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Solaris Operating System

August 7, 2009
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Solaris Operating system is developed by Sun Microsystems in 1992. It is a free UNIX based Operating System. Solaris is known for its scalability, especially on SPARC systems, as well for being the origin for many innovative features such as DTrace and ZFS. Solaris supports SPARC-based and x86-based workstations and servers from Sun and other vendors, with efforts underway to port to additional platforms.

Solaris has a reputation for being well-suited to symmetric multiprocessing, supporting a large number of CPUs. 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 often led to more reliable systems, but at a cost premium over product PC hardware. However, it has also supported x86 systems since Solaris 2.1 and the latest version, Solaris 10, includes support for 64-bit x86 applications, allowing Sun to capitalize on the availability of commodity 64-bit CPUs based on the x86-64 architecture.

Early releases of Solaris used OpenWindows as their desktop environment. In Solaris 2.0 to 2.2, OpenWindows supported both NeWS and X applications, and provided some backward compatibility for SunView applications from Sun’s older desktop environment. Sun later dropped support for NeWS and SunView applications: OpenWindows 3.3 (which shipped with Solaris 2.3) was a port of X11 releases 5.

Solaris’ source code (with a few exceptions) has been released under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) via the OpenSolaris project. The CDDL is an OSI-approved license. It is considered by the Free Software Foundation to be free but incompatible with the GPL.

The latest version of Solaris Operating System is Solaris 10. In Jan 31 2005 they have released the Solaris 10.

The features of Solaris 10 are as follows.

It includes x64 (AMD64/EM64T) 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.

  1. Solaris 10 1/06 added the GRUB bootloader for x86 systems and iSCSI Initiator support.
  2. Solaris 10 6/06 added the ZFS filesystem.
  3. Solaris 10 11/06 added Solaris Trusted Extensions and Logical Domains.
  4. Solaris 10 8/07 added Samba Active Directory support, IP Instances, iSCSI Target support and Solaris Containers for Linux Applications (based on branded zones).
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