Bryan Cantrill

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Bryan Cantrill in 2007

Bryan M. Cantrill (born 1973) is an American Software Engineer who worked at Sun Microsystems and later at Oracle Corporation following its acquisition of Sun. He left Oracle on July 25, 2010[1] to become the Vice President of Engineering at Joyent.[2] He is currently Chief Technology Officer at Joyent.[3]

Professional life[edit]

Cantrill was born in Vermont, later moving to Colorado, where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He studied computer science at Brown University, spending two summers at QNX Software Systems doing kernel development. Upon completing his B.Sc. in 1996, he immediately joined Sun Microsystems to work with Jeff Bonwick in the Solaris Performance Group.

In 2005 Bryan Cantrill was named one of the 35 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's magazine. Cantrill was included in the TR35 list for his development of DTrace, a function of the OS Solaris 10 that provides a non-invasive means for real-time tracing and diagnosis of software. Sun technologies and technologists, including DTrace and Cantrill, also received an InfoWorld Innovators Award that year.[4] In 2006, "The DTrace trouble-shooting software from Sun was chosen as the Gold winner in Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards contest."[5] In 2008, Cantrill, Mike Shapiro and Adam Leventhal were recognized with the USENIX Software Tools User Group (STUG) award for "the provision of a significant enabling technology."[6]

Together with Shapiro and Leventhal, Cantrill founded Fishworks,[7] a stealth project within Sun Microsystems which produced the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems.

He is a member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board.[8]

Controversies and opinions[edit]

In 1996 Bryan Cantrill raised some controversy by his on line response in a lengthy technical discussion with Linux kernel developer David S. Miller, which was cited even decades later.[9][10]

After Cantrill left Oracle in 2010 he used very strong analogies multiple times to describe his point of view on Oracle's business behavior.[11][12]

Cantrill announced also his strong preference for permissive open source software licenses over copyleft one, by calling the copyleft GPL license family "anti-collaborative" and "viral".[13]



  1. ^ Bryan Cantrill (2010-07-25). "Good-bye, Sun". 
  2. ^ Bryan Cantrill (2010-07-30). "Hello Joyent!". 
  3. ^ Cantrill, Bryan. "From VP of Engineering to CTO". Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Neil McAllister (2005-08-01). "DTrace and Predictive Self-Healing herald Sun’s future". InfoWorld. 
  5. ^ Michael Totty (2006-11-11). "The Winners Are...". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ "STUG Award". USENIX. 2008. 
  7. ^ Bryan Cantrill (2008-11-10). "Fishworks: Now it can be told". 
  8. ^ "ACM Queue Editorial Board". ACM. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  9. ^ "But why?". Have you ever kissed a girl? - Bryan Cantrill's famous response to Linux Kernel hacker David S. Miller. 
  10. ^ "It's funny you should mention that". Bryan's reflection on his most famous one-liner, nearly 20 years later. Hacker News. 2015-02-13. 
  11. ^ Bryan Cantrill. "Bryan Cantrill from Joyent on Manta: internet-facing object storage facility that features compute". Hakka Labs. "and then, the Nazis invaded [...] for a while I tried to not go to Nazi allegory when talking about Oracle but I actually think that it does a dis-service to not go to Nazi allegory because if I don't use Nazi allegory when referring to Oracle there's some critical understanding that I have left on the table" 
  12. ^ Bryan Cantrill on twitter If you were an enterprise database customer who hadn't heard of the Nazis, might it be easiest to explain them with Oracle allegory?
  13. ^ Cantrill, Bryan (2014-09-17). "Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns". Retrieved 2015-12-26. Anti-collaborative licensing 

External links[edit]