CSW packaging for Solaris, was started by Philip Brown in 2002, as an effort to offer binary packages to the Solaris community, that had dependancies, and bugtracking, similar to the way that Debian Linux offered linux packages. He had already written “pkg-get”, a work-alike to the debian “apt-get”, originally targetted for sunfreeware.com packages. Unfortunately, the owner of sunfreeware.com decided against including enhancements such as package dependancies in his packages, so Phil eventually decided to start up a more comprehensive, standards-based set of packages.

Phil’s initial effort was to create a set of 100 or so packages he made public on ibiblio.org. After that was completed, he decided to take things to a larger scale.

Earlier packages he had built, were based on top of sun’s “Companion CD” packages, but that proved to be inadequately up to date for what many people required to run modern free software. This meant that it was neccessary to entirely replace, rather than augment, the software provided by sun’s CCD packages, which required a greater number of people to help.

So, in October 2002, Philip Brown made a post on comp.unix.solaris, requesting use of a public “build machine” for his project, as a resource for people who wished to join him building packages. The CSW project got settled in “at blastwave” for several years.

Starting from december 2008, the CSW project is an association, created in Zurich, Switzerland, and is self supported. Details about the association (bylaws, board members, members, etc.) can be found on the OpenCSW Wiki under the “Association” section.