Solaris 8 7/01 What's New Supplement

Chapter 3 What's New for System Administrators

This chapter highlights new system administration features that have been added to the Solaris 8 Update releases.

Note –

For the most current man pages, use the man command. The Solaris 8 Update release man pages include new feature information not found in the Solaris 8 Reference Manual Collection.

Table 3–1 Solaris 8 Features for System Administrators


First Released 

Managing With System Administration Tools 

Solaris Management ConsoleTM (SMC) 2.0 is a GUI-based "umbrella application" that serves as the launching point for a variety of management tools. The SMC comes complete with a default toolbox that contains the following tools:

  • Processes – Suspend, resume, monitor, and control processes.

  • Users – Set up and maintain user accounts, user templates, groups, mailing lists, Administrative Roles, and Rights. Grant or deny rights to users and to administrative roles—to control the specific applications each can work with and which tasks each user can perform.

  • Scheduled Jobs – Schedule, start, and manage jobs.

  • Mounts and Shares – View and manage mounts, shares, and usage information.

  • Disks – Create and view disk partitions.

  • Serial Ports – Configure and manage existing serial ports.

  • Log Viewer – View application and command-line messages and manage log files.

You can also manage diskless clients, but with commands only, not through the GUI. 

You can add or delete tools from the default toolbox or create a new toolbox to manage a different set of tools by using the SMC Toolbox Editor.  

For more information about using the command-line interface, see “Solaris Management Console Overview” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement. For information on how to start SMC, see “Starting Solaris Management Console” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement. Also, see the help associated with each tool.


Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) includes standards for web-based management of systems, networks, and devices on multiple platforms. This standardization enables system administrators to manage desktops, devices, and networks.  

In the 10/00 Update release, additions include a description of the system properties that the CIM Object Manager uses and descriptions of the new Solaris_Printer and other printing definition classes.

In the 1/01 Update release, additions include:  

  • Updated description of init.wbem command, which now starts the Solaris Management Console (SMC) server as well as the CIM Object Manager

  • Added section that describes how to upgrade the CIM Object Manager repository

  • Updated Security chapter refers the user to Solaris Management Console (SMC) for implementing role-based access control (RBAC)

  • wbemlogviewer application replaced with Solaris Management Console (SMC) Log Viewer for viewing log file information

  • Added description of new Solaris_Network1.0.mof file and Solaris_Users1.0.mof file

In the 4/01 Update release, additions include:  

  • Sun WBEM SDK 2.4 – Prior to this update, Sun WBEM SDK had been delivered as a component of the Solaris Management SDK CD.

    Sun WBEM SDK 2.4 implements the CIM Event model.

    The documentation for the Sun WBEM SDK includes man pages, context-sensitive online help for CIM Workshop, Javadoc reference pages for the WBEM application programming interfaces, and an AnswerBookTM version of the Sun WBEM SDK Developer's Guide.

  • New providers:

    • SNMP Provider

    • Product Registry Provider

    • Performance Provider

    The providers are documented with HTML pages derived from the related MOF files at /usr/sadm/lib/wbem/doc.

  • MOF Compiler(mofcomp), which contains enhancements to support standalone mode and conversion of MOF files to XML. Two arguments have been added to the mofcomp command:

    -x converts CIM classes that are defined in the MOF file to XML documents.

    -o dirname sets the MOF Compiler to run in standalone mode, without a CIM Object Manager.

To view the book, see the Solaris WBEM Services Administrator's Guide.


Updated 1/01 and 4/01 

Managing Servers and Clients 

Diskless Client Management is available through the command line. You can manage diskless clients, list OS services for diskless clients, and manage patches on all existing diskless clients.  

For information on diskless client management, see “Managing Diskless Clients Overview” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Managing System Security 

The role-based access control (RBAC) databases can be managed through the Solaris Management Console (SMC) graphical interface. Rights can contain other rights. Rights can now be assigned by default in the policy.conf file.

For more information, see “Role-Based Access Control” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


The Generic Security Services Application Programming Interface (GSS-API) is a security framework that enables applications to protect the data they transmit. The GSS-API provides authentication, integrity, and confidentiality services to applications. The interface permits those applications to be entirely generic with respect to security. That is, they do not have to know the underlying platform (such as the Solaris platform) or security mechanism (such as Kerberos) being used. This means that applications that use the GSS-API can be highly portable.  

For more information, see the GSS-API Programming Guide.


SPARC: The Solaris Smart Cards Administration Guide has been updated. Information on setting up internal card readers has been added. Step-by-step instructions for setting up smart-card support have been streamlined to make setting up smart cards easier.

In the 4/01 release, previous technical inaccuracies have been corrected. Also, a new chapter describes the tasks that you need to perform for smart-card setup. Another new chapter describes additional configuration tasks that you might need to perform if the default smart-card properties are not sufficient for your security environment. 

To view this book, see the Solaris Smart Cards Administration Guide.


Updated 4/01 

Managing Networks 

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service enables host systems to receive IP addresses and network configuration information at boot time from a network server. The Solaris DHCP service has been enhanced in several ways to enable it to support larger numbers of clients:

  • The Solaris DHCP server now uses multithreading to serve multiple clients simultaneously.

  • A new data store that stores data in binary files can support larger numbers of clients with faster access than with the ASCII files and NIS+ data stores.

  • Access to files and NIS+ data stores has been redesigned to support server multithreading.

  • Data access architecture has been changed to enable third parties to write code modules to enable the DHCP server to use any data service to store DHCP data.

In addition, the Solaris DHCP server now supports dynamic DNS updates. You can enable the DHCP service to update the DNS service with the host names of DHCP clients that request a specific host name. 

The Solaris DHCP client can now be configured to request a specific host name. 

For more information, see the Solaris DHCP Administration Guide.


Solaris PPP 4.0 enables a system in one location to communicate over telephone lines or leased communications media with a system at a remote location. This implementation of Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is based on the widely used Australian National University (ANU) PPP, and is entirely new for the Solaris operating environment. PPP 4.0 is easily configured through a set of files. It supports both asynchronous and synchronous communications and offers Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) and Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentication. Because Solaris PPP 4.0 is highly configurable, customers can easily tailor PPP to fit their remote communications needs. 

For further information, see the pppd(1m) man page.

For information on licensing terms, please refer to the incorporated material at the following locations: 





The Solaris Network Cache and Accelerator (NCA) has been improved with the addition of a sockets interface to NCA through which any web server can communicate with NCA with minimal modifications. Web servers such as Apache, iPlanet iWS and Zeus are able to make use of NCA performance by using standard socket library functions. 

For more information about NCA, see “Solaris Network Cache and Accelerator (NCA)” in the System Administration Guide, Volume 3.


Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) version 8.2.2 new functionality includes:

  • In.named configuration options – See conf(4) man page.

  • Extensions to the resolver (3RESOLV) interface that are safe to use in multithreaded applications.

  • The addition of the ndc(1M) command, which is used to start or stop reconfigure in.named, and the dnskeygen(1M) command, which is used to create TSIG and DNSSEC keys.


sendmail version 8.10 has new command-line options, new and revised configuration file options, new defined macros, new and revised m4 configuration macros, new and modified compile flags, new delivery agent flags, new equates for delivery agents, new queue features, new uses for LDAP, new rule set features, new file locations, and a new built-in mailer feature. “Mail Services” also describes changes to mail.local, changes to mailstats, and changes to makemap.

For more information, see “Mail Services” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Updated 7/01 

IP network multipathing provides your system with recovery from single-point failures with network adapters and increased traffic throughput. In the 10/00 release, if a failure occurs in the network adapter, and if you have an alternate adapter connected to the same IP link, the system switches all the network accesses automatically from the failed adapter to the alternate adapter. This process ensures uninterrupted access to the network. Also, when you have multiple network adapters connected to the same IP link, you achieve increased traffic throughput by spreading the traffic across multiple network adapters. 

In the 4/01 release, dynamic reconfiguration (DR) uses IP network multipathing to decommission a specific network device with no impact on existing IP users.  

The 7/01 release introduces the new IPMP Reboot Safe feature. When a failed NIC is removed from the system by using dynamic reconfiguration, and a reboot occurs prior to reinsertion of a functioning NIC, the system attempts, but fails, to plumb an interface for the missing NIC. Rather than losing the IP address, the IPMP Reboot Safe feature transfers the IP address to another NIC in the IPMP interface group. 

For more information, see the IP Network Multipathing Administration Guide.


Updated 4/01 and 7/01 

Mobile Internet Protocol (IP) enables the transfer of information to and from mobile computers, such as laptop and wireless communications. In the 6/00 release, the mobile computer can change its location to a foreign network and still access and communicate with and through the mobile computer's home network. The Solaris implementation of Mobile IP supports only IPv4.  

In the 4/01 release, Mobile IP enables system administrators to set up reverse tunnels. By setting up a reverse tunnel from the mobile node's care-of address to the home agent, you ensure a topologically correct source address for the IP data packet. By using reverse tunnels, system administrators can also assign private addresses to mobile nodes. 

For more information, see the Mobile IP Administration Guide.


Updated 4/01 

SPARC: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is now supported in the iPlanetTM Web Server directory server. To set up the iPlanet directory server to support Solaris clients, see the LDAP Setup and Configuration Guide.


Managing File Systems 


Improved UFS functionality: The performance of direct I/O, which is used by database applications to access unbuffered file-system data, has been improved by allowing concurrent read access and write access to regular UFS files.  

For more information on direct I/O concurrency, see “Improved UFS Direct I/O Concurrency” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


UFS Snapshots provides the new fssnap command for backing up a file system while the file system is mounted. A snapshot is a temporary image of a file system, intended for backup operations. Previously, the documentation recommended when using the ufsdump command, you bring the system to single-user mode to keep the file system inactive during a backup.

For more information on UFS Snapshots, see “Creating UFS Snapshots” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


The mkfs command has been updated to improve performance when you create file systems. Improved mkfs performance is often 10 times faster than in previous Solaris releases. Performance improvements are seen on systems when you create both large and small file systems. However, the biggest mkfs performance improvements occur on systems with high-capacity or high-speed disks.


Managing Removable Media 

Removable media management now fully supports removable media such as DVD-ROMs, Zip drives, Jaz drives, CD-ROMs, and diskettes. For information on how to use this feature, see “Managing Removable Media” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Updated 10/00 

Managing Devices 

Sun Gigaswift Ethernet Driver: The Solaris 7/01 release adds support for the Sun Gigaswift 1000Base-T Ethernet driver. This product gives exceptional performance of a 1Gbyte twisted-pair copper Ethernet link. 


Reconfiguration Coordination Manager (RCM) scripts enable a Solaris system administrator to use a script that cleanly shuts down devices and applications during a dynamic reconfiguration operation. 

For more information, see “Reconfiguration Coordination Manager (RCM) Scripts” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


You can use Solaris Print Manager to set up a Universal Serial Bus (USB) printer that is attached to a SPARC system with USB ports. For more information, see “USB Printer Support” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.

For an overview of USB, see “Overview of USB Devices” in Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Updated 1/01 and 4/01 

In the mp program enhancement, the mp(1) command is modified to work as an X Print Server client. With a properly configured X Print Server running in the host machine, mp(1) can print output in any Print Description Language that the X Print Server supports. The newly introduced options, -D and -P, can be used for making mp(1) work as an X Print Server client.

For more information, see the “mp(1) Print Filter Enhancement Overview” in the Solaris 8 Software Developer Supplement.


Improved dynamic reconfiguration error messages are intended to help system administrators troubleshoot problems when they remove a system resource, such as a configured swap area or a dedicated dump device.  

For more information on dynamic reconfiguration, see “New Dynamic Reconfiguration Error Messages” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Managing System Resources 

Extended accounting introduces a new variable-length, general-purpose accounting file format that represents general groups of accounting data. Also included is the ability to configure resource utilization that was recorded by the kernel in the various accounting files.  

For information on how to use this feature, see “Extended Accounting Features” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


Managing System Performance 

Dynamic Intimate Shared Memory (DISM) allows a database to dynamically extend or reduce the size of the shared data segment, eliminating the misconfiguration problem and denial-of-service security vulnerability present with Intimate Shared Memory (ISM). 

The ISM is a shared memory segment consisting of large locked memory pages. The ISM number of locked pages remains constant (can not be changed). Dynamic ISM (DISM) is pageable ISM shared memory where the number of locked pages is variable (can be changed). Therefore, the DISM supports releasing or adding more physical memory to the system during dynamic reconfiguration. The size of the DISM can span available physical memory plus disk swap. 


The enhanced directory name look-up cache (DNLC) improves performance when you access files in large directories.  

For information on how to use this feature, see “DNLC Improvements” in the Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement.


The Solaris Tunable Parameters Reference Manual has been updated. Information on the semsys:seminfo_semmnu parameter has been added to this book.


This book has been updated in the Solaris 8 7/01 release to describe a new parameter, logevent_max_q_sz, first available in the Solaris 8 1/01 release, and corrections to the tcp_slow_start_initial and tmpfs:tmpfs_minfree parameters.

To view the book, see the Solaris Tunable Parameters Reference Manual.


Updated 7/01 

Early Access 

This release includes an Early Access (EA) directory with EA software. For more information, see the README on the Solaris Software CD 2 of 2.