With the release of Oracle Solaris 11.4 the  GNOME 2 desktop  was replaced by the GNOME 3 Classic Mode. This transition was the last in a long line of desktop environments that I worked on during my career at Sun and Oracle, including SunView, OpenLook/NeWS, CDE, and JDS. But unlike it predecessors, GNOME 3 was delivered without support for a multilevel desktop. The Trusted Extensions Desktop was  not ported to GNOME 3, and the trusted-desktop package became obsolete. As a result, customers who required a multilevel desktop were unable to update to Solaris 11.4.

 

After I retired from Oracle in March of 2017, as a hobby, I wrote some  iOS applications for several robotic  kits. But last year I was contacted by an Oracle partner, Dynamic Systems Inc., to explore the possibility of restoring the Trusted Extensions Desktop functionality. After exploring Oracle's Open Source Download Site, and the GitHub userland repositories for Solaris and OpenIndiana, I determined that all the required pieces were available. I became a contractor for Dynamic Systems in October 2019, and began porting the various components to Solaris 11.4.

 

Dynamic Systems has named the new Trusted Extensions Desktop TED . It is built entirely from open source components. The MATE Desktop Environment provides the foundation and preserves the look-and-feel of GNOME 2, but uses the same underlying technology as GNOME 3. So the project began by porting MATE to Solaris 11.4. Then the Trusted Extensions security policy module, SUN_TSOL, was restored to the X11 servers, Xorg and Xvnc. The next step was to port the Trusted JDS functionality from the JDS components to the corresponding MATE components like the Window and Panel managers. Finally the unique components like the Selection Manager, Device Manager, and the Trusted Stripe were ported.

 

The installation and configuration procedures for the new Trusted Extensions Desktop are essentially the same as those for Solaris 11.3. TED packages are coordinated with the Solaris SRU update cycle. All the rendering code that was based on GTK+ 2 libraries was rewritten to use GTK+ 3 libraries. The audit record formats were optimized to facilitate audit reduction. The lightdm Display Manager has been provided as an alternative to GNOME Display Manager, gdm. The obsolete SUN-DES-1 authentication protocol was replaced by the Server Interpreted protocol. The look-and-feel of Trusted JDS has been preserved, but it now supports the new functionality provided by the MATE foundation and the Solaris 11.4 kernel.

 

A more complete history of the project is described here.