The server and software company previously made Solaris anin 2005, releasing source code under the (CDDL). However, Sun this week chose the GPL for its effort.
During a meeting with employees on Monday,, said the GPL is a possibility for Solaris as well.
"Will you GPL Solaris, Mr. Green?" Sun Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz asked Green.
"We will take a very close look at it," Green said. "The familiarity and comfort level with the license we've chosen for Java doubtless is going to drive a lot of the decision-making, going forward, with the existing technologies that we've open-sourced."
Green also said he wasn't averse to changing Solaris' license and that outsiders responded warmly to Sun's decision to use GPL for Java. "I think today's event and the feedback we received today really cast a very, very positive light on our choices going forward," he said.
The Linux operating system is governed by the GPL, so releasing Solaris under that license raises the possibility of collaboration. For example, Sun's DTrace probe technology or ZFS file system theoretically could be moved to Linux. Or, going in the other direction, Solaris could benefit from Linux's comparatively broad support for hardware devices such as network and video cards.
Choosing the GPL also could help explain remarks by Schwartz in October that. At the time, that made it appear likely Sun would use CDDL for Java.
However, Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open-source officer, was more cautious than Green.
"We use the right licensing for the job," he said in a chat in the Second Life online realm Monday. "In this case, GPL for Java, and for OpenSolaris, the right license was CDDL. Because there's 17,000 people in that community. And there's no great reason for changing that."