The following sections provide overview information about the Solaris Manager Console.
The console includes a default toolbox with many basic management tools, including tools for managing the following:
cron jobs for mounting and sharing file systems
cron jobs for managing disks and serial ports
For a brief description of each Solaris management tool, see Table 2-1.
You can add tools to the existing toolbox, or you can create new toolboxes.
The Solaris Management Console has three primary components:
The Solaris Management Console client
Called the console, this component is the visible interface and contains the GUI tools that are used to perform management tasks.
The Solaris Management Console server
This component is located either on the same system as the console or it is remote. This component provides all of the back-end functionality that enables management through the console.
The Solaris Management Console toolbox editor
This application, which appears similar to the console, is used to add or modify toolboxes, to add tools to a toolbox, or to extend the scope of a toolbox. For example, you could add a toolbox to manage a name service domain.
The default toolbox is visible when you start the console.
Table 2-1 Solaris Management Console Tool Suite
Context-sensitive help is available after you start a tool. For more in-depth online information than the context help provides, see the expanded help topics. You can access these topics from the console Help menu.
The console does the following:
Supports all experience levels
Inexperienced administrators can complete tasks by using the GUI, which includes dialog boxes, wizards, and context help. Experienced administrators find that the console provides a convenient, secure alternative to using a text editor to manage hundreds of configuration parameters spread across dozens, or hundreds, of systems.
Controls user access to the system
Although any user can access the console by default, only superuser can make changes to the initial configuration. As described in Role-Based Access Control (Overview) in System Administration Guide: Security Services, it is possible to create special user accounts called, roles, which can be assigned to users, typically administrators, who are permitted to make specific system changes.
The key benefit of RBAC is that roles can be limited, so that users have access to only those tasks that are necessary for doing their jobs. RBAC is not required for using the Solaris management tools. You can run all of the tools as superuser, without making any changes.
Provides a command-line interface
If preferred, administrators can operate the Solaris management tools through a command-line interface (CLI). Some commands are written specifically to mimic the GUI tool functions, such as the commands for managing users. These commands are listed in Table 1-5, which includes the names and brief descriptions of each command. There is also a man page for each command.
For Solaris management tools that have no special commands, such as the Mounts and Shares tool, use the standard UNIX commands.
For in-depth information about how RBAC works, its benefits, and how to apply those benefits to your site, see Role-Based Access Control (Overview) in System Administration Guide: Security Services.
To learn more about using RBAC with the Oracle Solaris management tools, see Using the Solaris Management Tools With RBAC (Task Map).
In the following figure, the console is shown with the Users tool open.
Figure 2-1 Solaris Management Console Users Tool
The main part of the console consists of three panes:
View pane (right) – For viewing information related to the node selected in the navigation pane. The view pane shows either the contents of the selected folder, subordinate tools, or the data that is associated with the selected tool.
Information pane (bottom) – For displaying context-sensitive help or console events.
The layout of the console window is highly configurable. You can use the following features to change the console window layout:
View menu – Use the Show option in the View menu to hide or display the optional bars and panes. The other options in the View menu control the display of nodes in the view pane.
Console menu – Use the Preferences option to set the following: the initial toolbox, the orientation of panes, clicking or double-clicking for selection, text or icons in the tool bar, fonts, default tool loading, authentication prompts, and advanced logins.
Context Help or Console Events toggles – Use the icons at the bottom of the information pane to toggle between the display of context-sensitive help and console events.
The main source of documentation for using the console and its tools is the online help system. The following two forms of online help are available:
Context-sensitive help responds to your use of the console tools.
Clicking the cursor on tabs, entry fields, radio buttons, and so forth, causes the appropriate help to be displayed in the Information pane. You can close or reopen the Information pane by clicking the question mark button on dialog boxes and wizards.
Expanded help topics are available from the Help menu or by clicking cross reference links in some of the context-sensitive help.
These topics, which are displayed in a separate viewer, contain more in-depth information than is provided by the context help. Topics include: overviews of each tool, explanations of how each tool works, files that are used by a specific tool, and troubleshooting information.
For a brief overview of each tool, refer to Table 2-1.
As described in Why Use the Solaris Management Console?, a major advantage of using the Solaris management tools is the ability to use Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). RBAC provides administrators with access to just the tools and commands they need to perform their jobs.
Depending on your security needs, you can use varying degrees of RBAC.