Development on OpenSolaris has all but stopped, so Garrett D'Amore, a former Sun and Oracle software engineer who worked on Solaris for many years, decided to do something about it.
What Illumos is doing is taking the core OpenSolaris kernel and foundation, which is called OS/Net or ON inside of the former Sun, and creating a repository and development community around that. ON includes the kernel, C libraries, shell and shell utilities, file systems, and networking functions of OpenSolaris.
"We are not a distribution in a normal sense," says D'Amore. "It is more of a code base." And one that Nexenta, Belenix, and SchilliX, who do create alternative distros for OpenSolaris, can in theory base their future releases upon if they don't like what is — or isn't — coming out of OpenSolaris.