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Sun releases OpenSolaris file system

A key piece of its Unix operating systems goes to open-source programmers. Also on tap: more on Sun's database plans.

Sun Microsystems has released the source code for its OpenSolaris file system, a major component of its server operating system.

As part of a "build," or update, to OpenSolaris, the company on Wednesday released the source code for ZFS, a system for managing data and files. Sun released the first portion of code for its OpenSolaris project in June of this year. It has released additional pieces since then.

Sun executives are expected to discuss OpenSolaris and ZFS at a press conference on Thursday afternoon in Boston where John Loiacono, Sun software executive vice president, is scheduled to speak.

In addition to OpenSolaris, the company is expected to address its strategy for open-source databases.

In February of this year, Sun's top executives voiced their interest in adding an open-source database to the products that it services. But until now, the company has not provided any concrete details.

In a recent interview, Hal Stern, the company's software chief technology officer, said that Sun engineers were "playing with Derby," an open-source, embedded Java database that IBM donated to the Apache Foundation. In August, Sun said employees were committed to working on the Derby project.

As part of the OpenSolaris project, the company on Tuesday also released a source code browser called OpenGrok, which is designed to help programmers search and view source code.

Sun executives have said that they intend to open source large portions, if not all, of the company's software portfolio. The company sells a suite of Java server applications, called Java Enterprise System, which includes an application server, portal and directory server.

In June, the company began the GlassFish project to build its next Java application server and Java integration server through open-source projects.