When I´ve read the comment of Mr. Torvalds, that only ZFS is interesting for the Linux community, I was a little bit angry at first. I thought a little bit about the comment, and came to the conclusion: With a special point of view, he i correct … because the Linux community already took many of the stuff introduced by Solaris or SunOS.
Or to cite a blog entry from Phil Harmann, who gave an cool presentation about “A brief history of Solaris”:
As a colleague recently pointed out it is worth considering questions like "what would Solaris be without the Linux interfaces it has adopted?" and "what would Linux be without the interfaces it has adopted from Sun?" (e.g. NFS, NIS, PAM, nsswitch.conf, ld.so.1, LD_*, /proc, doors, kernel slab allocator, ...). Wow, isn't sharing cool!
In my personal opinion the Linux community shouldn´t be lauded for innovating the operating system kernel. They simply don´t do it. It´s a plain standard kernel (with dozens of schedulers, 10 different wireless stacks, 20 filesystems, dozens of drivers for actual hardware , hundreds of drivers of obsolete hardware). One of of the more important developers of Linux wrote about ZFS: “…. rampant layering violation…” Such an system can´t be innovative. There is no violation in innovation, only “better than before” or “worser than before”. Linux has to be lauded for making Unix easy. Installation, packaging and usability for new users made huge leaps forwards since Linux became a widespread system. But: You can do this without the Linux kernel, it´s the work many developers put into distributions and GUI. Look at Belenix, a Debian with a Solaris kernel. Leads me to one interesting thought game: What will happen, when the builders of distributions emancipates themself from the Linux kernel? A Solaris with the vast amount of drivers available to Linux may be an bigger threat to Linux than a Linux with ZFS to Solaris.