OpenSolaris takes first step toward laptops

OpenSolaris, the effort by Sun Microsystems and others to make the Solaris version of Unix into an open-source operating system, has started branching into the mobile computing domain. That's a notable step given that Solaris is generally designed for much more powerful--and stationary--servers.

The OpenSolaris Laptop Community Web site was launched earlier this month. It features support for Atheros' 802.11b/g wireless networking chip and said that drivers for Intel's wireless chips is "being evaluated." (Intel contributed open-source wireless networking drivers to Linux under General Public License, but Solaris is governed by a different license, the Community Development and Distribution License.)

In addition, Sun engineers are working on adding Solaris support for various power-saving techniques important to the battery-constrained world of mobile computing. For example, Intel's SpeedStep and AMD's PowerNow throttle back. Sun Solaris programmer Casper Dik posted a PowerNow driver to his blog in June.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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