For a long long time now, we have been able to download the latest Solaris release (SPARC and x86) from http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/get.jsp. This is still the case; a few people have found inconsistencies in the terms recently, which I may mention in a later post, but it is likely to be due to Oracle trying to get a grasp of how to deal with the idea of giving away non-Free software.
The latest version of all this is a post on the OpenSolaris website-discuss mailing list, where Derek Cicero of Oracle said on Wed Apr 14th:
FYI - Oracle is no longer offering a free OpenSolaris CD shipping program at this time. As a result, we have removed all links and icons from the opensolaris.org site. If you would like to download OpenSolaris, please visit the Downloads page at
This is unlikely to directly affect many people - the download is still available, via http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Main/downloads, you can download regular Solaris 10 (including older versions) for free from http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/get.jsp.
You can also order an Oracle Enterprise Linux DVD via http://www.oracle.com/webapps/dialogue/dlgpage.jsp?p_ext=Y&p_dlg_id=5659298&src=5634329&Act=44 - and download it from http://edelivery.oracle.com/linux in exchange for your email address.
So - you can get free ISOs of all your favourite Free and Open Source operating systems from their various vendors, if you know where to look. You could get OpenSolaris DVDs posted to you until recently; you can still get Oracle Enterprise Linux DVDs, and (via http://shipit.ubuntu.com) Ubuntu too, from the various vendors. I'm sure that there was a scheme whereby you could get branded Solaris 10 DVDs posted for a nominal cost (around USD$30) but I can't find that easily now.
So there is not a lot of news here, but people are keeping a close eye on how Oracle deal with Solaris and OpenSolaris availability, looking for clues as to how Oracle plan to progress with this technology now that they own it. Oracle seem to have made a few mistakes already - confusing people as to whether the software is free to use, or a 90-day-trial-only license, or otherwise, and have now dropped the free-DVD programme.
I am sure that all will come to light in time, but for now, I am downloading as many ISO images as I can!
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