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Chapter 1. Introducing Solaris System Administration

Winchester Mystery House [in San Jose, California] . . . was designed to baffle the evil spirits that haunted Sarah Winchester, eccentric heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune and mistress of the house. With 160 rooms and 2,000 doors, 13 bathrooms, 10,000 windows, 47 fireplaces, blind closets, secret passageways, and 40 staircases, the house is so complex that even the owner and servants needed maps to find their way.

—AAA, California/Nevada TourBook, 1991

Sarah Winchester, listening to the advice of psychics, believed that if she kept adding rooms to the house, she would not die and be subject to the influences of spirits who had been killed with the Winchester rifles manufactured by her husband.

The UNIX operating system is much like the Winchester Mystery House without, we hope, the evil spirits. The original operating system has been continually enhanced and expanded. There are many ways to get about, and, like the owner and the servants in the Winchester house, system administrators frequently need a map to help them get from place to place.

To add to the complexity, there are many versions of the UNIX operating system based on either Berkeley (or BSD) UNIX or AT&T's System V. This book serves as a map to some of the most frequently used "rooms" of the Solaris Operating Environment, which is an enhanced implementation of UNIX System V, Release 4 (usually referred to as SVR4).

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