Meet the SmartOS Community3 min read

While hanging out in some of the regular channels for SmartOS help, I’ve noticed that some people may still be having a hard time finding where the community congregates. I know this is already documented in the SmartOS Wiki, but the Wiki is not yet as easy to navigate as it maybe could be.

Still, if you go there, the first thing you’ll find today is “Where to Find Us”. Pretty hard to miss.


The SmartOS community is still getting off the ground. The SmartOS Community Manager is Deirdré Straughan, and you can often find her on the SmartOS mailing lists or in the Freenode IRC channels, which I will enumerate shortly. Deirdré is doing a great job of enabling volunteers while the basic framework of the long term community is built.



The best way to communicate via email with the SmartOS community is to sign up for the SmartOS Mailing List. Right now there is just one, so it covers everything from user help to development work to packaging and more. It’s a fairly low traffic mailing list, so don’t let its broad scope scare you off.

More broadly, Illumos hosts a number of mailing lists worth checking out.


All of the IRC communication happens on Freenode, in a few different channels:

  • #smartos – This channel is specific to SmartOS. It’s rather low traffic now, but we’re trying to steer more of the SmartOS conversation over there.
  • #joyent – You’ll see a lot of SmartOS conversation going on in here, but you’ll also see users of Joyent’s commercial public & private cloud offerings talking in here. There’s a lot of technological overlap so I encourage you to hang out here, as well.
  • #illumos – SmartOS is an Illumos-based distribution (much like Debian is a Linux-based distribution). You’ll find a lot of general help for Illumos in this channel.


  • You might find a simple search on SmartOS to be the most relevant.
  • @DeirdreS
  • I sometimes tweet about SmartOS, as well: @ki4otk

Development / Bug & Issue Tracking / Feature Requests

  • joyent/smartos-live seems to be the epicenter of SmartOS development within the public view. Quite a lot seems to happen internally at Joyent right now. The Github bug tracker is the best public place at which to file a bug report or feature request for SmartOS. It bears saying, though, that there is a strong emphasis on working on Illumos and having very little go directly into SmartOS-specific development.

The Vibe

So far, I’ve found the SmartOS community to be small but helpful. It’s always good if you can do some work yourself to solve a problem before asking for help, and that goes for any user community. Read the SmartOS Wiki. Check out the man pages. Put a search engine to work. If you’re coming up empty, don’t be afraid, just reach out through one of the many avenues enumerated here and you’ll find friendly helpful people that want to see you succeed with SmartOS.

Quite a lot of that help, presently, is coming from inside of the halls of Joyent. As more of the community gets up to speed, and the documentation improves, perhaps they won’t need to shoulder so much of the burden anymore.

If you wish to contribute code to SmartOS, that’s fine. Joyent does require, for your protection and for their own, that you sign a CLA before your patches can be accepted. Make sure you send that off before you submit your first patch to make life easier on everyone.

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