Solaris Transition Guide



The specific components of a computer system and the way they interact with one another. From a Solaris 7 kernel perspective, "architecture" refers to the type of CPU chip in the system. In this manual, the only architecture discussed is the kernel architecture (for example sun4, sun4c, or sun4m).

Binary Compatibility Package

An optional package that enables existing SunOS release 4 applications, both statically and dynamically linked, to run under SunOS release 5.7 without modification or recompilation.


A system that uses NIS, NFS, or other services provided by another system.


A functional collection of software packages.

Configuration cluster

A default selection of clusters representing typical software selections.


A system whose /usr and /usr/kvm file systems are provided by a file server, and whose root and swap disk partitions are on a directly connected disk.


Device Driver Interface. Facilitates both source and binary portability across successive releases of the operating system on a particular system.


Driver Kernel Interface. A defined service interface for the entry point routines and utility functions specified for communication between the driver and the kernel. It does not encompass the driver/hardware or the driver/boot software interface.

Disk partition

See disk slice.

Disk slice

A discrete portion of a disk, configured during installation. Slices were referred to as partitions under the SunOS 4.1.x and System V Release 3 software.


A system whose root, swap, and /usr file systems (disk partitions) are provided by an NFS server (or file server) instead of a directly connected disk.


Domain name system. The distributed name/address mechanism used in the Internet.


Executable and linking format. The native object format of Solaris 7 executables.

Heterogeneous server

A server of diskless clients that is a mix of its own architecture and other kernel architectures.

Homogeneous server

A server of diskless clients that has only clients with the same kernel architecture.

Install server

A machine that provides boot service and network access to the Solaris 7 distribution. This can be on either a local CD-ROM or a file system containing a copy of the distribution.

IP address

A unique number that identifies each host in a network. The address is partitioned into two distinct parts: a network part and a host part.

Kernel architecture

The hardware portion of a Solaris 7 kernel. Two systems have the same kernel architecture if the same Solaris 7 kernel runs on both of them. Not all Sun-4 systems have the same kernel architecture.

Multiple OS operation

The operation that enables a SPARC server to continue serving SunOS 4.1.x clients while the server is running the Solaris 7 release. In this special case, a heterogeneous server could be serving clients of the same kernel architecture.


A number used by software to separate additional network information (called the "subnet") from the host part of an IP address. The netmask is also referred to as the subnet mask.


The network information service. NIS provides information about machines and services in a local area network.


An enhanced version of the network information service software. These enhancements include secure updates, better performance, and hierarchical naming.


Abbreviation for OPEN LOOK Intrinsics Toolkit.


A functional grouping of software. All SunOS release 5.7 software is grouped and distributed in packages. Packages are also the standard way to deliver unbundled Sun and third-party software.


Services Access Facility. A SunOS release 5.7 tool for managing access to local and network system services, such as modems and terminals


Service Access Control. Commands used to set up and manage services.


A system that provides services to the network. These services include NFS system and NIS database access.

Source Compatibility Package

An optional package that contains a collection of SunOS release 4 and BSD commands, library routines, and header files otherwise not available with Solaris 7 software.


A system that does not depend on a server for its root, swap, or /usr disk partitions.

Time zone

Any of the 24 longitudinal divisions of the earth's surface for which a standard time is kept.


Software products not delivered as part of SunOS release 5.7 software distribution: for example, the SunPro compilers