If you want the features of Solaris, then just use Solaris!

Sun’s Solaris operating system has numerous useful features that really aren’t found in other OSes, including Linux. Every so often I hear a Linux user say, “I’d love to be able to use that feature of Solaris!” One example is in this Slashdot comment, where the poster wishes that there was a ZFS-like filesystem for Linux.

Now, I don’t blame him for a second for wanting the features of ZFS on Linux! ZFS is a truly remarkable filesystem, with just the kind of functionality we need these days. The “What is ZFS?” page does an excellent job of describing ZFS, and the many benefits it offers.

But I also think that if you want some feature of Solaris on Linux, maybe you’d be better off just using Solaris in the first place. These days, it’s readily available. There’s even source code available through the OpenSolaris project. Although the hardware support is lacking in some areas, it is often more than suitable.

There is much in the way of open source software available for Solaris. The Blastwave.org Community Software for Solaris site is one such source. Of course, you can also compile the software yourself in many cases.

Licensing issues aside, porting something like ZFS to Linux is a major undertaking. There is the ZFS on FUSE effort. So in the end, just using Solaris may really be the best option.

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