Sun upgrades Linux compatibility in Solaris

Sun Microsystems Inc. is developing new code for its Solaris operating system that will make it easier for users to run Linux applications on Solaris.

The software, code-named project Janus, is designed to be compatible with applications written for Red Hat Inc.’s Linux distribution, said Andy Roach, director of Solaris X86 engineering. “If you have an application that’s certified to run on Red Hat Advanced Server 3, it will run on Solaris,” he said.

The software is designed to work with the x86 processors sold by Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Sun said.

Sun already ships Linux compatibility software called lxrun with Solaris, but there are significant differences between lxrun and Janus. Unlike lxrun, Janus runs inside the Solaris kernel, so it is better able to take advantage of Solaris kernel features. The software is also fully integrated into Solaris and supported by Sun, unlike lxrun, which was shipped on a separate companion CD of unsupported open-source Solaris, Roach said.

Though the applications that are certified to run on Red Hat Linux are unlikely to also be certified to run on Solaris running Janus, the software will be a “good migration tool” for customers interested in making the move from Linux to Solaris, Roach said. “It allows you to move at your own pace,” he said.

An early release of the Janus code will soon be available through Sun’s Software Express program, and it will be included in the Solaris 10 operating system, which will ship by year’s end, according to Sun.

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