About Dyson

Dyson is a general-purpose operating system, a Debian derivative using the illumos kernel, libc, and SMF init system (formerly OpenSolaris). See FAQ.

It is not a successor of any existing or existed distributions based on illumos or OpenSolaris. Dyson is constructed from scratch to be like Debian as much as possible. Namely, most of Debian packages can be built on Dyson without any changes, and arch-independent packages (arch all in Debian terms) can be installed directly as is.

Project goals:
  1. General-purpose operating system with OpenSolaris kernel (for desktops and servers)
  2. Port GNU GLibc
  3. Official Debian port
  4. Hijack illumos mainstream.

Get Dyson

Currently Dyson only runs on x86_64 processors (it is fully 64-bit).
There is a LiveCD ISO image with a simple installer:

For downloading and using Dyson consider using the mirrors.

VCS repositories are available for anonymous read-only access:

Debian patch tracker:

If the APT repository cannot be verified due to missed public key (The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY),
get current singing key located at and use "apt-key" to add the key manually.
This key is usually automatically installed with the "dyson-archive-keyring" package.

It is possible to use Vagrant to set up a VirtualBox machine. See

Mailing lists - development of Dyson, technical topics, packaging, porting Debian packages, porting software to illumos.

Get involved

Try it. Report issues and wishes. Feel free to email to .

Port Debian packages and various software to Dyson. Send patches to upstream and/or Debian package maintainers. Ideally any Debian package should need no more than a simple rebuild. See Porting guide.

See to find out if you can help with an advise or coding.

Things to be done:

  • get X stack, X server should work;.
  • get Java stack;
  • haskell;
  • mono C#;
  • Free Pascal;
  • Rust;
  • bootstrap and port nixpkgs ;
  • get zones;
  • package Kernel Virtual Machine (kvm) and Qemu;
  • cross-compiling Debian (Linux) to Dyson;
  • port libusb #158;
  • full support for SMF, including restart on upgrade;
  • get GNU-toolchain-friendly dtrace;
  • switch to GRUB2 and be more friendly (= co-installable) with other systems;
  • reading and writing linux filesystems (ext2/3/4, FUSE);
  • LibreOffice;
  • Firefox;
  • port Glibc;
  • port Debian Installer.


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