The following system performance features and enhancements have been added to the Solaris 10 10/08 release.
The Solaris SPARC bootstrap process has been redesigned to increase commonality with the Solaris x86 boot architecture.
The improved Solaris boot architecture brings direct boot, ramdisk-based booting, and the ramdisk miniroot to the SPARC platform. These enabling technologies support the following functions:
Booting a system from additional file system types. For example, a ZFS file system.
Booting a single miniroot for software installation from DVD, NFS, or HTTP
Additional improvements include significantly faster boot times, increased flexibility, and reduced maintenance requirements.
As part of this architecture redesign, the Solaris boot archives and the bootadm command, previously only available on the Solaris x86 platform, are now an integral part of the Solaris SPARC boot architecture.
The primary difference between the SPARC and x86 boot architectures is how the boot device and file are selected at boot time. SPARC-based systems continue to use the OpenBoot PROM (OBP) as the primary administrative interface, with boot options selected by using OBP commands. On the x86 based platform, these options are selected through the BIOS and the GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB) menu.
In the Solaris 10 10/08 release, the ability to directly load and boot the UNIX kernel is only available on the SPARC platform. The x86 platform continues to use the multiboot style of booting.
Although the implementation of the Solaris SPARC boot has changed, no administrative procedures for booting a SPARC-based system have been impacted. Boot tasks that are performed by the system administrator remain as they were prior the boot architecture redesign.
For more information, see the following:
Chapter 12, Booting a Solaris System (Tasks), in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration for instructions on booting a Solaris system
The kernel now detects the presence of existing Intel SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, and AMD SSE4A instruction sets. This feature enables loading and executing programs that require these hardware capabilities. dis(1) now supports disassembly of instructions from these instruction set extensions.