It uses the GNOME desktop environment as the primary user interface.The later Open Solaris 2008.11 release included a GUI for ZFS' snapshotting capabilities, known as Time Slider, that provides functionality similar to Mac OS X's Time Machine.On Friday, August 13, 2010, details started to emerge relating to the restructuring of the Open Solaris project, the pending release of the new future commercial version of Solaris, Solaris 11, and how open source community interactions are being adjusted.Open Solaris was based on Solaris, which was originally released by Sun in 1991.While Open Indiana is a fork in the technical sense, it is a continuation of Open Solaris in spirit: the project intends to deliver a System V family operating system which is binary-compatible with the Oracle products Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express.However, rather than being based around the OS/Net consolidation like Open Solaris was, Open Indiana will become a distribution built up around Illumos kernel (the first release is still based around OS/Net).There remains some system code that is not open sourced, and is available only as pre-compiled binary files.
It was licensed by Sun from Novell to replace Sun OS.
The project, a part of the Illumos Foundation, aims to continue the development and distribution of the Open Solaris codebase.
Open Solaris is a descendant of the UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4) codebase developed by Sun and AT&T in the late 1980s.
After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle decided to discontinue open development of the core software, and replaced the Open Solaris distribution model with the proprietary Solaris Express.
Prior to Oracle's moving of core development 'behind closed doors', a group of former Open Solaris developers decided to "fork" the core software under the name Open Indiana.