OpenSolaris is Sun Microsystem’s Unix operating system which is released under an open licence. That means a majority of the OpenSolaris codebase is distributed under an OSI approved Open Source license. OpenSolaris has a 6 month release cycle and the latest version namely 2008.11 has been released a few days back. 2008 stands for the year and 11 the month of release.
This new release integrates into it a very nice GUI installer, a robust desktop featuring the latest GNOME (2.24), and an improved package management system which allows you to install and manage software with ease.
But the highlight of this release of OpenSolaris is the ZFS Time slider which provides an automatic way to backup your data on the same disc using snapshots. What is more, Time slider is integrated with GNOME Nautilus file manager and so you can recover your backup files from within Nautilus. There is a very nice illustrated writeup on ZFS Time slider on Sun’s blog.
You can download OpenSolaris 2008.11 and try it out as a LiveCD before choosing to install it on your machine. Oh yeah, OpenSolaris co-exists with your Linux and Windows OSes too, so installing it side by side with an alternate operating system won’t be a problem.