki has all the essentials you'll need.
More or less monthly.
Less packages but only aims at servers, sometimes slightly newer versions than OI.
Not much on there website, most OI documentation applies though.
Currently supported by one man, It very looks promising but I have doubts about the longevity :(
snipets/solaris/distro-comparison.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/09 22:02 (external edit)