Category Archives: Uncategorized

FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for January 17th, 2021

Weldon Irvine – Music is the Key
Alphonse Mouzon – Do I Have To? – By All Means
Incognito – Colibri (Talkin’ Loud)
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Wave – Wave (CTI)
Perception – Serious Love (Talkin’ Loud)
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Batidinha – Wave (CTI)
JTQ – 3 Mile Island – In the Hand of the Inevitable (Acid Jazz)
(The New) Tony Williams Lifetime – Proto-Cosmos – Believe It

Pleasure – Future Now – Future Now

(The New) Tony Williams Lifetime – Snake Oil – Believe It
EW&F – Sun Goddess (Ramsey Lewis) – Plugged In And Live

The Server Room Show – Episode 60 – Database


A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal design and modeling techniques which i will talk about a bit later.

An SQL select statement and its result.

The database management system (DBMS) is the software that interacts with end users, applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze the data. The DBMS software additionally encompasses the core facilities provided to administer the database. The sum total of the database, the DBMS and the associated applications can be referred to as a “database system”. Often the term “database” is also used to loosely refer to any of the DBMS, the database system or an application associated with the database.

Computer scientists may classify database-management systems according to the database models that they support. Relational databases became dominant in the 1980s. These model data as rows and columns in a series of tables, and the vast majority use SQL for writing and querying data. In the 2000s, non-relational databases became popular, referred to as NoSQL because they use different query languages.

Terminology and Overview

Formally, a “database” refers to a set of related data and the way it is organized. Access to this data is usually provided by a “database management system” (DBMS) consisting of an integrated set of computer software that allows users to interact with one or more databases and provides access to all of the data contained in the database (although restrictions may exist that limit access to particular data). The DBMS provides various functions that allow entry, storage and retrieval of large quantities of information and provides ways to manage how that information is organized.

Because of the close relationship between them, the term “database” is often used casually to refer to both a database and the DBMS used to manipulate it.

Outside the world of professional information technology, the term database is often used to refer to any collection of related data (such as a spreadsheet or a card index) as size and usage requirements typically necessitate use of a database management system.

Existing DBMSs provide various functions that allow management of a database and its data which can be classified into four main functional groups:

  • Data definition – Creation, modification and removal of definitions that define the organization of the data.
  • Update – Insertion, modification, and deletion of the actual data.
  • Retrieval – Providing information in a form directly usable or for further processing by other applications. The retrieved data may be made available in a form basically the same as it is stored in the database or in a new form obtained by altering or combining existing data from the database.
  • Administration – Registering and monitoring users, enforcing data security, monitoring performance, maintaining data integrity, dealing with concurrency control, and recovering information that has been corrupted by some event such as an unexpected system failure.

Both a database and its DBMS conform to the principles of a particular database model. Database system” refers collectively to the database model, database management system, and database.

Physically, database servers are dedicated computers that hold the actual databases and run only the DBMS and related software. Database servers are usually multiprocessor computers, with generous memory and RAID disk arrays used for stable storage. Hardware database accelerators, connected to one or more servers via a high-speed channel, are also used in large volume transaction processing environments. DBMSs are found at the heart of most database applications. DBMSs may be built around a custom multitasking kernel with built-in networking support, but modern DBMSs typically rely on a standard operating system to provide these functions.

Since DBMSs comprise a significant market, computer and storage vendors often take into account DBMS requirements in their own development plans.

Databases and DBMSs can be categorized according to the database model(s) that they support (such as relational or XML), the type(s) of computer they run on (from a server cluster to a mobile phone), the query language(s) used to access the database (such as SQL or XQuery), and their internal engineering, which affects performance, scalability, resilience, and security.


The sizes, capabilities, and performance of databases and their respective DBMSs have grown in orders of magnitude. These performance increases were enabled by the technology progress in the areas of processors, computer memory, computer storage, and computer networks. The concept of a database was made possible by the emergence of direct access storage media such as magnetic disks, which became widely available in the mid 1960s; earlier systems relied on sequential storage of data on magnetic tape. The subsequent development of database technology can be divided into three eras based on data model or structure:

  • navigational
  • SQL/relational
  • post-relational

The two main early navigational data models were the hierarchical model and the CODASYL model (network model). These were characterized by the use of pointers (often physical disk addresses) to follow relationships from one record to another.

The relational model, first proposed in 1970 by Edgar F. Codd, departed from this tradition by insisting that applications should search for data by content, rather than by following links. The relational model employs sets of ledger-style tables, each used for a different type of entity. Only in the mid-1980s did computing hardware become powerful enough to allow the wide deployment of relational systems (DBMSs plus applications). By the early 1990s, however, relational systems dominated in all large-scale data processing applications, and as of 2018 they remain dominant: IBM DB2, Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server are the most searched DBMS. The dominant database language, standardised SQL for the relational model, has influenced database languages for other data models.

Object databases were developed in the 1980s to overcome the inconvenience of object-relational impedance mismatch, which led to the coining of the term “post-relational” and also the development of hybrid object-relational databases.

The next generation of post-relational databases in the late 2000s became known as NoSQL databases, introducing fast key-value stores and document-oriented databases. A competing “next generation” known as NewSQL databases attempted new implementations that retained the relational/SQL model while aiming to match the high performance of NoSQL compared to commercially available relational DBMSs.

1960s, navigational DBMS

The introduction of the term database coincided with the availability of direct-access storage (disks and drums) from the mid-1960s onwards. The term represented a contrast with the tape-based systems of the past, allowing shared interactive use rather than daily batch processing. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1962 report by the System Development Corporation of California as the first to use the term “data-base” in a specific technical sense.[10]

As computers grew in speed and capability, a number of general-purpose database systems emerged; by the mid-1960s a number of such systems had come into commercial use. Interest in a standard began to grow, and Charles Bachman, author of one such product, the Integrated Data Store (IDS), founded the Database Task Group within CODASYL, the group responsible for the creation and standardization of COBOL. In 1971, the Database Task Group delivered their standard, which generally became known as the CODASYL approach, and soon a number of commercial products based on this approach entered the market.

The CODASYL approach offered applications the ability to navigate around a linked data set which was formed into a large network. Applications could find records by one of three methods:

  1. Use of a primary key (known as a CALC key, typically implemented by hashing)
  2. Navigating relationships (called sets) from one record to another
  3. Scanning all the records in a sequential order

Later systems added B-trees to provide alternate access paths. Many CODASYL databases also added a declarative query language for end users (as distinct from the navigational API). However CODASYL databases were complex and required significant training and effort to produce useful applications.

IBM also had their own DBMS in 1966, known as Information Management System (IMS). IMS was a development of software written for the Apollo program on the System/360. IMS was generally similar in concept to CODASYL, but used a strict hierarchy for its model of data navigation instead of CODASYL’s network model. Both concepts later became known as navigational databases due to the way data was accessed: the term was popularized by Bachman’s 1973 Turing Award presentation The Programmer as Navigator. IMS is classified by IBM as a hierarchical database. IDMS and Cincom SystemsTOTAL database are classified as network databases. IMS remains in use as of today its last stable release has been on 2017

1970s, relational DBMS

Edgar F. Codd worked at IBM in San Jose, California, in one of their offshoot offices that was primarily involved in the development of hard disk systems. He was unhappy with the navigational model of the CODASYL approach, notably the lack of a “search” facility. In 1970, he wrote a number of papers that outlined a new approach to database construction that eventually culminated in the groundbreaking A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks.[12]

In this paper, he described a new system for storing and working with large databases. Instead of records being stored in some sort of linked list of free-form records as in CODASYL, Codd’s idea was to organise the data as a number of “tables“, each table being used for a different type of entity. Each table would contain a fixed number of columns containing the attributes of the entity. One or more columns of each table were designated as a primary key by which the rows of the table could be uniquely identified; cross-references between tables always used these primary keys, rather than disk addresses, and queries would join tables based on these key relationships, using a set of operations based on the mathematical system of relational calculus (from which the model takes its name). Splitting the data into a set of normalized tables (or relations) aimed to ensure that each “fact” was only stored once, thus simplifying update operations. Virtual tables called views could present the data in different ways for different users, but views could not be directly updated.

Codd used mathematical terms to define the model: relations, tuples, and domains rather than tables, rows, and columns. The terminology that is now familiar came from early implementations. Codd would later criticize the tendency for practical implementations to depart from the mathematical foundations on which the model was based.

In the relational model, records are “linked” using virtual keys not stored in the database but defined as needed between the data contained in the records.

The use of primary keys (user-oriented identifiers) to represent cross-table relationships, rather than disk addresses, had two primary motivations. From an engineering perspective, it enabled tables to be relocated and resized without expensive database reorganization. But Codd was more interested in the difference in semantics: the use of explicit identifiers made it easier to define update operations with clean mathematical definitions, and it also enabled query operations to be defined in terms of the established discipline of first-order predicate calculus; because these operations have clean mathematical properties, it becomes possible to rewrite queries in provably correct ways, which is the basis of query optimization. There is no loss of expressiveness compared with the hierarchic or network models, though the connections between tables are no longer so explicit.

In the hierarchic and network models, records were allowed to have a complex internal structure. For example, the salary history of an employee might be represented as a “repeating group” within the employee record. In the relational model, the process of normalization led to such internal structures being replaced by data held in multiple tables, connected only by logical keys.

For instance, a common use of a database system is to track information about users, their name, login information, various addresses and phone numbers. In the navigational approach, all of this data would be placed in a single variable-length record. In the relational approach, the data would be normalized into a user table, an address table and a phone number table (for instance). Records would be created in these optional tables only if the address or phone numbers were actually provided.

As well as identifying rows/records using logical identifiers rather than disk addresses, Codd changed the way in which applications assembled data from multiple records. Rather than requiring applications to gather data one record at a time by navigating the links, they would use a declarative query language that expressed what data was required, rather than the access path by which it should be found. Finding an efficient access path to the data became the responsibility of the database management system, rather than the application programmer. This process, called query optimization, depended on the fact that queries were expressed in terms of mathematical logic.

Codd’s paper was picked up by two people at Berkeley, Eugene Wong and Michael Stonebraker. They started a project known as INGRES using funding that had already been allocated for a geographical database project and student programmers to produce code. Beginning in 1973, INGRES delivered its first test products which were generally ready for widespread use in 1979. INGRES was similar to System R in a number of ways, including the use of a “language” for data access, known as QUEL. Over time, INGRES moved to the emerging SQL standard.

IBM itself did one test implementation of the relational model, PRTV, and a production one, Business System 12, both now discontinued. Honeywell wrote MRDS for Multics, and now there are two new implementations: Alphora Dataphor and Rel. Most other DBMS implementations usually called relational are actually SQL DBMSs.

In 1970, the University of Michigan began development of the MICRO Information Management System[13] based on D.L. Childs‘ Set-Theoretic Data model.[14][15][16] MICRO was used to manage very large data sets by the US Department of Labor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and researchers from the University of Alberta, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. It ran on IBM mainframe computers using the Michigan Terminal System.[17] The system remained in production until 1998.

Late 1970s, SQL DBMS

IBM started working on a prototype system loosely based on Codd’s concepts as System R in the early 1970s. The first version was ready in 1974/5, and work then started on multi-table systems in which the data could be split so that all of the data for a record (some of which is optional) did not have to be stored in a single large “chunk”. Subsequent multi-user versions were tested by customers in 1978 and 1979, by which time a standardized query language – SQL[citation needed] – had been added. Codd’s ideas were establishing themselves as both workable and superior to CODASYL, pushing IBM to develop a true production version of System R, known as SQL/DS, and, later, Database 2 (DB2).

Larry Ellison‘s Oracle Database (or more simply, Oracle) started from a different chain, based on IBM’s papers on System R. Though Oracle V1 implementations were completed in 1978, it wasn’t until Oracle Version 2 when Ellison beat IBM to market in 1979.[18]

Stonebraker went on to apply the lessons from INGRES to develop a new database, Postgres, which is now known as PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is often used for global mission-critical applications (the .org and .info domain name registries use it as their primary data store, as do many large companies and financial institutions).

In Sweden, Codd’s paper was also read and Mimer SQL was developed from the mid-1970s at Uppsala University. In 1984, this project was consolidated into an independent enterprise.

Another data model, the entity–relationship model, emerged in 1976 and gained popularity for database design as it emphasized a more familiar description than the earlier relational model. Later on, entity–relationship constructs were retrofitted as a data modeling construct for the relational model, and the difference between the two have become irrelevant.

1980s, on the desktop

The 1980s ushered in the age of desktop computing. The new computers empowered their users with spreadsheets like Lotus 1-2-3 and database software like dBASE. The dBASE product was lightweight and easy for any computer user to understand out of the box. C. Wayne Ratliff, the creator of dBASE, stated: “dBASE was different from programs like BASIC, C, FORTRAN, and COBOL in that a lot of the dirty work had already been done. The data manipulation is done by dBASE instead of by the user, so the user can concentrate on what he is doing, rather than having to mess with the dirty details of opening, reading, and closing files, and managing space allocation.”[19] dBASE was one of the top selling software titles in the 1980s and early 1990s.

1990s, object-oriented

The 1990s, along with a rise in object-oriented programming, saw a growth in how data in various databases were handled. Programmers and designers began to treat the data in their databases as objects. That is to say that if a person’s data were in a database, that person’s attributes, such as their address, phone number, and age, were now considered to belong to that person instead of being extraneous data. This allows for relations between data to be relations to objects and their attributes and not to individual fields.[20] The term “object-relational impedance mismatch” described the inconvenience of translating between programmed objects and database tables. Object databases and object-relational databases attempt to solve this problem by providing an object-oriented language (sometimes as extensions to SQL) that programmers can use as alternative to purely relational SQL. On the programming side, libraries known as object-relational mappings (ORMs) attempt to solve the same problem.

2000s, NoSQL and NewSQL

XML databases are a type of structured document-oriented database that allows querying based on XML document attributes. XML databases are mostly used in applications where the data is conveniently viewed as a collection of documents, with a structure that can vary from the very flexible to the highly rigid: examples include scientific articles, patents, tax filings, and personnel records.

NoSQL databases are often very fast, do not require fixed table schemas, avoid join operations by storing denormalized data, and are designed to scale horizontally.

In recent years, there has been a strong demand for massively distributed databases with high partition tolerance, but according to the CAP theorem it is impossible for a distributed system to simultaneously provide consistency, availability, and partition tolerance guarantees. A distributed system can satisfy any two of these guarantees at the same time, but not all three. For that reason, many NoSQL databases are using what is called eventual consistency to provide both availability and partition tolerance guarantees with a reduced level of data consistency.

NewSQL is a class of modern relational databases that aims to provide the same scalable performance of NoSQL systems for online transaction processing (read-write) workloads while still using SQL and maintaining the ACID guarantees of a traditional database system.


FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for Jan 10th, 2021

The Crusaders – Full Moon – Crusaders 1
Horndogz – Movin’ On – #Wooof
Gene Ammons – Jungle Strut
Second Image – Special Lady
Jean-Luc Ponty – Passenger of the Dark – Aurora
Groove Collective – Peep Show – Dance of the Drunken Master

Steve Khan – Where’s Mumphrey – Eyewitness (Antilles)
EW&F – Sweet Sassy Lady – Electric Universe
Stanley Clarke – Heaven Sent You – Time Exposure
EW&F – And Love Goes On – Faces
Shannon – Love Goes All The Way – Love Goes All The Way

The Jazz Crusaders – Freedom Sound – Freedom Sound

TSR – The Server Room Show – Episode 59 – Calculators


I will talk about Calculators like Texas Instruments or HP Prime and Numworks emulated or running on Your computer or even on your android phone I think they are very useful addition to the built in calculators even if you are not a numbers person like myself.

Remark on this topic:
You should dump your own .rom files and flash/boot files from devices you legally own
Sharing rom files and other bits and pieces unless shared directly from the manufacturers website is illegal in most countries.


This is the one which started the whole topic. My colleague showed me one the other day and up until then I did not know anything about it.

On their website they state:

The graphing calculator that makes everybody a math person.

NumWorks is a French calculator manufacturer that has produced two models of calculator. Both calculators are source-available graphing calculators and have their hardware and software designs available under a Creative Commons license. Its first calculator, the N0100, was released on August 29, 2017 in France and the United States and is geared towards high school classrooms and students.The calculators use Python as their programming language, rather than a proprietary language (e.g. TI-BASIC used by Texas Instruments calculators)

The calculator was specifically designed to be modded using 3D printing, 3D models, firmware operating system source code, schematics, and board layout details available to the public under a Creative Commons License.[6] The software on the calculator is updated on a monthly cycle.[1] Updates can be downloaded to the calculator from its website using WebUSB or by building the operating system from its direct source.

The NumWorks calculator also includes an “exam mode” which removes all Python programs, resets all apps, and disables certain features. It can be disabled by plugging the calculator into a power source and selecting disable on the popup that appears.

On March 22, 2019, NumWorks released an app for iOS and Android.[7] It features the same functionality as the physical calculator except it does not have data persistence.

In their website they mention among its features:

Code in Python
Accurate Math (fractions, roots, trigonometry..)
Exam approved (SAT, ACT)
(Trace colored graphs using the Functions app. You can read function values in a table and retrieve the derivatives.)
(Computing probabilities has never been easier. Simply fill in the required information and compute. A graphical display helps you visualize your computations.)

It has a downloadable online version of it ( you can download the js file and run it yourself)
completely free.. How awesome is that


HP 300s+ calculator app from HP works perfectly under wine

HP 300s+ under wine

HP Prime Graphing Calculator runs correctly under wine for me
I used the 64 bit installer / version >
but the older 32 bit installer / version works fine too > HP_Prime_Virtual_Calculator_2018_10_16.exe

HP Prime Virtual Graphing Calculator running under wine

Emu71 Emu48/ Emu48+ and Emu42 and Emu28 Emulators

Emu71 is an emulator for the HP 71B Calculator

The HP48 Emulator Emu48 was originally created by Sébastien Carlier and is published under the GPL. The latest version of Emu48 can emulate a HP38G, HP39G, HP40G, HP48SX, HP48GX and a HP49G and HP50g as well.

Emu42 is an emulator for the Pioneer series calculators HP10B, HP14B, HP17B, HP17BII, HP20S, HP21S, HP27S, HP32SII and HP42S and for the Clamshell series calculators HP19BII and HP28S. It base on the sources of the famous HP calculator emulator Emu48 and is published under the GPL.

EMU28 is an emulator for the Clamshell series calculators HP-18C and HP-28C. It base on the sources of the famous HP calculator emulator Emu48 and is published under the GPL.

Emu28 and Emu42 running under wine emulating HP 28C and HP28S calculators side by side
Emu48 running under wine emulating an HP 49G


Virtual TI app works just fine under Wine for me.

VirtualTI runnung TI-89 under wine

Wabbitemu i cant make it work under wine no matter which settings i select tough it works fine under windows.

wabbitemu works fine under windows.. could not make it work under wine tough 🙁


CEmu is a third-party TI-84 Plus CE / TI-83 Premium CE calculator emulator, focused on developer features.
CEmu works natively on Windows, macOS, and Linux. For performance and portability, the core is programmed in C and its customizable GUI in C++ with Qt.

i tried with a TI-84 Plus CE rom and it works just fine. I could not try the TI-83 Premium CE rom as i dont have it.

cemu under linux


tilem can be found on most package repositories *Fedora for example*

TI-NSpire on Linux – Firebird

This project is currently the community TI-Nspire emulator, originally created by Goplat.
It supports the emulation of Touchpad, TPad CAS, CX and CX CAS calcs on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows

Installed under Linux I was keep getting segmentation faults when i was trying to emulate TI-Nspire calculator.. However with the windows release of firebird under wine i had no problem at all following the steps how to be up and running in no time.

firebird-emu windows version under wine works just fine

Notable mentions on Android (Ti emulators and HP emulators)

On Android you can have a tons of emulators which works fine

For Texas Instruments Wabbitemu once you supply it with the correct rom files and figure out in settings which scaling or setting works best for your phone , f.e on my Note 10+ i had to turn off immersive mode option so it shows the bottom bar and the top bar of my phone and the clicks are exactly on point ( they were slightly off with that option turned on for me and i had to aim a bit under what i wanted to click at but thurning this option off solved it and its dead center now and a pleasure to use )

Wabbitemu on android running a Ti-82 Rom on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
i had to turn off immersive mode so my clicks were dead center on the skin and on point

HP emulators on android sold directly by HP

HP 12C Platinum Calculator (18 euros in playstore)
HP 12C Financial Calculator (17 euros in playstore)

Screenshot Image
HP 12C Platinum Calculator on Android
Screenshot Image
HP 12C Financial Calculator on Android

Emu42 and Emu48 Ported to Android (free)

Screenshot Image
Emu42 port on Android
Screenshot Image
Emu48 port on Android


FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for Jan 3rd, 2021

Ron Carter – So What
Dave Valentine – Marcosinho – The Hawk
Tab Two – No Flagman Ahead – Flagman Ahead
Jazz Not Jazz (DJ Smash feat. Fabio Morgera and Brown Surround) – New Type of Jazz
Solsonics – Now This Is How We Do It (feat. DJ Greyboy) – JAZZ in the Present Tense
Guru feat. Roy Ayers – Take a Look (At Yourself) – Jazzmatazz vol 1
Sons and Daughters of Lite – Let the Sun Shine In
Gary Bartz – Music Is My Sanctuary – Music Is My Sanctuary

Chico Hamilton – Alekasam – Nomad

Leon Ware – Why I Came To California

TSR – The Server Room Show – Episode 58 – CentOS ( 2004 -2020 )

Obituary for CentOS ( 2004 – 2020)

CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

CentOS was one of the most popular server distributions in the world. It was an open source fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and provided the goodness of RHEL without the cost associated with RHEL.

Many companies were able to hire IT professionals and/or geeks to handle their infrastructure on a RHEL binary compatible / bit to bit compatible OS such as * CentOS * and pay the money they would for RHEL subscription prices and contracts instead to these individuals as a salary.

They got the best of both worlds: Stability and Security of a RHEL distribution & Lower Cost of Ownership via hiring their own IT stuff to do the 24/7 maintenance and up keep Vs doing it through RHEL contracts and subscription models.

Many big corporations were still forced for one reason or another to go with RHEL subscriptions and contracts (Gov. & Mission Critical Systems where these support contracts provide a great safety net for executives to point the finger and demand liability of a third party if anything goes wrong) but the smaller shops and corporations could get away if they wanted with hiring their own stuff to maintain and run everything on CentOS instead as it was exactly as RHEL without the Logos and Trademarks and those contracts and subscriptions as mentioned

Red Hat already already had a similar move in the past as You will see just now

Interesting Facts:

CentOS was not started by Red Hat. It was a community project since the beginning. After Red Hat started sponsoring the development, the trademark and ownership of CentOS was transferred to Red Hat in 2014, around 10 years after its creation.

Warren Togami began Fedora Linux in 2002 as an undergraduate project at the University of Hawaii intended to provide a single repository for well-tested third-party software packages so that non-Red Hat software would be easier to find, develop, and use. The key difference between Fedora Linux and Red Hat Linux was that Fedora’s repository development would be collaborative with the global volunteer community.Fedora Linux (through the Fedora Project) was launched in 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued. The project was founded in 2003 as a result of a merger between the Red Hat Linux (RHL) and Fedora Linux projects. It is sponsored by Red Hat primarily, but its employees make up only 35% of project contributors, and most of the over 2,000 contributors are unaffiliated members of the community.

Red Hat’s Business Model

Red Hat operates on a business model based on open-source software, development within a community, professional quality assurance, and subscription-based customer support. They produce open-source code so that more programmers can make adaptations and improvements.

Red Hat sells subscriptions for the support, training, and integration services that help customers in using their open-source software products. Customers pay one set price for unlimited access to services such as Red Hat Network and up to 24/7 support.

In September 2014, however, CEO Jim Whitehurst announced that Red Hat was “in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile”.

Rich Bynum, a member of Red Hat’s legal team, attributes Linux’s success and rapid development partially to open-source business models, including Red Hat’s.

Red Hat Rebuilds

Originally, Red Hat’s enterprise product, then known as Red Hat Linux, was made freely available to anybody who wished to download it, while Red Hat made money from support.

Red Hat then moved towards splitting its product line into Red Hat Enterprise Linux which was designed to be stable and with long-term support for enterprise users and Fedora as the community distribution and project sponsored by Red Hat. The use of trademarks prevents verbatim copying of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux is based completely on free and open source software, Red Hat makes available the complete source code to its enterprise distribution through its FTP site to anybody who wants it.

Accordingly, several groups have taken this source code and compiled their own versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, typically with the only changes being the removal of any references to Red Hat’s trademarks and pointing the update systems to non-Red Hat servers. Groups which have undertaken this include CentOS, Oracle Linux, Scientific Linux, White Box Enterprise Linux, StartCom Enterprise Linux, Pie Box Enterprise Linux, X/OS, Lineox, and Bull‘s XBAS for high-performance computing.

All provide a free mechanism for applying updates without paying a service fee to the distributor.

Rebuilds of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are free but do not get any commercial support or consulting services from Red Hat and lack any software, hardware or security certifications. Also, the rebuilds do not get access to Red Hat services like Red Hat Network.

Unusually, Red Hat took steps to obfuscate their changes to the Linux kernel for 6.0 by not publicly providing the patch files for their changes in the source tarball, and only releasing the finished product in source form. Speculation suggested that the move was made to affect Oracle’s competing rebuild and support services, which further modifies the distribution. This practice however, still complies with the GNU GPL since source code is defined as “[the] preferred form of the work for making modifications to it”, and the distribution still complies with this definition.[18] Red Hat’s CTO Brian Stevens later confirmed the change, stating that certain information (such as patch information) would now only be provided to paying customers to make the Red Hat product more competitive against the growing number of companies offering support for products based on RHEL. CentOS developers had no objections to the change since they do not make any changes to the kernel beyond what is provided by Red Hat.[19] Their competitor Oracle announced in November 2012 that they were releasing a RedPatch service, which allows public view of the RHEL kernel changes, broken down by patch.

IBM’s Takeover of Red Hat

On October 28, 2018, IBM announced its intent to acquire Red Hat for US$34 billion, in one of its largest-ever acquisitions. The company operates out of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division.

Six months later, on May 3, 2019, the US Department of Justice concluded its review of IBM’s proposed Red Hat acquisition and according to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols “essentially approved the IBM/Red Hat deal”. The acquisition was closed on July 9, 2019. a purely satirical website but somewhat true.

What might be the next thing IBM takes away?

Personally I think it will be the now still free Developer subscription of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
This license allow a non-production development only use and access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux latest version and many additional Red Hat Products for free without support and with access to updates and security patches.

It started in 2016 a no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux developer subscription, available as part of the Red Hat Developer Program. Offered as a self-supported, development-only subscription, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite provides you with a more stable development platform for building enterprise applications – across cloud, physical, virtual, and container-centric infrastructures.

Why is this move of IBM’s (Red Hat) is bad?

with CentOS Stream stability goes out of the door as we know it and got use to it from CentOS

  • Focus shifts from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release.
  • CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021.
  • After that, the rolling release CentOS Stream becomes the identity of CentOS project. There will be no CentOS 9 based on RHEL 9 in the future.
  • CentOS Linux 7 will continue its lifecycle and will end in 2024.

Has to point out that not everyone was a free rider. When it comes to small businesses or startups companies like those nearly always lack the funds required to have proper IT departments , procedures and to do things well out of the box just like a proper company does .. a bigger one with the budget to do so.

For these companies CentOS and IT Geeks or IT System Administrators were a great fit. They were able to standardize on a well known and prooven platform which is secure and stable and tried and trusted everywhere you go in the business world yet free to use and actually the same as the brand name equivalent RHEL just without the subscriptions, support and logos.

It was a great path for these companies to do the things right from the start by having standards and platforms they can build upon later and when the moment comes that they can afford and they need RHEL with the support and subscription it comes with they were ready to switch over from day 1 without an issue. Without the need to change or redo anything.

Now these small businesses and companies will never become a RHEL customer for sure… They will build out everything from day 1 on some platform x which is free and when time comes to migrate to something with support RHEL might not even be on their radar hey maybe they will stick to Oracle Linux , CloudLinux (paid or free which is coming in 2021) or ubuntu or debian.

Also there were/are people like myself who do not need the support or subscription and Im happy to fix if something breaks after i intensively googled all the corners of the internet to figure out what and why is happening and perhaps losing all the hope in my abilities in the meantime 🙂 . Myself amongst others were happy to use a #free binary compatible OS with Red Hat Enterprise Linux knowing that everything I learn there can be transferred to a real world experience at the workplace with RHEL and eventually if I want to I can use the same knowledge to obtain a paid certificate from RHEL to get some more leverage as an IT Professional. Most probably for the same reason I always used and recommended CentOS >> Red Hat for the scenarios where it was appropiate and used / using Fedora up until today.

As Red Hat Enterprise Linux is built entirely on Open Source I think every company which does the same should always have a Community version of their product which normally means without the support. There are a lot of examples to this model :::: .( pfsense, XCP-ng, alfresco, Mysql,Automation Anywhere, Visual Paradigm, Veeam Backup and Replication and so on )

As developers have no time to maintain a community edition if it differs from the main product therefore it must be 100% binary equivalent of the paid product *subscription* but without the support part.

Alternatives for Centos (100% binary compatible)


CloudLinux (paid) ( $14 – $18 USD per month not bad IMHO )
Oracle Linux (free)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (paid)

Coming up:

Rocky Linux (non backed by corporation , community built from day one from the ground up)
CloudLinux free version Project Lenix (top down approach backed by corporation want to build community around it)
(free version to replace CentOS comes 2021)

Ubuntu / Debian ? * non rpm based but alternatives as Linux*
Slackware perhaps?

Forking Your own Linux distribution?


FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for Dec. 20th, 2020

Earth, Wind & Fire – Energy – The Need of Love
Donald Byrd – Rock and Roll Again – Stepping into Tomorrow
Earth, Wind & Fire – Imagination – Spirit
Earth, Wind & Fire – Spirit – Spirit
Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions – Expansions
Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions – Live!
Lonnie Liston Smith – Footprints (Wayne Shorter)

Luther (Vandross) – May Christmas Bring You Happiness – Funky Christmas
John Edwards – The Christmas Song – Funky Christmas
Lou Donaldson – Jingle Bells – Funky Christmas
Impressions – Silent Night – Funky Christmas

FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for Dec 13, 2020

Emperor’s New Clothes – Throttle Back
Emperor’s New Clothes – Unsettled Life
Pharaoh Sanders – Morning Prayer – Thembi (Impulse!)
Pharaoh Sanders – Bailophone Dance – Thembi (Impulse!)
Rose Windross – Living Life Your Own Way
Owusu and Hannibal – Le Fox – Living with… Owusu and Hannibal (Ubiquity)
Owusu and Hannibal – A Million Babies – Living with… Owusu and Hannibal (Ubiquity)
Goldbug – Asteroid (achieve heaviosity mix)
Angela Bofill – Something About You – Something About You
Lisa Nillson, Desmond Foster and the Blacknuss Allstars – Rising to the Top
Deodato – Super Strut – Deodato 2 (CTI)

FroggyMe’s Fantastic Fantasy – playlist for Dec 6th, 2020

Helen Merrill – Why don’t you right
The Vibraphonics – I see you
Yusef Lateef – Rasheed – into something
Yusef Lateef – When you’re smiling – into something
Yusef Lateef – water pistol – into something

Leon Thomas – Song for my Father (H. Silver)
Dave Valentine – Sea Pines – Legends
Ben Sidran – Let’s make a deal
Dave Valentine – The Hawk – The Hawk

Ulf Sandberg Quartet – Bolivia
Pharoah Sanders – Love – Thembi (Cecil McBee bass solo)
Pharoah Sanders – Morning Prayer – Thembi

TSR – The Server Room Show – Episode 56 – 57 History of Sun Microsystems


I always wanted to make an episode even a two part one on Sun Microsystems.
Unfortunatelly when Sun Microsystem was its height and later after when things turned bad after the dot-com bubble exploded in 2000 I was going through elementary and high school later finally getting my GCSE or High School Diploma in 2002. There were a lot of things on my mind at that age of 19 – 20 years old but I can tell you none of them were Sun Microsystems.

I used computers from a very early age of 6 years old and it was love at first sight. Thanks to that I have never had to look for another hobby elsewhere ever since.

Somehow at that time in hungary I do not recall if I have ever heard of Sun workstations or Sun Microsystems nor I recall seeing any ad or any of their machines anywhere but I do remember I used under linux Staroffice before it became Open Office ( 1999 Sun acquired Star Division and later in 2000 open sourced it and formed as You will see as part of the many contributions of Sun Microsystems to the Open Source Community.

It was later in life when i found out more about Sun Microsystems and all the things they brought to the world, the things they stood for the machines they made and I learnt more and more of their history with time.

I also purchased a Sun T5220 with an UltraSPARC T2 for my homelab which is from the era of 2007 november just years before the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle happened in 2010 January 27

I really would like to get my hands on a Sun Ultra 45 Workstation one of the last ones made by SUN with the SPARC processors but their prices are astronomic on ebay … So if anyone has one which is waiting for a new home in mint condition please get in touch with me by email

Enough of me talking about myself.. Let’s dive into the history of Sun Microsystems.

History of Sun Microsystems

If You recall me mentioning about Sun Microsystems before You are not mistaken. In the History of BSD episodes I mentioned Bill Joy decided to leave BSD behind to go and help found and join a new start up called Sun Microsystems.

In 1982 Scott Mcnealy was approached by fellow Stanford alumnus Vinod Khosla to help provide the necessary organizational and business leadership for Sun Microsystems. Sun, along with companies such as Apple Inc., Silicon Graphics, 3Com, and Oracle Corporation, was part of a wave of successful startup companies in California’s Silicon Valley during the early and mid-1980s.

On February 24, 1982, Scott McNealy, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Vinod Khosla, all Stanford graduate students, founded Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy of Berkeley, a primary developer of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), joined soon after and is counted as one of the original founders.

The name “Sun” was derived from co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim’s original Stanford University Network (SUN) computer project, the SUN workstation.

Sun was profitable from its first quarter in July 1982.

In 1984, McNealy took over the CEO role from Khosla, who ultimately would leave the company in 1985. On April 24, 2006, McNealy stepped down as CEO after serving in that position for 22 years, and turned the job over to Jonathan Schwartz.

McNealy is one of the few CEOs of a major corporation to have had a tenure of over twenty years.

The initial design for what became Sun’s first Unix workstation, the Sun-1, was conceived by Andy Bechtolsheim when he was a graduate student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Bechtolsheim originally designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation. It was designed around the Motorola 68000 processor with an advanced memory management unit (MMU) to support the Unix operating system with virtual memory support.He built the first examples from spare parts obtained from Stanford’s Department of Computer Science and Silicon Valley supply houses.

For the first decade of Sun’s history, the company positioned its products as technical workstations, competing successfully as a low-cost vendor during the Workstation Wars of the 1980s. It then shifted its hardware product line to emphasize servers and storage. High-level telecom control systems such as Operational Support Systems service predominantly used Sun equipment.

Sun’s initial public offering was in 1986 under the stock symbolSUNW, for Sun Workstations (later Sun Worldwide).The symbol was changed in 2007 to JAVA; Sun stated that the brand awareness associated with its Java platform better represented the company’s current strategy


Sun Microsystems workstations and servers went through a few changes during the years just like Apple did (Motorola 68k to PowerPC to Intel x86 to Apple Silicon)

Motorola based systems

initially they used Motorola 68000 family based cpus through the Sun-1 through Sun-3 computers. The Sun-1 employed a 68000 CPU, the Sun-2 series, a 68010. The Sun-3 series was based on the 68020, with the later Sun-3x using the 68030

By 1983 Sun was known for producing 68k-based systems with high-quality graphics that were the only computers other than DEC’s VAX to run 4.2BSD. It licensed the computer design to other manufacturers, which typically used it to build Multibus-based systems running Unix from UniSoft.

Sparc based systems

In 1987, the company began using SPARC, a RISC processor architecture of its own design, in its computer systems, starting with the Sun-4 line. SPARC was initially a 32-bit architecture (SPARC V7) until the introduction of the SPARC V9 architecture in 1995, which added 64-bit extensions.

Sun has developed several generations of SPARC-based computer systems, including the SPARCstation, Ultra, and Sun Blade series of workstations, and the SPARCserver, Netra, Enterprise, and Sun Fire line of servers.

In the early 1990s the company began to extend its product line to include large-scale symmetric multiprocessing servers, starting with the four-processor SPARCserver 600MP. This was followed by the 8-processor SPARCserver 1000 and 20-processor SPARCcenter 2000, which were based on work done in conjunction with Xerox PARC. In 1995 the company introduced Sun Ultra series machines that were equipped with the first 64-bit implementation of SPARC processors (UltraSPARC). In the late 1990s the transformation of product line in favor of large 64-bit SMP systems was accelerated by the acquisition of Cray Business Systems Division from Silicon Graphics.Their 32-bit, 64-processor Cray Superserver 6400, related to the SPARCcenter, led to the 64-bit Sun Enterprise 10000 high-end server (otherwise known as Starfire).

In September 2004 Sun made available systems with UltraSPARC IV which was the first multi-core SPARC processor. It was followed by UltraSPARC IV+ in September 2005 and its revisions with higher clock speeds in 2007. These CPUs were used in the most powerful, enterprise class high-end CC-NUMA servers developed by Sun, such as Sun Fire E25K.

In November 2005 Sun launched the UltraSPARC T1, notable for its ability to concurrently run 32 threads of execution on 8 processor cores. Its intent was to drive more efficient use of CPU resources, which is of particular importance in data centers, where there is an increasing need to reduce power and air conditioning demands, much of which comes from the heat generated by CPUs. The T1 was followed in 2007 by the UltraSPARC T2, which extended the number of threads per core from 4 to 8. Sun has open sourced the design specifications of both the T1 and T2 processors via the OpenSPARC project.

In 2006, Sun ventured into the blade server (high density rack-mounted systems) market with the Sun Blade (distinct from the Sun Blade workstation).

In April 2007 Sun released the SPARC Enterprise server products, jointly designed by Sun and Fujitsu and based on Fujitsu SPARC64 VI and later processors. The M-class SPARC Enterprise systems include high-end reliability and availability features. Later T-series servers have also been badged SPARC Enterprise rather than Sun Fire.

In April 2008 Sun released servers with UltraSPARC T2 Plus, which is an SMP capable version of UltraSPARC T2, available in 2 or 4 processor configurations. It was the first CoolThreads CPU with multi-processor capability and it made possible to build standard rack-mounted servers that could simultaneously process up to massive 256 CPU threads in hardware (Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440) which is considered a record in the industry.

Since 2010, all further development of Sun machines based on SPARC architecture (including new SPARC T-Series servers, SPARC T3 and T4 chips) is done as a part of Oracle Corporation hardware division.

x86 based systems

In the late 1980s, Sun also marketed an Intel 80386-based machine, the Sun386i; this was designed to be a hybrid system, running SunOS but at the same time supporting DOS applications. This only remained on the market for a brief time. A follow-up “486i” upgrade was announced but only a few prototype units were ever manufactured.

Sun’s brief first foray into x86 systems ended in the early 1990s, as it decided to concentrate on SPARC and retire the last Motorola systems and 386i products, a move dubbed by McNealy as “all the wood behind one arrowhead”. Even so, Sun kept its hand in the x86 world, as a release of Solaris for PC compatibles began shipping in 1993.

In 1997 Sun acquired Diba, Inc., followed later by the acquisition of Cobalt Networks in 2000, with the aim of building network appliances (single function computers meant for consumers). Sun also marketed a Network Computer (a term popularized and eventually trademarked by Oracle); the JavaStation was a diskless system designed to run Java applications.

Although none of these business initiatives were particularly successful, the Cobalt purchase gave Sun a toehold for its return to the x86 hardware market. In 2002, Sun introduced its first general purpose x86 system, the LX50, based in part on previous Cobalt system expertise. This was also Sun’s first system announced to support Linux as well as Solaris.

In 2003, Sun announced a strategic alliance with AMD to produce x86/x64 servers based on AMD’s Opteron processor; this was followed shortly by Sun’s acquisition of Kealia, a startup founded by original Sun founder Andy Bechtolsheim, which had been focusing on high-performance AMD-based servers.

The following year, Sun launched the Opteron-based Sun Fire V20z and V40z servers, and the Java Workstation W1100z and W2100z workstations.

On September 12, 2005, Sun unveiled a new range of Opteron-based servers: the Sun Fire X2100, X4100 and X4200 servers.These were designed from scratch by a team led by Bechtolsheim to address heat and power consumption issues commonly faced in data centers. In July 2006, the Sun Fire X4500 and X4600 systems were introduced, extending a line of x64 systems that support not only Solaris, but also Linux and Microsoft Windows.

On January 22, 2007, Sun announced a broad strategic alliance with Intel. Intel endorsed Solaris as a mainstream operating system and as its mission critical Unix for its Xeon processor-based systems, and contributed engineering resources to OpenSolaris. Sun began using the Intel Xeon processor in its x64 server line, starting with the Sun Blade X6250 server module introduced in June 2007.

On May 5, 2008, AMD announced its Operating System Research Center (OSRC) expanded its focus to include optimization to Sun’s OpenSolaris and xVM virtualization products for AMD based processors


Although Sun was initially known as a hardware company, its software history began with its founding in 1982; co-founder Bill Joy was one of the leading Unix developers of the time, having contributed the vi editor, the C shell, and significant work developing TCP/IP and the BSD Unix OS. Sun later developed software such as the Java programming language and acquired software such as StarOffice, VirtualBox and MySQL.

Sun used community-based and open-source licensing of its major technologies, and for its support of its products with other open source technologies. GNOME-based desktop software called Java Desktop System (originally code-named “Madhatter”) was distributed for the Solaris operating system, and at one point for Linux. Sun supported its Java Enterprise System (a middleware stack) on Linux. It released the source code for Solaris under the open-source Common Development and Distribution License, via the OpenSolaris community. Sun’s positioning includes a commitment to indemnify users of some software from intellectual property disputes concerning that software. It offers support services on a variety of pricing bases, including per-employee and per-socket.

A 2006 report prepared for the EU by UNU-MERIT stated that Sun was the largest corporate contributor to open source movements in the world. According to this report, Sun’s open source contributions exceed the combined total of the next five largest commercial contributors.

Operating systems – SunOS / Solaris Operating System
Emulating a SPARCstation 5 under Qemu (32bit on Fedora 33
Installing Solaris 2.6 (SunOS 5.6)

Sun is best known for its Unix systems, which have a reputation for system stability and a consistent design philosophy.

Sun’s first workstation shipped with UniSoft V7 Unix. Later in 1982 Sun began providing SunOS, a customized 4.1BSD Unix, as the operating system for its workstations.

In 1987, AT&T Corporation and Sun announced that they were collaborating on a project to merge the most popular Unix variants on the market at that time: Berkeley Software Distribution, UNIX System V, and Xenix. This became Unix System V Release 4 (SVR4).

On September 4, 1991, Sun announced that it would replace its existing BSD-derived Unix, SunOS 4, with one based on SVR4. This was identified internally as SunOS 5, but a new marketing name was introduced at the same time: Solaris 2. The justification for this new overbrand was that it encompassed not only SunOS, but also the OpenWindows graphical user interface and Open Network Computing (ONC) functionality.

Although SunOS 4.1.x micro releases were retroactively named Solaris 1 by Sun, the Solaris name is used almost exclusively to refer only to the releases based on SVR4-derived SunOS 5.0 and later.

For releases based on SunOS 5, the SunOS minor version is included in the Solaris release number. For example, Solaris 2.4 incorporates SunOS 5.4. After Solaris 2.6, the 2. was dropped from the release name, so Solaris 7 incorporates SunOS 5.7, and the latest release SunOS 5.11 forms the core of Solaris 11.4.

Although SunSoft stated in its initial Solaris 2 press release their intent to eventually support both SPARC and x86 systems, the first two Solaris 2 releases, 2.0 and 2.1, were SPARC-only. An x86 version of Solaris 2.1 was released in June 1993, about 6 months after the SPARC version, as a desktop and uniprocessor workgroup server operating system. It included the Wabi emulator to support Windows applications.

From 1992 Sun also sold Interactive Unix, an operating system it acquired when it bought Interactive Systems Corporation from Eastman Kodak Company. This was a popular Unix variant for the PC platform and a major competitor to market leader SCO UNIX. Sun’s focus on Interactive Unix diminished in favor of Solaris on both SPARC and x86 systems; it was dropped as a product in 2001.

By the mid-1990s, the ensuing Unix wars had largely subsided, AT&T had sold off their Unix interests, and the relationship between the two companies was significantly reduced.

In 1994, Sun released Solaris 2.4, supporting both SPARC and x86 systems from a unified source code base.

Sun dropped the Solaris 2.x version numbering scheme after the Solaris 2.6 release (1997); the following version was branded Solaris 7. This was the first 64-bit release, intended for the new UltraSPARC CPUs based on the SPARC V9 architecture. Within the next four years, the successors Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 were released in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

Following several years of difficult competition and loss of server market share to competitors’ Linux-based systems, Sun began to include Linux as part of its strategy in 2002. Sun supported both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on its x64 systems; companies such as Canonical Ltd., Wind River Systems and MontaVista also supported their versions of Linux on Sun’s SPARC-based systems.

In 2004, after having cultivated a reputation as one of Microsoft’s most vocal antagonists, Sun entered into a joint relationship with them, resolving various legal entanglements between the two companies and receiving US$1.95 billion in settlement payments from them. Sun supported Microsoft Windows on its x64 systems, and announced other collaborative agreements with Microsoft, including plans to support each other’s virtualization environments.

In 2005, the company released Solaris 10. The new version included a large number of enhancements to the operating system, as well as very novel features, previously unseen in the industry. Solaris 10 update releases continued through the next 8 years, the last release from Sun Microsystems being Solaris 10 10/09. The following updates were released by Oracle under the new license agreement; the final release is Solaris 10 1/13.

Previously, Sun offered a separate variant of Solaris called Trusted Solaris, which included augmented security features such as multilevel security and a least privilege access model. Solaris 10 included many of the same capabilities as Trusted Solaris at the time of its initial release; Solaris 10 11/06 included Solaris Trusted Extensions, which give it the remaining capabilities needed to make it the functional successor to Trusted Solaris.

After releasing Solaris 10, its source code was opened under CDDL free software license and developed in open with contributing Opensolaris community through SXCE that used SVR4 .pkg packaging and supported Opensolaris releases that used IPS. Following acquisition of Sun by Oracle , Opensolaris continued to develop in open under illumos with illumos distributions.

Oracle Corporation continued to develop OpenSolaris into next Solaris release, changing back the license to proprietary, and released it as Oracle Solaris 11 in November 2011.

Features introduced in each Solaris releases / Version History
Solaris VersionSunOS versionRelease Date SPARCRelease Date x86End of SupportLicense formMajor New Features
1.x4.1.x4.1.xSeptember 2003Traditional LicenseSunOS 4 rebranded as Solaris 1 for marketing purposes.
2.05.0June 1992January 1999Traditional LicensePreliminary release (primarily available to developers only), support for only the sun4c architecture. First appearance of NIS+.
2.15.1December 1992May 1993April 1999Traditional LicenseSupport for sun4 and sun4m architectures added; first Solaris x86 release. First Solaris 2 release to support SMP
2.25.2May 1993May 1999Traditional LicenseSPARC-only release. First to support sun4d architecture. First to support multithreading libraries (UI threads API in libthread)
2.35.3November 1993June 2002Traditional LicenseSPARC-only release. OpenWindows 3.3 switches from NeWS to Display PostScript and drops SunView support. Support added for autofs and CacheFS filesystems.
2.45.4November 1994November 1994September 2003Traditional LicenseFirst unified SPARC/x86 release. Includes OSF/Motif runtime support.
2.55.5November 1995November 1995December 2003Traditional LicenseFirst to support UltraSPARC and include CDE, NFSv3 and NFS/TCP. Dropped sun4 (VMEbus) support. POSIX.1c-1995 pthreads added. Doors added but undocumented 1996May 1996September 2005Traditional LicenseThe only Solaris release that supports PowerPC; Ultra Enterprise support added; user and group IDs (uid_t, gid_t) expanded to 32 bits,also included processor sets and early resource management technologies.
2.65.6July 1997July 1997July 2006Traditional LicenseIncludes Kerberos 5, PAM, TrueType fonts, WebNFS, large file support, enhanced procfs. SPARCserver 600MP series support dropped.
75.7November 1998November 1998August 2008Traditional LicenseThe first 64-bit UltraSPARC release. Added native support for file system meta-data logging (UFS logging). Dropped MCA support on x86 platform. Sun dropped the prefix “2.” in the Solaris version number, leaving “Solaris 7.” Last update was Solaris 7 11/99
85.8February 2000February 2000March 2012Traditional LicenseIncludes Multipath I/O, Solstice DiskSuite] IPMP, first support for IPv6 and IPsec (manual keying only), mdb Modular Debugger. Introduced Role-Based Access Control (RBAC); sun4c support removed. Last update is Solaris 8 2/04.
95.9May 28, 2002January 10, 2003October 2014Traditional LicenseiPlanet Directory Server, Resource Manager, extended file attributes, IKE IPsec keying, and Linux compatibility added; OpenWindows dropped, sun4d support removed. Most current update is Solaris 9 9/05 HW.
105.10January 31, 2005January 31, 2005January 2024before Oracle acquisition in March 2010, open source under CDDL

after March 2010, Post-Oracle closed source
Includes x86-64 (AMD64/Intel 64) support, DTrace (Dynamic Tracing), Solaris Containers, Service Management Facility (SMF) which replaces init.d scripts, NFSv4. Least privilege security model. Support for sun4m and UltraSPARC I processors removed. Support for EISA-based PCs removed. Adds Java Desktop System (based on GNOME) as default desktop.

Solaris 10 1/06 (known internally as “U1”) added the GRUB bootloader for x86 systems, iSCSI Initiator support and fcinfo command-line tool.

Solaris 10 6/06 (“U2”) added the ZFS filesystem.

Solaris 10 11/06 (“U3”) added Solaris Trusted Extensions and Logical Domains (sun4v).

Solaris 10 8/07 (“U4”) added Samba Active Directory support, IP Instances (part of the OpenSolaris Network Virtualization and Resource Control project), iSCSI Target support and Solaris Containers for Linux Applications (based on branded zones), enhanced version of the Resource Capping Daemon (rcapd).

Solaris 10 5/08 (“U5”) added CPU capping for Solaris Containers, performance improvements, SpeedStep support for Intel processors and PowerNow! support for AMD processors

Solaris 10 10/08 (“U6”) added boot from ZFS and can use ZFS as its root file system. Solaris 10 10/08 also includes virtualization enhancements including the ability for a Solaris Container to automatically update its environment when moved from one system to another, Logical Domains support for dynamically reconfigurable disk and network I/O, and paravirtualization support when Solaris 10 is used as a guest OS in Xen-based environments such as Sun xVM Server.

Solaris 10 5/09 (“U7”) added performance and power management support for Intel Nehalem processors, container cloning using ZFS cloned file systems, and performance enhancements for ZFS on solid-state drives.

Solaris 10 10/09 (“U8”) added user and group level ZFS quotas, ZFS cache devices and nss_ldap shadowAccount Support, improvements to patching performance.

Solaris 10 9/10 (“U9”) added physical to zone migration, ZFS triple parity RAID-Z and Oracle Solaris Auto Registration

Solaris 10 8/11 (“U10”) added ZFS speedups and new features, Oracle Database optimization, faster reboot on SPARC system.

Solaris 10 1/13 (“U11”)

The Legacy of Sun

OpenSolaris > Illumos > OpenIndiana
OpenSolaris screenshot from

OpenSolaris was based on Solaris, which was originally released by Sun in 1991. Solaris is a version of UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4), jointly developed by Sun and AT&T to merge features from several existing Unix systems. It was licensed by Sun from Novell to replace SunOS.

Planning for OpenSolaris started in early 2004. A pilot program was formed in September 2004 with 18 non-Sun community members and ran for 9 months growing to 145 external participants. Sun submitted the CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) to the OSI, which approved it on January 14, 2005.

The first part of the Solaris code base to be open sourced was the Solaris Dynamic Tracing facility (commonly known as DTrace), a tool that aids in the analysis, debugging, and tuning of applications and systems. DTrace was released under the CDDL on January 25, 2005, on the newly launched website. The bulk of the Solaris system code was released on June 14, 2005. There remains some system code that is not open sourced, and is available only as pre-compiled binary files.

In 2003, an addition to the Solaris development process was initiated. Under the program name Software Express for Solaris (or just Solaris Express), a binary release based on the current development basis was made available for download on a monthly basis, allowing anyone to try out new features and test the quality and stability of the OS as it progressed to the release of the next official Solaris version.A later change to this program introduced a quarterly release model with support available, renamed Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE).

Initially, Sun’s Solaris Express program provided a distribution based on the OpenSolaris code in combination with software found only in Solaris releases. The first independent distribution was released on June 17, 2005

The Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) was intended specifically for OpenSolaris developers.

On March 19, 2007, Sun announced that it had hired Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, to head Project Indiana, an effort to produce a complete OpenSolaris distribution, with GNOME and userland tools from GNU, plus a network-based package management system. The new distribution was planned to refresh the user experience, and would become the successor to Solaris Express as the basis for future releases of Solaris.

The announced Project Indiana had several goals, including providing an open source binary distribution of the OpenSolaris project, replacing SXDE. The first release of this distribution was OpenSolaris 2008.05.

On May 5, 2008, OpenSolaris 2008.05 was released in a format that could be booted as a Live CD or installed directly. It uses the GNOME desktop environment as the primary user interface. The later OpenSolaris 2008.11 release included a GUI for ZFS’ snapshotting capabilities, known as Time Slider, that provides functionality similar to macOS’s Time Machine.

In December 2008, Sun Microsystems and Toshiba America Information Systems announced plans to distribute Toshiba laptops pre-installed with OpenSolaris. On April 1, 2009, the Tecra M10 and Portégé R600 came preinstalled with OpenSolaris 2008.11 release and several supplemental software packages.

On June 1, 2009, OpenSolaris 2009.06 was released, with support for the SPARC platform.

On January 6, 2010, it was announced that Solaris Express program would be closed while an OpenSolaris binary release was scheduled to be released March 26, 2010. The OpenSolaris 2010.03 release never appeared.

SXCE releases terminated with build 130 and OpenSolaris releases terminated with build 134 a few weeks later. The next release of OpenSolaris based on build 134 was due in March 2010, but it was never fully released, though the packages were made available on the package repository.

Instead, Oracle renamed the binary distribution Solaris 11 Express, changed the license terms and released build 151a as 2010.11 in November 2010.

There are a few forks based on OpenSolaris, such as: BeleniX, EON ZFS Storage, Illumos, Jaris OS, MartUX, MilaX, Nexenta OS, NexentaStor, OpenIndiana, OpenSXCE, SchilliX, SmartOS, StormOS.

On September 14, 2010, OpenIndiana was formally launched at the JISC Centre in London. While OpenIndiana is a fork in the technical sense, it is a continuation of OpenSolaris in spirit: the project intends to deliver a System V family operating system which is binary-compatible with the Oracle products Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express. However, rather than being based around the OS/Net consolidation like OpenSolaris was, OpenIndiana became a distribution based on illumos (the first release is still based around OS/Net). The project uses the same IPS package management system as OpenSolaris.

illumos is a partly free and open-source Unix operating system. It is based on OpenSolaris, which was based on System V Release 4 (SVR4) and the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). illumos comprises a kernel, device drivers, system libraries, and utility software for system administration. This core is now the base for many different open-sourced illumos distributions, in a similar way in which the Linux kernel is used in different Linux distributions.

OpenIndiana is a free and open-source Unix operating system derived from OpenSolaris and based on illumos. Developers forked OpenSolaris after Oracle Corporation discontinued it, in order to continue development and distribution of the source code. OpenIndiana is named after Project Indiana, the development codename at Sun Microsystems for OpenSolaris.

OpenIndiana 2016.10 live desktop.png
openindiana screenshot

List of Open Source Contributions of Sun Microsystems

Sun had many open source initiatives and products. Almost all of the software was open source as well as some of the hardware designs. Here’s a decent list of the products (I’m sure I left out more than a few)

Operating Systems
Open HA Cluster
Java Desktop Linux

Storage and Networking
Lustre File System

Logical Domains (Virtualization Server)

Java DB (Sun supported version of Apache Derby)

Developer Tools
Java (most of it…)

Sun Grid Engine

GlassFish Enterprise Service Bus
GlassFish Web Server

Star Office >> Open Sourced by Sun and founded

OpenSparc (open source chip designs)
T1 and T2 (multi-core, multi-threaded processors)

Desktop Environments used in Solaris

olvwm with OpenWindows on Solaris
File:CDE running on Solaris 10.png
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) was open sourced in August 2012. This is a screenshot of CDE running on Solaris 10.

Early releases of Solaris used OpenWindows as the standard desktop environment. In Solaris 2.0 to 2.2, OpenWindows supported both NeWS and X applications, and provided backward compatibility for SunView applications from Sun’s older desktop environment. NeWS allowed applications to be built in an object-oriented way using PostScript, a common printing language released in 1982. The X Window System originated from MIT’s Project Athena in 1984 and allowed for the display of an application to be disconnected from the machine where the application was running, separated by a network connection. Sun’s original bundled SunView application suite was ported to X.

Sun later dropped support for legacy SunView applications and NeWS with OpenWindows 3.3, which shipped with Solaris 2.3, and switched to X11R5 with Display Postscript support. The graphical look and feel remained based upon OPEN LOOK. OpenWindows 3.6.2 was the last release under Solaris 8. The OPEN LOOK Window Manager (olwm) with other OPEN LOOK specific applications were dropped in Solaris 9, but support libraries were still bundled, providing long term binary backwards compatibility with existing applications. The OPEN LOOK Virtual Window Manager (olvwm) can still be downloaded for Solaris from sunfreeware and works on releases as recent as Solaris 10.The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) was open sourced in August 2012.

Sun and other Unix vendors created an industry alliance to standardize Unix desktops. As a member of the Common Open Software Environment (COSE) initiative, Sun helped co-develop the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). This was an initiative to create a standard Unix desktop environment. Each vendor contributed different components: Hewlett-Packard contributed the window manager, IBM provided the file manager, and Sun provided the e-mail and calendar facilities as well as drag-and-drop support (ToolTalk). This new desktop environment was based upon the Motif look and feel and the old OPEN LOOK desktop environment was considered legacy. CDE unified Unix desktops across multiple open system vendors. CDE was available as an unbundled add-on for Solaris 2.4 and 2.5, and was included in Solaris 2.6 through 10.

In 2001, Sun issued a preview release of the open-source desktop environment GNOME 1.4, based on the GTK+ toolkit, for Solaris 8. Solaris 9 8/03 introduced GNOME 2.0 as an alternative to CDE. Solaris 10 includes Sun’s Java Desktop System (JDS), which is based on GNOME and comes with a large set of applications, including StarOffice, Sun’s office suite. Sun describes JDS as a “major component” of Solaris 10. The Java Desktop System is not included in Solaris 11 which instead ships with a stock version of GNOME. Likewise, CDE applications are no longer included in Solaris 11, but many libraries remain for binary backwards compatibility.

The open source desktop environments KDE and Xfce, along with numerous other window managers, also compile and run on recent versions of Solaris.

Sun was investing in a new desktop environment called Project Looking Glass since 2003. The project has been inactive since late 2006


Sun Ultra 1
Sun Ultra 5
Sun Ultra 30
Sun Ultra 45

Sun Ultra Workstations Timeline
1982 until 2010

The Sun Ultra series is a discontinued line of workstation and server computers developed and sold by Sun Microsystems, comprising two distinct generations. The original line was introduced in 1995 and discontinued in 2001. This generation was partially replaced by the Sun Blade in 2000 and that line was in itself replaced by the Sun Java Workstation—an AMD Opteron system—in 2004. In sync with the transition to x86-64-architecture processors, in 2005 the Ultra brand was later revived with the launch of the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40, albeit to some confusion, since they were no longer based on UltraSPARC processors.

The original Ultra workstations and the Ultra Enterprise (later, “Sun Enterprise”) servers were UltraSPARC-based systems produced from 1995 to 2001, replacing the earlier SPARCstation and SPARCcenter/SPARCserver series respectively. This introduced the 64-bit UltraSPARC processor and in later versions, lower-cost PC-derived technology, such as the PCI and ATA buses (the initial Ultra 1 and 2 models retained the SBus of their predecessors). The original Ultra range were sold during the dot com boom, and became one of the biggest selling series of computers ever developed by Sun Microsystems, with many companies and organisations—including Sun itself—relying on Sun Ultra products for years after their successor products were released.

The Ultra brand was revived in 2005 with the launch of the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40 with x86-64-architecture.

x64-based Ultra systems remained in the Sun portfolio for five more years; the last one, the Intel Xeon-based Ultra 27, was retired in June 2010, thereby concluding the history of Sun as a workstation vendor.

The SPARC-based Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation laptop was released in 2005 as well, but it would prove to be a short-lived design and was retired the next year. Its release did not coincide with the rest of the line as most of the brand had already moved on to x86.

Additionally, new Ultra 25 and Ultra 45 desktop UltraSPARC IIIi-based systems were introduced in 2006.

In October 2008, Sun discontinued all these, effectively ending the production of SPARC architecture workstations.

The original Ultra/Enterprise series itself was later replaced by the Sun Blade workstation and Sun Fire server ranges.