Solaris 10 What's New

System Administration Enhancements

The following system administration features and enhancements have been added to the Solaris 10 8/07 release.

Name Service Switch Enhancements

Enhancements have been made to the name service switch (nss) and to the Name Switch Cache Daemon (nscd(1M)) in order to deliver new functionality. These enhancements include the following:

For more information about per-user lookups, see System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP).

iostat Improvements

The -Y option of the iostat command provides new performance information for machines that use Solaris I/O multipathing.

For more information, see the iostat(1M) man page.

Solaris System Registration

Starting with this release, you can register the Solaris OS by using one of the following methods:

Basic Registration 1.1 is a system administration feature that was introduced in the Solaris 10 6/06 release. The Basic Registration feature enables you to create a registration profile and ID to automate your Solaris 10 software registrations for the Update Manager. The Update Manager is the single system update client that is used by Sun Connection. Sun Connection was formerly known as Sun Update Connection System Edition. The Basic Registration wizard appears on system reboot. For information on the Basic Registration 1.1 feature , see Basic Registration 1.1. For information about Sun Connection's product portfolio and how to register with the wizard, see the Sun Connection Information Hub at

Solaris Registration enables you to register one or more instances of your Solaris software at the same time by providing a Sun Online Account user name and password. To register, go to

Sun Service Tag

A Sun Service Tag is a product identifier that is designed to automatically discover your Sun systems, software, and services for quick and easy registration. A service tag uniquely identifies each tagged asset, and enables the asset information to be shared over a local network in a standard XML format.

Service tags are enabled as part of the Service Management Facility (SMF) and the SMF generic_open.xml profile. If you select the SMF generic_limited_net.xml profile, service tags are not enabled.

For more information about SMF, see the System Administration Guide: Basic Administration. For more information about service tags, the types of information collected, and automatic registration, see Sun Connection on BigAdmin at

MPxIO Path Steering

The MPxIO path steering feature includes a mechanism for issuing SCSI commands to an MPxIO LU to be delivered down a specified path to the LU. In order to provide this functionality, a new IOCTL command, MP_SEND_SCSI_CMD, is added and is referenced through the existing scsi_vhci IOCTL interface. An extension is introduced to the multipath management library (MP-API) which provides access to this new IOCTL command. This enables network administrators to run diagnostic commands through a specified path.


raidctl is a utility that can perform RAID configuration work by using multiple RAID controllers. The raidctl feature contains more detailed information about RAID components, including controller, volume and physical disks. The raidctl utility enables the user to track the RAID system more closely and simplify the learning effort on diverse RAID controllers.

For more information, see the following:

Brand-Specific Handlers for zoneadm Commands

The zoneadm(1M) command is modified to call an external program that performs validation checks against a specific zoneadm operation on a branded zone. The checks are performed before the specified zoneadm subcommand is executed. However, the external brand-specific handler program for zoneadm(1M) should be specified by the brand's configuration file, /usr/lib/brand/<brand_name>/config.xml. The external program is specified by the brand's configuration file by using the <verify_adm> tag.

To introduce a new type of branded zone, and list brand-specific handlers for the zoneadm(1M) subcommand, add the following line to the brand's config.xml file:

<verify_adm><absolute path to external program> %z %* %*</verify_adm>

In this line, %z is the zone name, the first %*is the zoneadm subcommand, and the second %* is the subcommand's arguments.

This feature is useful when a given branded zone might not support all the zoneadm(1M) operations possible. Brand-specific handlers provide a way to gracefully fail unsupported zoneadm commands.

Ensure that the handler program that you specify recognizes all zoneadm(1M) subcommands.

x86: Fault Management For Next Generation AMD Opteron Processors

The fault management feature introduces error-handling and fault-management support for CPUs and memory in systems that use AMD (TM) Opteron and Athlon 64 Rev F processors. These processors are used in the “M2” products from Sun such as the Sun Fire X2200 M2 and Ultra 20 M2. Releases prior to Solaris 10 8/07 provided fault management support for Opteron and Athlon 64 revisions B through E.

Fault management support is enabled by default. The fault management service detects correctable CPU and memory errors, the resulting telemetry is analyzed by diagnosis engines, and errors and faults are corrected whenever possible. When errors cannot be corrected by the system, the extended telemetry provides greater assistance to the system administrator.

For more information see

x86: Predictive Self-Healing for PCI Express on x64 Systems

Starting with this release, the Solaris OS includes a set of predictive self-healing features to automatically capture and diagnose hardware errors detected on your system.

The Solaris Fault Manager automatically diagnoses failures in x64 hardware. Diagnostic messages are reported by the fmd daemon.

For more information about Fault Management in Solaris, see the following:

x86: stmsboot Porting

Starting with this release, the stmsboot utility is ported to x86 systems. stmsboot is a utility that is used to enable or disable MPxIO for fibre-channel devices. This stmsboot utility already exists on SPARC systems.

Users can use this utility to enable or disable MPxIO automatically. Previously, users had to enable or disable MPxIO manually, which was difficult, especially for a SAN system boot.

For more information, see the following:

x86: Concurrent FPDMA READ/WRITE QUEUED Under SATA Module

Starting with this release, concurrent READ/WRITE FPDMA QUEUED commands are supported. There is considerable performance enhancement when performing I/O operations using the Solaris marvell88sx driver under specific workload conditions. Other workloads benefit to a smaller degree. There is also significant performance enhancement under many workloads for drives that support this optional portion of the SATA specification.

x86: Tagged Queuing

Tagged queuing enables SATA disks to optimize head motion and performance.