Sun delays "Linux on Solaris" feature

Sun Microsystems had scheduled to release a feature in Solaris 10 - codenamed Project Janus - that would allow consumers to run Linux applications unmodified on Sun's operating system, but the feature is missing in OpenSolaris.

OpenSolarisInstead of bringing attention to the missing feature, Sun is emphasizing a related open-source project - named Xen - as an alternative. Janus - officially called the Linux Application Environment - takes Linux commands and translates them to Solaris so Linux programs can run unchanged on computers using x86 microprocessors, like Intel's Pentium and AMD's Opteron. This feature is part of Sun's strategy to compete against Linux.

Last year, Sun claimed that "Solaris 10 will be the only OS to run Solaris and native Linux binaries side-by-side with no modifications, providing customers with investment protection and broader access to applications written for both operating systems."

Sun had marketed the Janus feature as a helpful way to let users migrate from Linux in favor of Solaris. Originally seen as a migration tool, Sun seems to be looking towards running Linux side-by-side with their own version of Unix - Solaris.

Director of Solaris marketing for Sun Tom Goguen told News.com, "The interest in doing Linux applications on Solaris has been for migration. But when you talk about running certified data center applications, you're going to run that on the full stack of software that's been certified."

The open-source project "Xen" allows Linux and Solaris to run side-by-side on the same computer. Sun expects that the Xen feature will get wider use and provide more value to customers.

Sun still expects to offer and support Janus. The software was originally slated with a 2005 release date, but has been pushed back to 2006.

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