XStreamOS: An Illumos Kernel based Operating System

Being a Technical Writer involves a lot of reading and research of new and emerging technologies. And one project that recently came to my attention through my email inbox was an Illumos kernel based Unix operating system called XStreamOS.

The project is led by Garbriele Bulfon through his company, Sonicle, a company which he co-founded with business partner Raffaele Fullone. Sonicle specializes in Infrastructure, Cloud and Web Development technologies. Gabriele gave me a brief run-down of what Sonicle is all about:

Gabriele: “At Sonicle, we decided to make our own operating system based on the Illumos kernel after Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle. We had years of delivering solutions to our clients around Solaris 8, 9 and 10. Now, we can deliver more through our own operating system featuring ZFS. And XStreamOS is the basic component of our other products, such as XStream Server and XStream Storage,
already deployed and running at our customers offices as Enterprise solutions.

XStreamOS is an interesting service because it runs off the Illumos kernel. The Illumos kernel was forked from the now defunct OpenSolaris project. XStreamOS comes in a three different variations to suit the needs of its users and Sonicle’s clients. The product line-up consists of XStreamOS, XStream Server and XStream Storage.

XStreamOS contains some advanced technology out-of-the-box. To help me understand what exactly XStreamOS is all about and to help with the technical side of things, Gabriele explains:

Gabriele: “It just adds some dependency packages which are not built by the Illumos gate, but are required to create an installable and usable distribution. XStreamOS also adds the gcc compiler by default. People may use the distribution to quickly install and run the XStreamOS as a server running the
ZFS filesystem and make it a storage server, a network server or simply add their own software.

Sonicle plans to release more versions of their XStreamOS available for the community. Gabriele explains a little more on this:

Gabriele: “Our next step with the community, will be to release smaller versions of our services, as expanded distributions of XStreamOS.

This will include XStream Server Community Edition, containing our pre-configured collection of open-source software and our own components to build web infrastructures, upon all the pre-packaged services ranging from apache, squid, cyrus, postfix, amavis, tomcat, openldap, etc. We also add our own Groupware and Collaboration web application and an all AJAX based, WebTop Groupware. The only limit of this edition will be the version of WebTop Groupware will not contain all of the Enterprise features.

And XStream Storage Community Edition is a storage solution, combining XStreamOS and our management facilities, plus a full featured web application to configure and maintain ZFS storage. This edition will be free but limited in the amount of manageable data.

Another step will be to deliver a version of XStreamOS tailored specifically toward Illumos Developers, containing all the required tools and packages pre-configured.

Sonicle are doing some great things with the progressive development of XStreamOS. I for one, am quite excited about the future of the project and will be keeping a close eye on development and be sure to check out future community editions. And being based on the Illumos kernel, we’re destined to see some exciting technology emerge from XStreamOS in the near future.