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Open-source Solaris crypto code imminent

Sun Microsystems plans to integrate several encryption components of Solaris into the OpenSolaris open-source operating system project as soon as this week.

Sun released a large fraction of the Solaris source code in the OpenSolaris project in June, but many components remain proprietary as Sun gradually proceeds with a legal review to ensure it has full rights to release the software under the Community Development and Distribution License. One major missing piece was for encryption, which is used in everything from secure Web sites to remote administration.

Sun in July shared the encryption software source code, but not as software that was integrated with the operating system. Now that's changing.

"We're opening up the crypto code," said Sun engineer Stephen Lau on a Solaris mailing list Tuesday. The code release will mean Sun also can open several packages that use the encryption software, including the kerberos authentication software, the ssh secure shell remote login utility and the openssl package for encrypting Web site communications.

"There are a lot of interdependencies between different modules here, so it's taking me a little bit longer to untangle it than I had hoped. I'm hoping to have build 22 dropped sometime late this week," Lau said, referring to the newest developer version of the operating system.