Getting Started with Solaris 10


Must to know keywords: Before kick starting the SOLARIS study lets be aware of few important keywords and FACTS about the SOLARIS OS.

Process: A process is a program running or being executed on the computer.Every process has a unique identifier number known as process ID.

Daemon: This would be something new to Window’s user. A daemon is also a process which often runs continuously as long as the system is up.This daemons runs in background. The daemons starts when the system starts and ends with the shutdown.

Kernel: Kernel is the heart of operating system. Its the core defining program for the Operating system.

Shell is the program through which a user interacts with the kernel. It acts as a wrapper between the user and kernel.When a user issues a command on the shell, the shellgoes to kernel and gets back the required information to the user.Shell Script: We can write a series of shell command in a file and execute them. This file is known as shell script.

A brief Introduction to SOLARIS OS:
Solaris from SUN Microsystems, founded in February 1982 by Bill Joy (among others), who was previously involved in the development of BSD 4.1. It was the improved version of BSD 4.1 that was released by SUN as SunOS in 1983. It was based on SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture).

In the year 1996 the Sun Solaris was introduced both for the SPARC and X86 based architecture. It had both CDE (Common Desktop Environment and JDS (Java Desktop System).
Difference b/w SPARC and X86 based machines:
It uses RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) It uses CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing)
It uses SCSI(Smaller Computing System Interface). The benefits of SCSI are: 1. Increase performance
2. Increase data availability
3. Hot Swappable
It uses IDE(Integrated Device Electronic)
Types of Chips in SPARC
  1. PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)It is an 8kb chip which is non-pluggable. It understands only hardware commands & it does not understand OS related commands. The main purpose of PROM chip is to configure the system h/w and to set boot priorities.To go to Open Boot Prompt (OBP) or OK prompt: press STOP (key) + A
  1. NV RAM (Non-Volatile RAM chip)It is also a chip which is pluggable but it contains unique hardware ID which cannot duplicate to other machines.
    NV RAM chips contains complete information about the PROM chip like:
  1. Prom release and version
  2. Host ID
  3. MAC Address
  4. RAM size
Different releases of SOLARIS:
SOLARIS 10 beta released in the year 2004
SOLARIS 10 OEM released in the year 2005
SOLARIS 10 New features released in the year 2006
SOLARIS 11 was released in the year 2011
New Features in SOLARIS 10
  1. Zones: It is nothing but virtual OS something like virtual OS under Vmware. The main purpose of ZONES is to reduce the h/w costs and to utilize the CPU and hardware resource effectively. SOLARIS supports maximum 8192 virtual OS. We can install only SOLARIS OS in virtual OS.
  2. SMF: The main purpose of it is to increase the performance of the server by enabling the services which we required and by disabling the services which we don’t require.
  3. ZFS: It is advance file system which supports maximum 16 Exabytes. It is OS dependent.

Logging into Solaris Desktop Environment:
When a user logins into the Solaris Desktop environment, the login screen appears have following fields:
Start Over:
Various login options: 
When a user selects the options button at login screen, a list with menu appears:
Language: It is used to change the language option.
CDE (Common Desktop Environment)
Java Desktop System, Release 3
User’s Last Desktop: It displays the desktop used at the end of                                                                                             previous session.
Failsafe session: It displays the terminal window instead of starting a desktop session. This can be used when a user has trouble login in single X-terminal window. It is available even when command line logging option is not available.
Remote Login: It is used to connect to remote system.
Enter Host Name …
Choose Host List
Command line login : 
This is used to work in UNIX command environment. Type exit to get out of the command line environment. The desktop login screen re-appears after 30 seconds.
Reset login screen
It is used to reset desktop environment login screen.
Changing User Password:
In Solaris OS, the user password must have following characteristics:
1. Password length: 6-8 characters in length.
2. It contains at least 2 alphabetic characters & must contain at least one numeric or special character such as semicolon(;), an asterisk(*), or a dollar sign($).
3. Differ from the user’s login name.
4. Differ from previous password by at least three characters
5. Contain spaces(optional)
6. Not to be reverse of the user’s login name.
Note: The above password requirements do not apply to the system administrator’s root account.
To change the password perform following steps:
1. Run the passwd command.
2. Type the existing password at the Enter existing password prompt.
3. Type the new password at the new password prompt.
4. Re-enter the new password again at the Re-enter new password prompt.
Securing Desktop Environment session:
1. Locking screen: click Launch -> Lock Screen.
2. Exiting session:Click Launch -> Log out -> OK
Customizing desktop session:
To change desktop background:
Launch -> Preferences -> Desktop Preferences -> Display
To customize workspace:
Move mouse to Workspace switcher area in front of pannel -> Right click on workspace –> Select preferences 
Managing files:
Double click on Documents icon on desktop
Launch -> Open Recent -> Open Documents Folder

Using Online Documentation:
The Online reference manual(man) pages provide detailed descriptions if Solaris commands and how to use them. It explains detained information about the usage of an command.
Syntax: man options command
Example:# man ls

The above example gives detailed information about the ls command.

Scrolling in man pages:
Scrolling Keys
Space bar Displays the next screen of a man page
Return Displays the next line of a man page
b Moves back one full screen
/pattern Searches forward for a pattern
n Finds the next occurrence of pattern after /pattern command is used
h Provides description of all scrolling capabilities
q Quits the man page and returns to shell
Searching man pages:

man intro 
It is used to view descriptive information about sections contained in the man pages.
man -s number <command>|<filename>

This is used for looking a specific section of man pages .

man -l command

This is used to list the man pages that relate to the same command.

man -k keyword
It searches all the man pages containing the keyword specified.
man -k clear
The above command finds the man page that contains the keyword ‘clear’.

man -M path
Specify an alternate manpath to use. By default, man uses manpath derived code to determine the path to search. This option overrides the $MANPATH environment variable and causes option -m to be ignored.

Preformatted man pages:

The catman command is used to create preformatted man pages, which is faster to access, however they occupy more space.  catman  makes  use of the index database cache(windex) associated with each hierarchy to determine which files need to be formatted.
#catman -w
The above command configures windex database for man pages.

The online product documentation can be found from the link:

Few FAQs : You may skip this section if not interested.
DMP(Dynamic Multipathing)
This is miscellaneous information and you can skip if not interested. In computer data storage technology field, dynamic multipathing (DMP) is a multipath I/O enhancement technique that balances input/output (I/O) across many available paths from the computer to the storage device to improve performance and availability. The name was introduced with Veritas Volume Manager software.
The DMP utility does not take any time to switch over, although the total time for failover is dependent on how long the underlying disk driver retries the command before giving up.
IDE Controller (Integrated Device Controller):
The IDE controller is used mostly in X86 based system.
There can be maximum two IDE controller attached to a Motherboard with each port being able to control two IDE devices, for a total of four. So totally 4 device can be connected via IDE Controller in a system.
Following example explains the same:
c0d0 – Primary Master
c0d1 – Primary Slave
c1d0 – Secondary Master
c1d1 – Secondary Slave
There can be maximum of 10 slices in an x-86 based machine. Following example illustrate the same:
c0d0s0, c0d0s1,………c0d0s9
c0d1s0, c0d1s1,………c0d1s9
c1d0s0, c1d0s1,………c1d0s9
c1d1s0, c1d1s1,………c1d1s9
Note: ‘c’ refers to controller, ‘d’ refers to disk and ‘s’ refers to slice.
SCSI Controller (Small Computing System Interface):
There are three types of SCSI controller:
1. Narrow SCSI
It supports maximum of 7-device and only 8 slices
Example:         c0t0d0s0, c0t0d0s1,……….c0t0d0s7
                        c0t1d0s0, c0t1d0s,………… c0t1d0s7
                        c0t6d0s0, c0t6d0s1,……….. c0t6d0s7
Note: ‘t’ refers to target.
2. Wide SCSI & 3. Ultra SCSI
It supports maximum of 15 devices and 8 logical partitions.
The difference between Wide & Ultra SCSI is that the performance is better in Ultra SCSI.



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