Solaris (operating system)

Solaris is a Unix operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems. It superseded their earlier SunOS in 1993. In 2010, after the Sun acquisition by Oracle, it was renamed Oracle Solaris.[3]

Solaris is known for its scalability, especially on SPARC systems, and for originating many innovative features such as DTrace, ZFS and Time Slider.[4][5] Solaris supports SPARC and x86-64 workstations and servers from Oracle and other vendors. Solaris is registered as compliant with the Single UNIX Specification.[6]

Historically, Solaris was developed as proprietary software. In June 2005, Sun Microsystems released most of the codebase under the CDDL license, and founded the OpenSolaris open-source project.[7] With OpenSolaris, Sun wanted to build a developer and user community around the software. After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January 2010, Oracle decided to discontinue the OpenSolaris distribution and the development model.[8][9] In August 2010, Oracle discontinued providing public updates to the source code of the Solaris kernel, effectively turning Solaris 11 back into a closed source proprietary operating system.[10] Following that, in 2011 the Solaris 11 kernel source code leaked to BitTorrent.[11][12] However, through the Oracle Technology Network (OTN), industry partners can still gain access to the in-development Solaris source code.[9] Source code for the open source components of Solaris 11 is available for download from Oracle.[13]

Aktualne logo Oracle Solaris OS OSos
DeveloperSun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2009)
Written inC, C++
OS familyUnix (System V Release 4)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelMixed open-source / closed-source
Initial releaseJune 1992
Latest release11.4[1] / August 28, 2018
Marketing targetWorkstation, server
PlatformsSPARC, x86-64, IA-32 (except Solaris 11), PowerPC (Solaris 2.5.1 only)
Kernel typeMonolithic with dynamically loadable modules
Default user interfaceGNOME[2]


In 1987, AT&T Corporation and Sun announced that they were collaborating on a project to merge the most popular Unix variants on the market at that time: Berkeley Software Distribution, UNIX System V, and Xenix. This became Unix System V Release 4 (SVR4).[14]

On September 4, 1991, Sun announced that it would replace its existing BSD-derived Unix, SunOS 4, with one based on SVR4. This was identified internally as SunOS 5, but a new marketing name was introduced at the same time: Solaris 2.[15] The justification for this new overbrand was that it encompassed not only SunOS, but also the OpenWindows graphical user interface and Open Network Computing (ONC) functionality.

Although SunOS 4.1.x micro releases were retroactively named Solaris 1 by Sun, the Solaris name is used almost exclusively to refer only to the releases based on SVR4-derived SunOS 5.0 and later.[16]

For releases based on SunOS 5, the SunOS minor version is included in the Solaris release number. For example, Solaris 2.4 incorporates SunOS 5.4. After Solaris 2.6, the 2. was dropped from the release name, so Solaris 7 incorporates SunOS 5.7, and the latest release SunOS 5.11 forms the core of Solaris 11.4.

Although SunSoft stated in its initial Solaris 2 press release their intent to eventually support both SPARC and x86 systems, the first two Solaris 2 releases, 2.0 and 2.1, were SPARC-only. An x86 version of Solaris 2.1 was released in June 1993, about 6 months after the SPARC version, as a desktop and uniprocessor workgroup server operating system. It included the Wabi emulator to support Windows applications.[17] At the time, Sun also offered the Interactive Unix system that it had acquired from Interactive Systems Corporation.[18] In 1994, Sun released Solaris 2.4, supporting both SPARC and x86 systems from a unified source code base.

On September 2, 2017, Simon Phipps, a former Sun Microsystems employee not hired by Oracle in the acquisition, reported on Twitter that Oracle had laid off the Solaris core development staff, which many interpreted as sign that Oracle no longer intended to support future development of the platform.[19] While Oracle did have a large layoff of Solaris development engineering staff, development continues today of which Solaris 11.4 was released in 2018.[20][21]

Supported architectures

Solaris uses a common code base for the platforms it supports: SPARC and i86pc (which includes both x86 and x86-64).[22]

Solaris has a reputation for being well-suited to symmetric multiprocessing, supporting a large number of CPUs.[23] It has historically been tightly integrated with Sun's SPARC hardware (including support for 64-bit SPARC applications since Solaris 7), with which it is marketed as a combined package. This has led to more reliable systems, but at a cost premium compared to commodity PC hardware. However, it has supported x86 systems since Solaris 2.1 and 64-bit x86 applications since Solaris 10, allowing Sun to capitalize on the availability of commodity 64-bit CPUs based on the x86-64 architecture. Sun has heavily marketed Solaris for use with both its own "x64" workstations and servers based on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors, as well as x86 systems manufactured by companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. As of 2009, the following vendors support Solaris for their x86 server systems:

  • Dell – will "test, certify, and optimize Solaris and OpenSolaris on its rack and blade servers and offer them as one of several choices in the overall Dell software menu"[24]
  • Intel[25]
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise[26] – distributes and provides software technical support for Solaris on BL, DL, and SL platforms
  • Fujitsu Siemens[27]

As of July 2010, Dell and HP certify and resell Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM on their respective x86 platforms,[28] and IBM stopped direct support for Solaris on x64 kit.

Other platforms

Solaris 2.5.1 included support for the PowerPC platform (PowerPC Reference Platform), but the port was canceled before the Solaris 2.6 release.[29] In January 2006, a community of developers at Blastwave began work on a PowerPC port which they named Polaris.[30] In October 2006, an OpenSolaris community project based on the Blastwave efforts and Sun Labs' Project Pulsar,[31] which re-integrated the relevant parts from Solaris 2.5.1 into OpenSolaris,[29] announced its first official source code release.[32]

A port of Solaris to the Intel Itanium architecture was announced in 1997 but never brought to market.[33]

On November 28, 2007, IBM, Sun, and Sine Nomine Associates demonstrated a preview of OpenSolaris for System z running on an IBM System z mainframe under z/VM,[34] called Sirius (in analogy to the Polaris project, and also due to the primary developer's Australian nationality: HMS Sirius of 1786 was a ship of the First Fleet to Australia). On October 17, 2008, a prototype release of Sirius was made available[35] and on November 19 the same year, IBM authorized the use of Sirius on System z Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors.[36]

Solaris also supports the Linux platform application binary interface (ABI), allowing Solaris to run native Linux binaries on x86 systems. This feature is called Solaris Containers for Linux Applications (SCLA), based on the branded zones functionality introduced in Solaris 10 8/07.[37]

Installation and usage options

Solaris can be installed from various pre-packaged software groups, ranging from a minimalistic Reduced Network Support to a complete Entire Plus OEM. Installation of Solaris is not necessary for an individual to use the system. Additional software, like Apache, MySQL, etc. can be installed as well in a packaged form from sunfreeware[38] and OpenCSW.[39] Solaris can be installed from physical media or a network for use on a desktop or server, or be used without installing on a desktop or server.

Desktop environments

olvwm with OpenWindows on Solaris

Early releases of Solaris used OpenWindows as the standard desktop environment. In Solaris 2.0 to 2.2, OpenWindows supported both NeWS and X applications, and provided backward compatibility for SunView applications from Sun's older desktop environment. NeWS allowed applications to be built in an object-oriented way using PostScript, a common printing language released in 1982. The X Window System originated from MIT's Project Athena in 1984 and allowed for the display of an application to be disconnected from the machine where the application was running, separated by a network connection. Sun's original bundled SunView application suite was ported to X.

Sun later dropped support for legacy SunView applications and NeWS with OpenWindows 3.3, which shipped with Solaris 2.3, and switched to X11R5 with Display Postscript support. The graphical look and feel remained based upon OPEN LOOK. OpenWindows 3.6.2 was the last release under Solaris 8. The OPEN LOOK Window Manager (olwm) with other OPEN LOOK specific applications were dropped in Solaris 9, but support libraries were still bundled, providing long term binary backwards compatibility with existing applications. The OPEN LOOK Virtual Window Manager (olvwm) can still be downloaded for Solaris from sunfreeware and works on releases as recent as Solaris 10.

CDE running on Solaris 10
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) was open sourced in August 2012. This is a screenshot of CDE running on Solaris 10.

Sun and other Unix vendors created an industry alliance to standardize Unix desktops. As a member of the Common Open Software Environment (COSE) initiative, Sun helped co-develop the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). This was an initiative to create a standard Unix desktop environment. Each vendor contributed different components: Hewlett-Packard contributed the window manager, IBM provided the file manager, and Sun provided the e-mail and calendar facilities as well as drag-and-drop support (ToolTalk). This new desktop environment was based upon the Motif look and feel and the old OPEN LOOK desktop environment was considered legacy. CDE unified Unix desktops across multiple open system vendors. CDE was available as an unbundled add-on for Solaris 2.4 and 2.5, and was included in Solaris 2.6 through 10.

Java Desktop running on Solaris 10
This is a screenshot of the Java Desktop System (JDS) running on Solaris 10.

In 2001, Sun issued a preview release of the open-source desktop environment GNOME 1.4, based on the GTK+ toolkit, for Solaris 8.[40] Solaris 9 8/03 introduced GNOME 2.0 as an alternative to CDE. Solaris 10 includes Sun's Java Desktop System (JDS), which is based on GNOME and comes with a large set of applications, including StarOffice, Sun's office suite. Sun describes JDS as a "major component" of Solaris 10.[41] The Java Desktop System is not included in Solaris 11 which instead ships with a stock version of GNOME.[42] Likewise, CDE applications are no longer included in Solaris 11, but many libraries remain for binary backwards compatibility.

The open source desktop environments KDE and Xfce, along with numerous other window managers, also compile and run on recent versions of Solaris.

Sun was investing in a new desktop environment called Project Looking Glass since 2003. The project has been inactive since late 2006.[43]


Traditional operating system license (1982 to 2004)

For versions up to 2005 (Solaris 9), Solaris was licensed under a license that permitted a customer to buy licenses in bulk, and install the software on any machine up to a maximum number. The key license grant was:

License to Use. Customer is granted a non-exclusive and non-transferable license ("License") for the use of the accompanying binary software in machine-readable form, together with accompanying documentation ("Software"), by the number of users and the class of computer hardware for which the corresponding fee has been paid.

In addition, the license provided a "License to Develop" granting rights to create derivative works, restricted copying to only a single archival copy, disclaimer of warranties, and the like. The license varied only little through 2004.

Open source (2005 until March 2010)

From 2005–10, Sun began to release the source code for development builds of Solaris under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) via the OpenSolaris project. This code was based on the work being done for the post-Solaris 10 release (code-named "Nevada"; eventually released as Oracle Solaris 11). As the project progressed, it grew to encompass most of the necessary code to compile an entire release, with a few exceptions.[44]

Post-Oracle closed source (Solaris 10 after March 2010, and Solaris 11 in 2011 and later)

When Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2010, the OpenSolaris project was discontinued after the board became unhappy with Oracle's stance on the project.[45] In March 2010, the previously freely available Solaris 10 was placed under a restrictive license that limited the use, modification and redistribution of the operating system.[46] The license allowed the user to download the operating system free of charge, through the Oracle Technology Network, and use it for a 90-day trial period. After that trial period had expired the user would then have to purchase a support contract from Oracle to continue using the operating system.

With the release of Solaris 11 in 2011, the license terms changed again. The new license allows Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 to be downloaded free of charge from the Oracle Technology Network and used without a support contract indefinitely; however, the license only expressly permits the user to use Solaris as a development platform and expressly forbids commercial and "production" use.[47] Educational use is permitted in some circumstances. From the OTN license:

If You are an educational institution vested with the power to confer official high school, associate, bachelor, master and/or doctorate degrees, or local equivalent, ("Degree(s)"), You may also use the Programs as part of Your educational curriculum for students enrolled in Your Degree program(s) solely as required for the conferral of such Degree (collectively "Educational Use").

When Solaris is used without a support contract it can be upgraded to each new "point release"; however, a support contract is required for access to patches and updates that are released monthly.[48]

Version history

Solaris OS logo
Solaris logo introduced with Solaris 10 and used until Oracle's acquisition of Sun

Notable features of Solaris include DTrace, Doors, Service Management Facility, Solaris Containers, Solaris Multiplexed I/O, Solaris Volume Manager, ZFS, and Solaris Trusted Extensions.

Updates to Solaris versions are periodically issued. In the past, these were named after the month and year of their release, such as "Solaris 10 1/13"; as of Solaris 11, sequential update numbers are appended to the release name with a period, such as "Oracle Solaris 11.4".

In ascending order, the following versions of Solaris have been released:

Legend: Old version, no support Older version, still supported Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Solaris version SunOS version Release date End of support[49] License form Major new features
Old version, no longer supported: 1.x 4.1.x 1991–1994 September 2003 Traditional license SunOS 4 rebranded as Solaris 1 for marketing purposes. See SunOS article for more information.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0 5.0 June 1992 January 1999 Traditional license Preliminary release (primarily available to developers only), support for only the sun4c architecture. First appearance of NIS+.[50]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1 5.1 December 1992 May 1993 April 1999 Traditional license Support for sun4 and sun4m architectures added; first Solaris x86 release. First Solaris 2 release to support SMP.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2 5.2 May 1993 May 1999 Traditional license SPARC-only release. First to support sun4d architecture. First to support multithreading libraries (UI threads API in libthread).[51]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.3 5.3 November 1993 June 2002 Traditional license SPARC-only release. OpenWindows 3.3 switches from NeWS to Display PostScript and drops SunView support. Support added for autofs and CacheFS filesystems.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.4 5.4 November 1994 September 2003 Traditional license First unified SPARC/x86 release. Includes OSF/Motif runtime support.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5 5.5 November 1995 December 2003 Traditional license First to support UltraSPARC and include CDE, NFSv3 and NFS/TCP. Dropped sun4 (VMEbus) support. POSIX.1c-1995 pthreads added. Doors added but undocumented.[52]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5.1 5.5.1 May 1996 September 2005 Traditional license The only Solaris release that supports PowerPC;[53] Ultra Enterprise support added; user and group IDs (uid_t, gid_t) expanded to 32 bits,[54] also included processor sets[55] and early resource management technologies.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.6 5.6 July 1997 July 2006 Traditional license Includes Kerberos 5, PAM, TrueType fonts, WebNFS, large file support, enhanced procfs. SPARCserver 600MP series support dropped.[56]
Old version, no longer supported: 7 5.7 November 1998 August 2008 Traditional license The first 64-bit UltraSPARC release. Added native support for file system meta-data logging (UFS logging). Dropped MCA support on x86 platform. Sun dropped the prefix "2." in the Solaris version number, leaving "Solaris 7." Last update was Solaris 7 11/99.[57]
Old version, no longer supported: 8 5.8 February 2000 March 2012 Traditional license Includes Multipath I/O, Solstice DiskSuite,[58] IPMP, first support for IPv6 and IPsec (manual keying only), mdb Modular Debugger. Introduced Role-Based Access Control (RBAC); sun4c support removed. Last update is Solaris 8 2/04.[59]
Old version, no longer supported: 9 5.9 May 28, 2002 January 10, 2003 October 2014 Traditional license iPlanet Directory Server, Resource Manager, extended file attributes, IKE IPsec keying, and Linux compatibility added; OpenWindows dropped, sun4d support removed. Most current update is Solaris 9 9/05 HW.[60]
Older version, yet still supported: 10 5.10 January 31, 2005 January 2021 before Oracle acquisition in March 2010, open source under CDDL

after March 2010, Post-Oracle closed source
Includes x86-64 (AMD64/Intel 64) support, DTrace (Dynamic Tracing), Solaris Containers, Service Management Facility (SMF) which replaces init.d scripts, NFSv4. Least privilege security model. Support for sun4m and UltraSPARC I processors removed. Support for EISA-based PCs removed. Adds Java Desktop System (based on GNOME) as default desktop.[61]
  • Solaris 10 1/06 (known internally as "U1") added the GRUB bootloader for x86 systems, iSCSI Initiator support and fcinfo command-line tool.
  • Solaris 10 6/06 ("U2") added the ZFS filesystem.
  • Solaris 10 11/06 ("U3") added Solaris Trusted Extensions and Logical Domains (sun4v).
  • Solaris 10 8/07 ("U4") added Samba Active Directory support,[62] IP Instances (part of the OpenSolaris Network Virtualization and Resource Control project), iSCSI Target support and Solaris Containers for Linux Applications (based on branded zones), enhanced version of the Resource Capping Daemon (rcapd).
  • Solaris 10 5/08 ("U5") added CPU capping for Solaris Containers, performance improvements, SpeedStep support for Intel processors and PowerNow! support for AMD processors.[63][64]
  • Solaris 10 10/08 ("U6") added boot from ZFS and can use ZFS as its root file system. Solaris 10 10/08 also includes virtualization enhancements including the ability for a Solaris Container to automatically update its environment when moved from one system to another, Logical Domains support for dynamically reconfigurable disk and network I/O, and paravirtualization support when Solaris 10 is used as a guest OS in Xen-based environments such as Sun xVM Server.[65]
  • Solaris 10 5/09 ("U7") added performance and power management support for Intel Nehalem processors, container cloning using ZFS cloned file systems, and performance enhancements for ZFS on solid-state drives.
  • Solaris 10 10/09 ("U8") added user and group level ZFS quotas, ZFS cache devices and nss_ldap shadowAccount Support, improvements to patching performance.[66]
  • Solaris 10 9/10 ("U9") added physical to zone migration, ZFS triple parity RAID-Z and Oracle Solaris Auto Registration.[67]
  • Solaris 10 8/11 ("U10") added ZFS speedups and new features, Oracle Database optimization, faster reboot on SPARC system.[68][69]
  • Solaris 10 1/13 ("U11") see release notes.[70][71]
Old version, no longer supported: 11 Express 2010.11 5.11 November 15, 2010 November 2011 Post-Oracle closed source Adds new packaging system (IPS – Image Packaging System) and associated tools, ZFS (only) for boot, 1 GB RAM min., x86, Solaris 10 Containers, network virtualization and QoS, virtual consoles, ZFS encryption and deduplication, fast reboot,[72] updated GNOME. Removed Xsun, CDE,[73] and the /usr/ucb BSD-compatible commands
Older version, yet still supported: 11 5.11 November 9, 2011 November 2034 Post-Oracle closed source New features and enhancements (compared to Solaris 10) in software packaging, network virtualization, server virtualization, storage, security and hardware support:
  • Packaging: Image Packaging System, network and local package repositories; Automated Installer to automated provisioning, including Zones; Distro Constructor to create ISO 9660 filesystem images;
  • Network: network virtualization (vNICs, vSwitches, vRouters) and QoS, Exclusive–IP default for Zones, the dladm utility to manage data links, the ipadm utility to manage IP configuration (including IPMP), ProFTPD and enhancements;
  • Zones: Immutable (read–only) Zones, NFS servers in zones, delegated administration, P2V pre–flight check, the zonestat utility coupled with the libzonestat dynamically linked library;
  • Security: root as a role, netcat and enhancements;
  • Storage: ZFS shadow migration, ZFS backup/restore with NDMP, recursive ZFS send;
  • Hardware support: SPARC T4, critical threads, SDP enabled and optimized, including support for Zones, SR-IOV, Intel AVX;
  • UEFI Boot support (Solaris 11.1 onwards on x86)
  • UltraSPARC II, III, IV series support removed; IA-32 architecture support removed.[74]
Older version, yet still supported: 11.1 5.11 October 3, 2012 November 2034 Post-Oracle closed source New features and enhancements:[75][76][77]
Older version, yet still supported: 11.2 5.11 April 29, 2014 November 2034 Post-Oracle closed source New features and enhancements:[79]
Older version, yet still supported: 11.3 5.11 October 26, 2015 November 2034 Post-Oracle closed source New features and enhancements:[81]
  • Live migration of Solaris Kernel Zones
  • InfiniBand support for Kernel Zones
  • Virtual Clocks for Solaris Zones
  • ZFS LZ4
  • SMB 2.1
  • Private VLAN
  • VNICs on IPoIB
  • Periodic and Scheduled Services
  • Tailored Compliance Reporting
  • OpenBSD 5.5 Packet Filter
  • Deferred Dump
  • Integration with OpenStack Juno
Current stable version: 11.4 5.11 August 28, 2018 November 2034 Post-Oracle closed source New features and enhancements:[82]


A more comprehensive summary of some Solaris versions is also available.[86] Solaris releases are also described in the Solaris 2 FAQ.[87]

Development release

The underlying Solaris codebase has been under continuous development since work began in the late 1980s on what was eventually released as Solaris 2.0. Each version such as Solaris 10 is based on a snapshot of this development codebase, taken near the time of its release, which is then maintained as a derived project. Updates to that project are built and delivered several times a year until the next official release comes out.

The Solaris version under development by Sun since the release of Solaris 10 in 2005, was codenamed Nevada, and is derived from what is now the OpenSolaris codebase.

In 2003, an addition to the Solaris development process was initiated. Under the program name Software Express for Solaris (or just Solaris Express), a binary release based on the current development basis was made available for download on a monthly basis, allowing anyone to try out new features and test the quality and stability of the OS as it progressed to the release of the next official Solaris version.[88] A later change to this program introduced a quarterly release model with support available, renamed Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE).

In 2007, Sun announced Project Indiana with several goals, including providing an open source binary distribution of the OpenSolaris project, replacing SXDE.[89] The first release of this distribution was OpenSolaris 2008.05.

The Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) was intended specifically for OpenSolaris developers.[90] It was updated every two weeks until it was discontinued in January 2010, with a recommendation that users migrate to the OpenSolaris distribution.[91] Although the download license seen when downloading the image files indicates its use is limited to personal, educational and evaluation purposes, the license acceptance form displayed when the user actually installs from these images lists additional uses including commercial and production environments.

SXCE releases terminated with build 130 and OpenSolaris releases terminated with build 134 a few weeks later. The next release of OpenSolaris based on build 134 was due in March 2010, but it was never fully released, though the packages were made available on the package repository. Instead, Oracle renamed the binary distribution Solaris 11 Express, changed the license terms and released build 151a as 2010.11 in November 2010.

Open source derivatives


  • illumos – A fully open source fork of the project, started in 2010 by a community of Sun OpenSolaris engineers and Nexenta OS. Note that OpenSolaris was not 100% open source: Some drivers and some libraries were property of other companies that Sun (now Oracle) licensed and was not able to release.
  • OpenIndiana – A project under the illumos umbrella aiming "... to become the defacto OpenSolaris distribution installed on production servers where security and bug fixes are required free of charge."[92]
  • SchilliX[93] – The first LiveCD released after OpenSolaris code was opened to public.
  • napp-it[94] – A webmanaged ZFS storage appliance based on Solaris and the free forks like OmniOS with a Free and Pro edition.
  • NexentaStor – Optimized for storage workloads, based on Nexenta OS.
  • Dyson – illumos kernel with GNU userland and packages from Debian. Strives to become an official Debian port.
  • SmartOS – Virtualization centered derivative from Joyent.


  • OpenSolaris – A project initiated by Sun Microsystems, discontinued after the acquisition by Oracle.
  • Nexenta OS (discontinued October 31, 2012) – First distribution based on Ubuntu userland with Solaris-derived kernel.[95]
  • StormOS (discontinued September 14, 2012[96]) – A lightweight desktop OS based on Nexenta OS and Xfce.
  • MartUX[97][98] – The first SPARC distribution of OpenSolaris, with an alpha prototype released by Martin Bochnig in April 2006. It was distributed as a Live CD but is later available only on DVD as it has had the Blastwave community software added.[99] Its goal was to become a desktop operating system. The first SPARC release was a small Live CD, released as marTux_0.2 Live CD[100] in summer of 2006, the first straight OpenSolaris distribution for SPARC (not to be confused with GNOME metacity theme). It was later re-branded as MartUX and the next releases included full SPARC installers in addition to the Live media. Much later, MartUX was re-branded as OpenSXCE when it moved to the first OpenSolaris release to support both SPARC and Intel architectures after Sun was acquired by Oracle.[101]
  • MilaX – A small Live CD/Live USB[102][103] with minimal set of packages to fit a 90 MB image.
  • EON ZFS Storage[104] – A NAS implementation targeted at embedded systems.
  • Jaris OS – Live DVD and also installable.[105] Pronounced according to the IPA but in English as Yah-Rees. This distribution has been heavily modified to fully support a version of Wine called Madoris that can install and run Windows programs at native speed. Jaris stands for "Japanese Solaris". Madoris is a combination of the Japanese word for Windows "mado" and Solaris.
  • OpenSXCE – An OpenSolaris distribution release for both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 platforms and SPARC microprocessors, initially produced from OpenSolaris source code repository, ported to the illumos source code repository to form OpenIndiana's first[106] SPARC distribution.[107] Notably, the first OpenSolaris distribution with illumos source for SPARC based upon OpenIndiana, OpenSXCE finally moved to a new source code repository, based upon DilOS.


Robert Lipschutz and Gregg Harrington from PCMag reviewed Solaris 9 in 2002:[108]

All in all, Sun has stayed the course with Solaris 9. While its more user-friendly management is welcome, that probably won't be enough to win over converts. What may is the platform's reliability, flexibility, and power.

Robert Lipschutz also wrote review about Solaris 10:[109]

Be that as it may, since the Solaris 10 download is free, it behooves any IT manager to load it on an extra server and at least give it a try.

Tom Henderson wrote review about Solaris 10 for Network World:[110]

Solaris 10 provides a flexible background for securely dividing system resources, providing performance guarantees and tracking usage for these containers. Creating basic containers and populating them with user applications and resources is simple. But some cases may require quite a bit of fine-tuning.

One of OSNews editor, Robert Escue, wrote in review of Solaris 10:[111]

I think that Sun has put some really nice touches on Solaris 10 that make it a better operating system for both administrators and users. The security enhancements are a long time coming, but are worth the wait. Is Solaris 10 perfect, in a word no it is not. But for most uses, including a desktop OS I think Solaris 10 is a huge improvement over previous releases.

Thomas Greene from The Register wrote review of Solaris 10:[112]

We've had fun with Solaris 10. It's got virtues that we definitely admire. What it needs to compete with Linux will be easier to bring about than what it's already got. It could become a Linux killer, or at least a serious competitor on Linux's turf. The only question is whether Sun has the will to see it through.

Phoronix wrote review of Solaris 11:[113]

Unfortunately much of these Solaris 11 improvements since the abandonment of OpenSolaris have not made it back out yet for incorporating into OpenIndiana/Illumos, etc. Oracle Solaris 11 Express was released last year.

See also


  1. ^ "Oracle Solaris 11.4 Released for General Availability". August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "Oracle Solaris 11 Desktop Feature Summary".
  3. ^ "Oracle and Sun Microsystems".
  4. ^ Michael Totty (September 11, 2006). "Innovation Awards: The Winners Are..." Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 5, 2008. The DTrace trouble-shooting software from Sun was chosen as the Gold winner in The Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards contest
  5. ^ "2008 Technology of the Year Awards: Storage – Best File System". InfoWorld. January 2008. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
  6. ^ "The Open Brand Register of Certified Products". The Open Group. May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Michael Singer (January 25, 2005). "Sun Cracks Open Solaris". Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  8. ^ Steven Stallion / Oracle (August 13, 2010). "Update on SXCE". Iconoclastic Tendencies.
  9. ^ a b Alasdair Lumsden. "OpenSolaris cancelled, to be replaced with Solaris 11 Express". osol-discuss (Mailing list). Archived from the original on August 16, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  10. ^ Solaris still sorta open, but OpenSolaris distro is dead on Ars Technica by Ryan Paul (Aug 16, 2010)
  11. ^ Oracle Solaris 11 Kernel Source-Code Leaked on Phoronix by Michael Larabel (on 19 December 2011)
  12. ^ Disgruntled employee? Oracle doesn’t seem to care about Solaris 11 code leak on Ars Technica by Sean Gallagher (Dec 21, 2011)
  13. ^ "Source Code for Open Source Software Components". Oracle Corporation website. Oracle Corporation. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  14. ^ Salus, Peter (1994). A Quarter Century of Unix. Addison-Wesley. pp. 199–200. ISBN 0-201-54777-5.
  15. ^ "SunSoft introduces first shrink-wrapped distributed computing solution: Solaris" (Press release). Sun Microsystems, Inc. September 4, 1991. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  16. ^ "What are SunOS and Solaris?". Knowledge Base. Indiana University Technology Services. May 20, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Taylor, Noel-Marie; Wallace, Mark (June 15, 1993). "Solaris 2.1: The Rise of a New Sun?". PC Magazine. pp. 243–244.
  18. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (June 15, 1993). "Interactive Unix". PC Magazine. p. 240.
  19. ^ Varghese, Sam. "Bye, bye Solaris, it was a nice ride while it lasted". ITWire. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
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External links

Cray CS6400

The Cray Superserver 6400, or CS6400, is a discontinued multiprocessor server computer system produced by Cray Research Superservers, Inc., a subsidiary of Cray Research, and launched in 1993. The CS6400 was also sold as the Amdahl SPARCsummit 6400E[1].

The CS6400 (codenamed SuperDragon during development) superseded the earlier SPARC-based Cray S-MP system which was designed by Floating Point Systems. However, the CS6400 adopted the XDBus packet-switched inter-processor bus also used in Sun Microsystems' SPARCcenter 2000 (Dragon) and SPARCserver 1000 (Baby Dragon or Scorpion) Sun4d systems. This bus originated in the Xerox Dragon multiprocessor workstation designed at Xerox PARC. The CS6400 was available with either 60 MHz SuperSPARC-I or 85 MHz SuperSPARC-II processors, maximum RAM capacity was 16 GB.

Other features shared with the Sun servers included use of the same SuperSPARC microprocessor and Solaris operating system. However, the CS6400 could be configured with four to 64 processors on quad XDBusses at 55 MHz, compared with the SPARCcenter 2000's maximum of 20 on dual XDBusses at 40 or 50 MHz and the SPARCserver 1000's maximum of 8 on a single XDBus.

An important distinguishing feature of the CS6400 which was not shared by the Sun SPARCcenter and SPARCserver was that each system was invariably equipped with an external System Service Processor (SSP) fitted with a JTAG interface to configure the internal bus control card, the other systems have a JTAG interface but it is not routinely used. While the CS6400 strictly only requires an SSP when the configuration changes, (e.g. a CPU card is pulled for maintenance) some derivative designs, in particular the Sun Enterprise 10000, are useless without their matching SSP.

Upon Silicon Graphics' acquisition of Cray Research in 1996, the Superserver business (by now the Cray Business Systems Division) was sold to Sun. This included Starfire, the CS6400's successor then under development, which became the Sun Enterprise 10000.


GNU GRUB (short for GNU GRand Unified Bootloader, commonly referred to as GRUB) is a boot loader package from the GNU Project. GRUB is the reference implementation of the Free Software Foundation's Multiboot Specification, which provides a user the choice to boot one of multiple operating systems installed on a computer or select a specific kernel configuration available on a particular operating system's partitions.

GNU GRUB was developed from a package called the Grand Unified Bootloader (a play on Grand Unified Theory). It is predominantly used for Unix-like systems. The GNU operating system uses GNU GRUB as its boot loader, as do most Linux distributions and the Solaris operating system on x86 systems, starting with the Solaris 10 1/06 release.


JavaFX is a software platform for creating and delivering desktop applications, as well as rich Internet applications (RIAs) that can run across a wide variety of devices. JavaFX is intended to replace Swing as the standard GUI library for Java SE, but both will be included for the foreseeable future. JavaFX has support for desktop computers and web browsers on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. JavaFX is no longer bundled with the latest Java, nor will be supported by Oracle, while it still is supported for the current long-term version Java SE 8 through March 2022.

Before version 2.0 of JavaFX, developers used a statically typed, declarative language called JavaFX Script to build JavaFX applications. Because JavaFX Script was compiled to Java bytecode, programmers could also use Java code instead. JavaFX applications could run on any desktop that could run Java SE or on any mobile phone that could run Java ME.JavaFX 2.0 and later is implemented as a "native" Java library, and applications using JavaFX are written in "native" Java code. JavaFX Script has been scrapped by Oracle, but development is being continued in the Visage project. JavaFX 2.x does not support the Solaris operating system or mobile phones; however, Oracle plans to integrate JavaFX to Java SE Embedded 8, and Java FX for ARM processors is in developer preview phase.On desktops, JavaFX supports Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, macOS and Linux operating systems. Beginning with JavaFX 1.2, Oracle has released beta versions for OpenSolaris. On mobile, JavaFX Mobile 1.x is capable of running on multiple mobile operating systems, including Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, and proprietary real-time operating systems.

Open-source JavaFXPorts works for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android and embedded (Raspberry Pi); and the related commercial software created under the name "Gluon" supports the same mobile platforms with additional features plus desktop. This allows a single source code base to create applications for the desktop, iOS, and Android devices.

JumpStart (Solaris)

JumpStart is a computer network installation tool set used by the Solaris operating system.


MDB may refer to:

In computing:

.mdb, a file-extension used in certain versions of Microsoft Access databases

MDB, a kernel debugger for the Linux kernel.

MDB, the NASDAQ ticker symbol for MongoDB, a database management system.

Message Driven Bean, a special type of Enterprise JavaBean

Modular Debugger, a debugger available as part of the Solaris Operating System

Multidrop bus, a category of computer busIn entertainment:

Million Dollar Band (marching band) of the University of Alabama, USIn politics:

Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages (MdB), a member of the German Parliament

Brazilian Democratic Movement, a centrist political party in BrazilOther uses:

Multilateral Development Bank

Maidstone Barracks railway station, UK National Rail station code

3,4-methylenedioxybutanphenamine, an entactogenic drug

Mike Shapiro (programmer)

Michael W. "Mike" Shapiro is an American computer programmer who worked in operating systems and storage at Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and EMC.

While working at Sun Microsystems, Shapiro developed pgrep, the Modular Debugger (MDB), DTrace, fault management and diagnosis, and other software for Sun's Solaris operating system.Shapiro and the DTrace team received a Technology Innovation Award and Overall Gold Medal for Innovation for DTrace from the Wall Street Journal in 2006.

DTrace was also recognized by USENIX with the Software Tools User Group (STUG) award in 2008.Starting in 2006, Shapiro led Sun's engineering effort to build a commercial storage product using Solaris and Sun's ZFS filesystem, announced in 2008. After Oracle Corporation acquired Sun, Shapiro managed engineering for storage products.

Shapiro announced his departure from Oracle in a 2010 blog posting, and was revealed several years later as a member of the founding team of DSSD when EMC purchased the startup. He developed the DSSD software architecture with fellow Sun engineer Jeff Bonwick, and served as DSSD's vice president for software.

Shapiro was a co-author of the NVM Express over Fabrics storage protocol announced in 2014.

After EMC was acquired by Dell Technologies, the DSSD group was folded into the EMC storage product division in 2017.

Modular Debugger

The modular debugger (mdb) is an extensible, low-level debugger developed by Sun Microsystems for the Solaris 7 operating system. It is now open sourced, under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

Its source code is now available in all open source derivatives of Solaris, such as Illumos.

Pieter Van den Abeele

Pieter Van den Abeele is a computer programmer, and the founder of the PowerPC-version of Gentoo Linux, a foundation connected with a distribution of the Linux computer operating system. He founded Gentoo for OS X, for which he received a scholarship by Apple Computer. In 2004 Pieter was invited to the OpenSolaris pilot program and assisted Sun Microsystems with building a development eco-system around Solaris. Pieter was nominated for the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board and managed a team of developers to make Gentoo available on the Solaris operating system as well. Pieter is a co-author of the Gentoo handbook.

The teams managed by Pieter Van den Abeele have shaped the PowerPC landscape with several "firsts". Gentoo/PowerPC was the first distribution to introduce PowerPC Live CDs. Gentoo also beat Apple to releasing a full 64-bit PowerPC userland environment for the IBM PowerPC 970 (G5) processor.

His Gentoo-based Home Media and Communication System, based on a Freescale Semiconductor PowerPC 7447 processor won the Best of Show award at the inaugural 2005 Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Florida. Pieter is also a member of the consortium and participates in committees and workgroups focusing on disruptive business plays around the Power Architecture.


PulseAudio is a network-capable sound server program distributed via the project. It runs mainly on Linux, various BSD distributions such as FreeBSD and OpenBSD, macOS, as well as Illumos distributions and the Solaris operating system. Microsoft Windows was previously supported via the MinGW toolchain (implementation of the GNU toolchain, which includes various tools such as GCC and binutils). The Windows port has not been updated since 2011, however.PulseAudio is free and open-source software, and is licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. It is licensed under version 2.1 of the aforementioned license.It was created in 2004 under the name Polypaudio but was renamed in 2006 to PulseAudio.


Seam may refer to:

Seam (sewing), the line where two or more layers of fabric are held together by stitches.

Seam (geology), a stratum of coal or mineral that is economically viable; a bed or a distinct layer of vein of rock in other layers of rock

Seam (metallurgy)

Seam (band), an indie rock band from Chicago, Illinois

Seam (unit), various obsolete units of measurement

Seam bowling, in cricket, refers to bowling with the main seam upright

Seam carving, an image resizing algorithm

Can seamer, a machine used to seal a lid to a can body, such as in paint or food cans

Quarter seam, a thread on the surface of a cricket ball

JBoss Seam, a Java application framework by JBoss

Seam route, a passing route in footballSEAM may refer to:

The ICAO airport code for Chachoan Airport in Ambato, Ecuador

Sun Enterprise Authentication Mechanism, an implementation of Kerberos protocol for the Solaris operating system

Service Management Facility

Service Management Facility (SMF) is a feature of the Solaris operating system as of version 10 and Opensolaris-descendent illumos with its illumos distributions, that creates a supported, unified model for services and service management on each Solaris or illumos system and replaces init.d scripts. SMF introduces:

Dependency order. Services sometimes depend on one another for proper operation, and a robust system should know each service's dependencies. If an underlying service fails, it needs to be corrected before other services that depend upon it are affected.

Configurable boot verbosity

Delegation of tasks to non-root users. A service can be configured to run within a limited set of privileges, rather than as the all-powerful root user. If a service has been compromised, the amount of damage that can be inflicted by the intruder will be minimized if the service's power is constrained to that of a more limited user.

Parallel starting of services. This speeds up the boot process by starting multiple services simultaneously, allowing idle CPU time resulting from a service that is temporarily blocked to be relinquished for use by other services that can start independently of the blocked service.

Automatic service restart after failure. Works in conjunction with the Solaris Fault Manager, allowing software recovery in the event of hardware faults (CPU, memory), admin error such as accidental kills, and software core dumps.All these capabilities are made possible by treating Services as "first class objects". That is, they are more than just user-executed software to the OS. They can be defined to have special states that allow finer control and permit monitoring and probing for diagnosing software failures, rather than having the administrator or dedicated "restarter" modules kill and restart the service as before.

Snoop (software)

Snoop software is a command line packet analyzer included in the Solaris Operating System created by Sun Microsystems. Its source code is now available through the OpenSolaris project.

Solaris Multiplexed I/O

Solaris Multiplexed I/O (MPxIO), known also as Sun StorageTek Traffic Manager (SSTM, earlier Sun StorEdge Traffic Manager), is multipath I/O software for Solaris/illumos. It enables a storage device to be accessed through multiple host controller interfaces from a single operating system instance. The MPxIO architecture helps protect against I/O outages due to I/O controller failures. Should one I/O controller fail, MPxIO automatically switches to an alternate controller.

This architecture also increases I/O performance by load balancing across multiple I/O channels.

It was integrated within the Solaris operating system beginning in February 2000 with Solaris 8 release.

The file to enable or disable mpxio has been moved in Solaris 10 from /kernel/drv/scsi_vhci.conf to the bottom of the file /kernel/drv/fp.conf and /kernel/drv/mpt.conf.

Solaris network virtualization and resource control

Solaris network virtualization and resource control is a set of features originally developed by Sun Microsystems as the OpenSolaris Crossbow umbrella project, providing an internal network virtualization and quality of service framework within the Solaris Operating System.Major features of the Crossbow project include:

Virtual NIC (VNIC) pseudo-network interface technology

Exclusive IP zones

Bandwidth management and flow control on a per interface and per VNIC basis

Spring (operating system)

Spring is a discontinued project/experimental microkernel-based object oriented operating system developed at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. Using technology substantially similar to concepts developed in the Mach kernel, Spring concentrated on providing a richer programming environment supporting multiple inheritance and other features. Spring was also more cleanly separated from the operating systems it would host, divorcing it from its Unix roots and even allowing several OSes to be run at the same time. Development faded out in the mid-1990s, but several ideas and some code from the project was later re-used in the Java programming language libraries and the Solaris operating system.


SunOS is a Unix-branded operating system developed by Sun Microsystems for their workstation and server computer systems. The SunOS name is usually only used to refer to versions 1.0 to 4.1.4, which were based on BSD, while versions 5.0 and later are based on UNIX System V Release 4, and are marketed under the brand name Solaris.

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems, Inc. was an American company that sold computers, computer components, software, and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating system, ZFS, the Network File System (NFS), and SPARC. Sun contributed significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies, among them Unix, RISC processors, thin client computing, and virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982. At its height, the Sun headquarters were in Santa Clara, California (part of Silicon Valley), on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center.

On April 20, 2009, it was announced that Oracle Corporation would acquire Sun for US$7.4 billion. The deal was completed on January 27, 2010.Sun products included computer servers and workstations built on its own RISC-based SPARC processor architecture, as well as on x86-based AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors. Sun also developed its own storage systems and a suite of software products, including the Solaris operating system, developer tools, Web infrastructure software, and identity management applications. Other technologies included the Java platform and NFS. In general, Sun was a proponent of open systems, particularly Unix. It was also a major contributor to open-source software, as evidenced by its $1 billion purchase, in 2008, of MySQL, an open-source relational database management system. At various times, Sun had manufacturing facilities in several locations worldwide, including Newark, California; Hillsboro, Oregon; and Linlithgow, Scotland. However, by the time the company was acquired by Oracle, it had outsourced most manufacturing responsibilities.

Sun StorageTek 5800 System

The Sun StorageTek 5800 System (codename: Honeycomb) is an object-based storage system from Sun Microsystems that uses a symmetric clustered design with both processing and storage functions within a system cell. It is designed for data archive, repository, and distribution applications used by institutions to store large amounts of digital information such as medical information, e-Research, rich media, and digitized historical records.

With a customer-definable metadata schema, the system offers the ability to program the entire indexing schema used to tag and search data. This solution combines a fully native design with systems expertise to create a storage system that runs the Solaris operating system and leverages Java development tools to drive a closer integration between compute and store assets in a data center.

Corporate directors
Acquisitions (list)
Programming languages
Operating systems
Computer hardware
Computer appliances
Education and recognition
OpenSolaris, illumos
Process management
Memory management and
resource protection
Storage access and
file systems
Miscellaneous concepts
High-performance computing

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