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A copy of files, on secondary media, that have been removed from the system because they are no longer active.


The automatic loading of kernel modules as they are needed.


The indirect automount map that you use to add home directories to the automounter.


Software that can automatically mount several different types of file systems, for example, NFS, LOFS, HSFS, when a user changes that file system; unmounts the file system when it is no longer in use.


graphics/new.gif A bitmapped file created by the fssnap command, that contains copies of presnapshot data that has been modified since the snapshot was taken.

backup schedule

The schedule you establish for a site to determine when you will regularly run the ufsdump command at different levels to back up user files and essential file systems. See full backup, incremental backup.


An exclamation point (!) that acts as a single-character UNIX command or as a separator between the routes of a UUCP e-mail address.


Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is the firmware interface on a PC.

boot block

An 8-Kbyte disk block that contains information used during booting. Block numbers point to the location of the boot program on that disk. The boot block directly follows the disk label.


The process of powering up a system, testing to determine which attached hardware devices are running, and bringing the operating system kernel into memory and operation at the run level specified by the boot command.

Bourne-Again shell

A Bourne-shell-compatible language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file. bash incorporates useful features from the Korn and C shells.

Bourne shell

The default shell for the Solaris Operating Environment. The Bourne shell is a small shell for general-purpose use. It also provides a full-scale scripting language that you can use to develop shell scripts to capture frequently performed commands and procedures.

C shell

A shell completely different from the Bourne and Korn shells with its own C language syntax. The most important advantages of the C shell are command history, command editing, and aliases.


A small, fast memory area that holds the most active part of a larger and slower memory.


Common Desktop Environment is a windowing system based on the Motif graphical user interface.

core file

An image of the state of a software program when it failed; used for troubleshooting. A core file can be created by any program, including the operating system kernel.


A situation when a system panics and dies. See also hang.

crash dump

A core file image of the operating system kernel; saved in the swap partition when a system crashes. If crash dumps are enabled, the core image is written from the swap partition to a file.

cylinder group

One or more consecutive disk cylinders that include inode slots for files.

cylinder group map

A bitmap in a UFS file system that stores information about block use and availability within each cylinder group. The cylinder group replaces the traditional free list.


A type of program that, once activated, carries out a specific task without any need for user input. Daemons typically are started when the system is started and don't die until the system shuts down. Daemons run in the background and do not generally require direct interaction with a user or system administrator. They handle day-to-day tasks for the system, such as printing (lpd), logging (syslogd), e-mail (sendmail), and serial port monitoring (ttymon).


An optical disc, a CD-ROM, or a DVD-ROM.


A hard-disk storage device.


A nonvolatile storage medium used to store and access data magnetically. Solaris Operating Environment supports 3.5-inch, double-sided, high-density (DS, HD) diskettes.

diskless client

A system with no local disk drive that instead relies on an NFS server for the operating system, swap space, file storage, and other basic services.

disk quotas

A mechanism for controlling how much of a file system's resources any individual user can consume. Disk quotas are optional and must be configured and administered to be used.

DNS domain

A hierarchical directory structure for e-mail addressing and network address naming. Within the United States, top-level domains include com for commercial organizations, edu for educational organizations, gov for governments, mil for the military, net for networking organizations, and org for other organizations. Outside the United States, top-level domains designate the country. Subdomains designate the organization and the individual system.

domain addressing

Using an address contained in the Domain Naming System (DNS) to specify the destination of an e-mail message.


Double-sided, high-density signifies the type of 3.5-inch diskettes supported by the Solaris Operating Environment.


The process of copying directories, by using the ufsdump command, onto media (usually tape) for off-line storage.


Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc uses the UDFS format for storing information.

dynamic reconfiguration

The capability, available on certain SPARC servers, to remove and replace hot-pluggable system I/O boards in a running system, eliminating the time lost in rebooting.


Electronic mail. A set of programs that transmit mail messages from one system to another.

environment variable

A system- or user-defined variable that provides information about the operating environment to the shell or a program.

file system

A hierarchical arrangement of directories and files organized on a portion of a magnetic or optical disk.

Flash archive

graphics/new.gif A file that contains a snapshot of all of the software on a master system. You use the Flash archive to replicate this installation configuration on clone systems of the same architecture.

Flash installation

graphics/new.gif A feature that enables you to create a base configuration on a master system and then create a Flash archive file to replicate that configuration on clone systems of the same architecture.

floppy diskette

See diskette.

free list

See cylinder group map.

full backup

A complete, level 0 backup of a file system, done with the ufsdump command. See incremental backup.

fully qualified domain name

The complete domain name that contains all the elements needed to specify one particular system in the world. See also DNS domain.


A system that handles e-mail traffic between different communications networks.


The group identification number used by the system to control access to files and directories owned by other users.


The sources of group account information used by Solaris. The sources are specified by the group entry in the Nameservice Switch configuration file.

group ID

See GID.


A condition in which a system does not respond to input from the keyboard, a mouse, or the network.

home directory

The part of the file system that is allocated to an individual user for private files.


The sources of information used to map host names or host name aliases to IP addresses. The sources are specified by the hosts entry in the Nameservice Switch configuration file. The hosts entry in the Nameservice Switch configuration file is the only one that can specify dns in addition to the files, nis, nisplus, and ldap nameservices.


The ability to physically add, remove, or replace system components while a system is running. See dynamic reconfiguration.

incremental backup

A partial backup of a file system that is performed by the ufsdump command. The backup includes only those files in the specified file system that have changed since a previous backup at a lower level. See full backup.

initialization files

The dot files (files prefixed with .) in a user's home directory that set the path, environment variables, windowing environment, and other characteristics to enable users to use the system.

init state

One of the seven initialization states, or run levels, a system can be running in. A system can run in only one init state at a time.


An entry in a predesignated area of a disk that describes the location of a file on that disk, the size of the file, the time and date it was last used, and other identification information.

input variables

The environment variables that CDE's dtsearchpath reads.

IP address

A unique Internet protocol number that identifies each system in a network.


Internet Protocol, version 4 is the default protocol for the Solaris 7 and earlier releases.


Internet Protocol, version 6 adds increased address space and improves Internet functionality to the IPv4 protocol by use of a simplified header format, support for authentication and privacy, autoconfiguration of address assignments, and new quality-of-service capabilities.


The master program set of Solaris software that manages all the physical resources of the computer, including file system management, virtual memory, reading and writing of files to disks and tapes, process scheduling, printing, and communications over a network.

Korn shell

A shell that uses the same syntax as the Bourne shell but provides more built-in functions that can be defined directly from the shell as well as a sophisticated form of command editing.


graphics/new.gif Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is an industry-standard nameservice for accessing directory servers. LDAP is one of the nameservices provided by Solaris. Naming information is stored in containers on the LDAP server.

Live Upgrade

graphics/new.gif An installation tool that enables you to create one or more duplicates of an existing boot environment. While the original system is still running, you can either upgrade or reinstall the inactive boot environment. You can also add patches to the inactive boot environment. Activate one of the duplicate boot environments and reboot. The original boot environment remains available if needed for failure recovery.

login name

The name that is assigned to an individual user to control user ID access to a system.

manual pages

Online technical references for each Solaris command.


A symbol used in file names and extensions to represent another character or string of characters. An asterisk (*) matches any number of characters. A question mark (?) matches a single character.


The program in the OpenBoot PROM that provides a limited set of commands that can be used before the kernel is available. See OpenBoot PROM.

mount point

A directory in the file system hierarchy at which another file system is attached to the hierarchy.

graphics/new.gif Nameservice Switch configuration file

The configuration file, /etc/nsswitch.conf, that specifies which nameservice database to search. Nameservices include files, NIS, NIS+, LDAP, and DNS.


A setting that determines how many and which bits in the host address space represent the subnet number and how many and which represent the host number. See also subnet mask.


The default Solaris distributed file system that provides file sharing among systems. NFS servers can also provide kernels and swap files to diskless clients.

NFS failover

The process of selecting an alternate NFS server for a particular file system from a list of servers, each of which contains an identical copy of the file system. Normally, the next NFS server in the sorted list is used unless it fails to respond.


One of the nameservices provided by Sun that enables centralization of configuration information for user and group accounts, printing, e-mail aliases, the automounter subsystem, and some network security. In the process of being replaced by LDAP.


One of the naming services supported by Solaris, intended as a replacement for NIS. Incorporates all of the features of NIS, adds better security, and fewer limitations in the size of information that can be stored, and allows delegation of administrative subdomains. Slated to be replaced by LDAP in the Solaris 10 timeframe.

OpenBoot PROM

Programmable read-only memory is a chip containing permanent, nonvolatile memory and a limited set of commands used to test the system and start the boot process.


A windowing system based on the OPEN LOOK graphical user interface.


To resolve a string of characters or a series of words into component parts to determine their collective meaning. Virtually every program that accepts command input must do some sort of parsing before the commands can be acted on. For example, the sendmail program divides an e-mail address into its component parts to decide where to send the message.


A discrete portion of a disk, configured with the format program. Also referred to as slice.


The source of user account information used by Solaris. The sources are specified by the passwd entry in the Nameservice Switch configuration file.


The list of directories that are searched to find an executable command.

path name

A list of directory names, separated with slashes (/), that specifies the location of a particular file.


A physical connection between a peripheral device (such as a terminal, printer, or modem) and the device controller.

port monitor

A program that continuously watches for requests to log in or requests to access printers or files. The ttymon and listen port monitors are part of the Service Access Facility.

power cycling

Turning off the power to a system and then turning it on again.


To run fsck with the -o p option, which automatically fixes any basic file system inconsistencies normally found when a system halts abruptly but does not repair more serious errors.


A program in operation.


To make use of a new server with NFS client failover. Through normal use, the clients store the path name for each active file on the remote file system. During remapping, these path names are evaluated to locate the files on the new server.


The highest level of a hierarchical system. As a login ID, the user name of the system administrator or superuser who has responsibility for an entire system. Root has permissions for all user files and processes on the system. See also superuser.

run level

See init state.

runaway process

A process that progressively uses more and more CPU time.


A system that provides network services such as disk storage and file transfer; a program that provides such a service.

Service Access Facility (SAF)

The part of the system software that is used to register and monitor port activity for modems, terminals, and printers. SAF replaces /etc/getty as a way to control logins.


The command interpreter for a user, specified in the passwd database. The Solaris Operating Environment supports the Bourne (default), C, and Korn shells. The Solaris 8 Operating Environment also provides the freeware Bourne Again, TC, and Z shells.


An alternative name for a partition. See also partition.


graphics/new.gif A read-only image of a file system created by the fssnap(1M) command; can be used to back up a file system while the file system is mounted.

Solaris Management Console

graphics/new.gif A collection of network-aware system administration tools.

spooling directory

A directory in which files are stored until they are processed.

spooling space

The amount of space that is allocated on a print server for storing requests in the printer queue.

stand-alone system

A system that has a local disk and can boot without relying on a server.

state flag

A flag in the superblock that the fsck file system check program updates to record the condition of a file system. If a file system state flag is clean, the fsck program is not run on that file system.

subnet mask

A setting that determines the bits in the host IP address bytes that are applied to subnet addresses and those applied to host addresses. See also netmask.


A user who is granted special privileges by supplying the correct password with the su command or when logging in as root. For example, only the superuser can edit major administrative files in the /etc directory. See also root.

swap file

A disk partition or file used to temporarily hold the contents of a memory area until they can be loaded back into memory.

symbolic link

A file that contains a pointer to the name of another file.


A computer with a keyboard and terminal. A system can have either local or remote disks and can have additional peripheral devices such as CD-ROM players, DVD-ROM players, tape drives, diskette drives, and printers.


An enhanced and completely compatible variation of the Berkeley UNIX C shell, csh(1); can be used as an interactive login shell and a shell script command processor. It includes a command-line editor, programmable word completion, spelling correction, a history mechanism, job control, and a C-like syntax.


UNIX file system is the default disk-based file system for the Solaris Operating Environment.


The user identification number assigned to each login name. UID numbers are used by the system to identify, by number, the owners of files and directories.

Universal Disc Format file system

The UDFS file system is the industry-standard format for storing information on the optical media technology called DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc).

user account

An account set up for an individual user in the passwd database; specifies the user's login name, UID, GID, login directory, and login shell.

user ID

See UID.

user mask

The setting that controls default file permissions that are assigned when a file or directory is created. The umask command controls the user mask settings.

graphics/new.gifvirtual device

A virtual device contains a snapshot of a file system, created by the fssnap(1M) command. The virtual device looks and acts like a real device to existing Solaris backup commands.

virtual memory

A memory management technique that is used by the operating system for programs that require more space in memory than can be allotted to them. The kernel moves only pages of the program currently needed into memory; unneeded pages remain on the disk.


A child process that has terminated but whose parent process has not properly reaped the child's exit status by calling one of the wait system calls (such as waitpid(1)). Zombie processes take up valuable process slot resources, and if you get enough of them, you won't be able to start any new processes. Zombie processes are removed from the process table when a system is rebooted. You can also use the preap(1) command, new in the Solaris 9 release, to force a defunct process to be reaped by its parent.


A UNIX command interpreter that you can use as an interactive login shell and as a shell script command processor. The Z shell most closely resembles the Korn shell with enhancements. The Z shell provides command-line editing, built-in spelling correction, programmable command completions, shell functions (with autoloading), a history mechanism, and a host of other features.

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