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Solaris System Software Evolution

To help you understand how Solaris is evolving, Table B provides a list of the major system administration feature differences for each release.

Table B. Solaris System Software Evolution


New Features

Solaris 1.0

Solaris 4.x contains Berkeley (BSD) UNIX functionality.

Solaris 2.0 (SunOS 5.0)

A merger of AT&T System V Release 4 (SVR4) and BSD UNIX. To facilitate customer transition, Solaris uses SVR4 as the default environment, with BSD commands and modes as an option. Administration Tool provides a graphical user interface Database Manager and Host Manager.

Solaris 2.1 (SunOS 5.1)

Administration Tool adds a graphical user interface Printer Manager and User Account Manager.

Solaris 2.2 (SunOS 5.2)

Volume management integrates access to CD-ROM and diskette files with the File Manager and provides a command-line interface. Users no longer need superuser privileges to mount CD-ROMs and diskettes. Solaris 2.0 and 2.1 procedures do not work with volume management because volume management controls and owns the devices.

Solaris 2.3 (SunOS 5.3)

Volume management changes Solaris 2.2 mount point naming conventions.


Administration Tool adds a graphical user interface Serial Port Manager with templates that provide default settings, which makes adding character terminals and modems much easier.


The automounter subsystem is split into two programs: an automounted daemon and a separate automount program. Both are run when the system is booted. The loadable autofs kernel module enables automounted file systems to be part of a virtual file system (VFS). Mount points under the automounter's control are real mount points instead of symbolic links, and the /tmp_mnt mount point is no longer needed. Additional predefined automount map variables are provided. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)


Online: Backup 2.1 is included with the release. (Not documented in this book.)


Pluggable Authentication Model (PAM) is included with the release. PAM provides a consistent framework to enable access control applications, such as login, to be able to choose any authentication scheme available on a system, without changing the login program itself. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)


C2 Security is included in this release. (Not documented in this book.)


The format(1) command changes for SCSI disks. (Not documented in this book.)


PPP network protocol product that provides IP network connectivity over a variety of point-to-point connections is included in this release. (Not documented in this book.)


Cache File System (CacheFS) for NFS is included in this release. CacheFS is a generic, nonvolatile caching mechanism to improve performance of certain file systems by using a small, fast, local disk.


New NIS+ setup scripts are included in this release. The nisserver(1M), nispopulate(1M), and nisclient(1M) scripts enable you to set up an NIS+ domain much more quickly and easily than if you used the individual NIS+ commands to do so. With these scripts, you can avoid a lengthy manual setup process.

Solaris 2.4 (SunOS 5.4)

New Motif GUI for Solaris software installation is added. (Not documented in this book.)

Solaris 2.5 (SunOS 5.5)

New pax(1M) portable archive interchange command for copying files and file systems to portable media is added.


Admintool is used to administer only local systems. The Solstice AdminSuite product is available for managing systems in a network for SPARC and IA systems.


New process tools are available in /usr/proc/bin to display highly detailed information about the active processes stored in the process file system in the /proc directory.


Telnet client is upgraded to the 4.4 BSD version. rlogind and telnetd remote login capacity are improved. (Not documented in this book.)

Solaris 2.5.1 (SunOS 5.5.1)

The limit on user ID and group ID values is raised to 2147483647, or the maximum value of a signed integer. The nobody user and group (60001) and the no access user and group (60002) retain the same UID and GID as in previous Solaris releases.

Solaris 2.6 (SunOS 5.6)

Changes to the Solaris 2.6 printing software provide a better solution than the LP print software in previous Solaris releases. You can easily set up and manage print clients by using the NIS or NIS+ nameservices to enable centralization of print administration for a network of systems and printers. New features include redesign of print packages, print protocol adapter, bundled SunSoft Print Client software, and network printer support.


New nisbackup and nisrestore commands provide a quick and efficient method of backing up and restoring NIS+ namespaces.


New patch tools, including patchadd and patchrm commands, add and remove patches. These commands replace the installpatch and backoutpatch commands that were previously shipped with each individual patch. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)


New filesync command ensures that data is moved automatically between a portable computer and a server. (Not documented in this book.)


The previous flat /proc file system is restructured into a directory hierarchy that contains additional subdirectories for state information and control functions. This release also provides a watchpoint facility to monitor access to and modifications of data in the process address space. The adb(1) command uses this facility to provide watchpoints.


Large files are supported on UFS, NFS, and CacheFS file systems. Applications can create and access files up to one Tbyte on UFS-mounted file systems and up to the limit of the NFS server for NFS- and CacheFS-mounted file systems. A new -o largefiles option disables the large-file support on UFS file systems. Using the -o largefiles option enables system administrators to ensure that older applications that are not able to safely handle large files do not accidentally operate on large files.


NFS Kerberos authentication now uses DES encryption to improve security over the network. The kernel implementations of NFS and RPC network services now support a new RPC authentication flavor that is based on the Generalized Security Services API (GSS-API). This support contains the hooks for future stronger security of the NFS environment. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)


Font Admin enables easy installation and use of fonts for the X Window System. It supports TrueType, Type0, Type1, and CID fonts for multibyte languages and provides comparative font preview capability. It is fully integrated into the CDE desktop. (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris 2.6 operating environment is year 2000 ready. It uses unambiguous dates and follows the X/Open guidelines where appropriate. (Not documented in this book.)


WebNFS software enables file systems to be accessed through the Web with the NFS protocol. This protocol is very reliable and provides greater throughput under a heavy load. (Not documented in this book.)


The Java Virtual Machine 1.1 integrates the Java platform for the Solaris Operating Environment. It includes the Java runtime environment and the basic tools needed to develop Java applets and applications. (Not documented in this book.)


For IA systems, the Configuration Assistant interface is part of the new booting system for the Solaris (Intel Platform Edition) software. It determines which hardware devices are in the system, accounts for the resources each device uses, and enables users to choose which device to boot from.


For IA systems, the kdmconfig program configures the mouse, graphics adapter, and monitor. If an owconfig file already exists, kdmconfig extracts any usable information from it. In addition, kdmconfig retrieves information left in the devinfo tree by the defconf program and uses that information to automatically identify devices. (Not documented in this book.)


Release is fully compliant with X/Open UNIX 95and POSIX standards. (Not documented in this book.)

Solaris 7 (SunOS 5.7)

Solaris 64-bit operating environment is added (SPARC Platform Edition only). (Not documented in this book.)


UFS logging improves file system support.


Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) protocol improves management of nameservice databases. (Not documented in this book.)


Java Development Kit for Solaris significantly improves scalability and performance for Java applications. (Not documented in this book.)


Dynamic reconfiguration significantly decreases system downtime.


AnswerBook2 server runs on a Web server. (Not documented in this book.)


Unicode locales enhanced with multiscript capabilities and six new Unicode locales are added.


RPC security is tightened with data integrity and confidentiality enhancements. (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris Common Desktop Environment (CDE) contains new tools to make it easy to find, manipulate, and manage address cards, applications, e-mail addresses, files, folders, hosts, processes, and Web addresses. (Not documented in this book.)

Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8)

IPv6 adds increased address space and improves Internet functionality by using a simplified header format, support for authentication and privacy, autoconfiguration of address assignments, and new quality-of-service capabilities.


The Solaris Operating Environment provides the Naming Service switch back-end support for directory service based on Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). (Not documented in this book.)


The Java2 Software Development Kit (SDK) for Solaris significantly improves scalability and performance of Java applications. (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris 8 Installation CD provides a graphical, wizard-based, Java-powered application to install the Solaris Operating Environment and other software. (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris 8 Operating Environment supports the Universal Disk Format (UDF) file system, enabling users to exchange data stored on CD-ROMs, disks, diskettes, DVDs, and other optical media.


The Solaris Smart Card feature enables security administrators to protect a computer desktop or an individual application by requiring users to authenticate themselves by means of a smart card. (Not documented in this book.)


The PDA Synchronization (PDA Sync) application synchronizes the data from applications such as Desktop Calendar, Desktop Mail, Memo, and Address, with data in similar applications on a user's Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris 8 Software CDs and Languages CD include support for more than 90 locales, covering 37 languages. (Not documented in this book.)


The Solaris Common Desktop Environment (CDE) contains new and enhanced features that incorporate easy-to-use desktop productivity tools, PC interoperability, and desktop management tools. (Not documented in this book.)


The X Server is upgraded to the X11R6.4 industry standard that includes features to increase user productivity and mobility, including remote execution of X applications through a Web browser on any Web-based desktop, Xinerama, Color Utilization Policy, EnergyStar support, and new APIs and documentation for the developer tool kits. (Not documented in this book.)


Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) enables system administrators to create specific roles by which they can assign superuser privileges for specific tasks to one or more individual users.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 6/00

Mobile Internet Protocol (IP) enables the transfer of information to and from mobile computers such as laptop and wireless communications.


Removable Media management fully supports removable media such as DVD-ROMs, Zip drives, Jaz drives, CD-ROMs, and diskettes.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 10/00

IP network multipathing provides recovery from single-point failures with network adapters and increased traffic throughput.


Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) includes a description of the system properties that the CIM Object Manager uses and descriptions of the new Solaris_Printer and other printing definition classes.


You can use Solaris Print Manager to set up a Universal Serial Bus (USB) printer attached to a SPARC system with USB ports.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 1/01

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is supported in the iPlanet Web Server directory server.


Solaris Management Console 2.0 software provides an integrated, GUI-based, network-aware suite of system administration tools.


You can manage role-based access control (RBAC) with the Solaris Management Console graphical interfaces.


Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) adds an updated init.wbem command, updated security, Solaris Management Console Log Viewer, added descriptions of new Solaris_Network 1.0.mof file and Solaris_Users1.0.mof file.


Support for USB devices for Sun Blade 100, Sun Blade 1000, and SunRay systems.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 4/01

New Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) functionality.


sendmail version 8.10 includes new command-line options, new and revised configuration file options, new defined macros, new and revised m4 configuration macros, new and modified compile flags, new delivery flag agents, new equates for delivery agents, new queue features, new uses for LDAP, new rule set features, new file locations, and a new built-in mailer feature.


Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) includes the Sun WBEM SDK 2.4, new providers, and an MOF Compiler (mofcomp) description of the system properties that the CIM Object Manager uses, and descriptions of the new Solaris_Printer and other printing definition classes.


IP network multipathing adds dynamic reconfiguration (DR), which uses IP network multipathing to decommission a specific network device with no impact on existing IP users.


Mobile Internet Protocol IP enables system administrators to set up reverse tunnels.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 7/01

Solaris PPP 4.0 supports both asynchronous and synchronous communications and offers Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentication. Solaris PPP 4.0 is highly configurable.


Solaris Network Cache and Accelerator (NCA) provides a sockets interface through which any Web server can communicate with NCA with minimal modifications.


IP network multipathing introduces the cPCI Network Interface (IPMP) Reboot Safe feature.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 10/01

Dynamic Reconfiguration (DR) 3.0 replaces DR 3.0. DR 3.0 controls DR operations on the domain with the domain configuration server dcs(1M) command. You use the automated dynamic reconfiguration (ADR) commands to perform DR operations.


USB support for keyboards, mouse devices, printers, and audio devices.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8) 2/02

Sun RPC library extensions provide the Sun ONC+ RPC library with an asynchronous protocol.

graphics/new.gif Solaris 9 (SunOS 5.9)

Solaris 9 Resource Manager enables system administrators to allocate computing resources, monitor resource use, and generate extended accounting information about resource use. Full functionality is administered with a command-line interface. Solaris Management Console enables performance monitoring and the setting of resource controls.


Fixed-priority (FX) scheduling class provides a scheduling policy for processes that require user or application control of scheduling priorities.


Web Start Flash Install feature that enables you to create a master system and then clone that configuration to other systems of the same architecture.


Live Upgrade feature that enables you to create a duplicate boot environment and install a Web Start Flash archive while the system is still running. When you are ready, you activate the duplicate environment and reboot the system.


New display options for the df, du, and ls commands that enable you to display disk usage and file or file system sizes in powers of 1024.


pargs and preap commands to improve process debugging.


Integrated version of the iPlanet Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory.


Nameservice support for LDAP.


NIS+ to LDAP migration tools.


Solaris PPP 4.0.


Sun Internet FTP server.


Sun RPC library extension.


sendmail version 8.12.


Improved Solaris Network Cache and Accelerator (NCA).


IP network multipathing link-up and link-down notification support.


Mobile IP agent advertisements over dynamic interfaces.


Bind version 8.2.4.


Solaris volume manager.


Solaris Management Console 2.1 with six new tools.


smpatch(1M) command you can use to install patches on single or multiple systems, analyze patch requirements, and download required patches.


Solaris Secure Shell commands that enable you to securely access a remote host over an unsecured network.


Write CD file systems with the cdrw(1) command.

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