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.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne