Solaris 7 (SPARC Platform Edition) Installation Library

Why Upgrade to the Solaris 7 Release

The following key features are the highlights of this release. Table 2-1 overviews these new features and Chapter 2 provides details on each feature.

Table 2-1 Solaris 7 Features at a Glance



Solaris 64-bit Operating Environment 

64-bit operating environment (SPARC only) 

The 64-bit Solaris operating environment is a complete 32-bit and 64-bit application and development environment supported by a 64-bit operating system. This permits maximum compatibility and interoperability for existing applications, both source and binary. At the same time, the 64-bit Solaris operating environment overcomes many of the limitations of the 32-bit system, most notably by supporting a 64-bit virtual address space as well as removing other existing 32-bit system limitations. (For SPARC Platform Edition only) 

Web Browser 

NetscapeTM Communicator

Solaris 7 software now ships with Netscape Communicator. 

Network Management and System Administration 

UFS logging 

UFS logging is the process of storing transactions (changes that make up a complete UFS operation) in a log before the transactions are applied to the UFS file system. Once a transaction is stored, the transaction can be applied to the file system later.  

UFS logging provides two advantages. It prevents file systems from becoming inconsistent, therefore eliminating the need to run fsck(1M). And, because fsck can be bypassed, UFS logging reduces the time required to reboot a system if it crashes, or after an unclean halt.

-o noatime UFS mount option

To ignore access time updates on files, you can specify the -o noatime option when mounting a UFS file system. This option reduces disk activity on file systems where access times are unimportant (for example, a Usenet news spool).


The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an open-standard, platform-independent, access protocol based on the X.500 informational model. It is designed to run over TCP/IP and uses simple string encodings. LDAP applications are client-server applications and the client library included in this release enables developers to write LDAP applications and users to run LDAP enabled applications. 

Dynamic reconfiguration 

 Dynamic reconfiguration allows the service provider to add, or remove and replace, hot-pluggable system boards in a running system, eliminating the time lost in rebooting. (For certain SPARC systems only.)

New commands: pgrep and pkill

The pgrep command looks at the active processes on the system and displays the process IDs of the processes whose attributes match the specified criteria on the command line. The pkill command works the same way as the pgrep command except that each matching process ID is signaled by kill(2) instead of having the process ID displayed.

sendmail 8.9

This version includes hooks that enable restriction of spam (unsolicited, bulk email); virtual hosting that allows email to be received using different domain names; and an improved configuration hierarchy that makes building your own sendmail configuration file much easier.

Traceroute utility 

Solaris 7 software bundles the popular traceroute utility. The traceroute utility is used to trace the route an IP packet follows to an Internet host. It is especially useful for determining routing misconfiguration and routing path failures. 

System crash dump utility 

The system crash dump features include the following:

  • The dumpadm command enables system administrators to configure crash dumps of the operating system.

  • Dump data is now stored in compressed format on the dump device.

  • Saving core files is run in the background when a dedicated dump device--not the primary swap area--is part of the dump configuration.

Network Performance 

TCP with SACK 

TCP selective acknowledgment (TCP SACK) provides the support described in RFC 2018 to solve the problems related to congestion and multiple packet drops, especially in applications using TCP large windows (RFC 1323) over satellite links or transcontinental links.  

Network Security  


RPC has been modified based on the GSS-API. This increases security integrity and confidentiality, and NFS services are no longer tied down to a specific or a single security mechanism.  

NIS+ extended Diffie-Hellman 

NIS+ enhances NIS+ security by increasing the authentication key length from 192 bits to 640 bits. 

BIND 8.1.2  

Berkeley Internet Name Deamon (BIND), the most popular DNS implementation, has been upgraded to 8.1.2. It provides a new configuration file that enhances network security through the use of access control lists (ACLs). 

Ease-of-Use and Management Improvements 


SPARC: Installing a 64-bit operating environment 

The Solaris 7 installation programs have a new check box for selection of 64-bit support; it is selected by default when installing on UltraSPARCTM platforms.

Installing AnswerBooks with Web Start 

The Web Start product (on the Documentation CD) provides a point-and-click interface with selections for installing the AnswerBook2 server, all document collections on this CD, or selected document collections.  

More locale selections 

In the Solaris 7 release, the English and European localized versions of Solaris software have been combined on a single CD. As a result, more locale selections are available during installation of this combined CD than were seen for Solaris 2.6 software.  


Man pages available in AnswerBook2 format 

Man pages are available in AnswerBook2 (SGML), rather than AnswerBookTM format. This provides improvements in navigation and links to man pages directly from other AnswerBook2 documents.

Running an AnswerBook2 server directly from the Documentation CD 

With a Documentation CD and root access to the system on which the CD is connected, the AnswerBook2 server can run directly from the CD using the ab2cd script. The documentation can be viewed from the CD.

Ability to use CGI-based web servers 

The AnswerBook2 server can run on top of an existing web server, such as Sun WebServer, rather than requiring an additional web server run on the system solely for AnswerBook2 support.  

Ability to control display of style sheet errors 

An environment variable, AB2_DEBUG, can be set on the AnswerBook2 server. It controls whether style sheet errors are displayed to the user with a red "BUG."

Language Support 

Enhanced language framework 

  • Solaris software has expanded its Unicode support with the addition of six new UTF-8 locales: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Europe. Also, enhanced Unicode locale with multiscript capability is included. Users can input and display text from different writing scripts such as Japanese, Thai, and Russian, and easily switch between the scripts without having to change to or install a new locale.

  • Complex text support has been integrated for complex text layout languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai, which require special text pre-processing to handle bidirectional, composite, and context-sensitive text.

  • Solaris 7 software implements the Internet Intranet Input Method Protocol (IIIMP) to enable seamless interoperability between the input methods provided in Solaris, Java, and non-X Windows applications.

  • The Desktop Font Downloader enables users to download, remove, re-encode and convert fonts, check status, and perform other administrative tasks on a PostScriptTM printer.

Expanded locale support 

  • The European Community (EC) has agreed to standardize on a single currency - the "Euro" currency. Beginning January 1999, all foreign exchange, banking, and finance industries in the EC will convert from using their local currencies to using the Euro. In anticipation of this changeover, Solaris 7 software has added support for the Euro currency with six new user locales.

  • Solaris software has added support for the Eastern European, Thai, and the Middle Eastern regions.


UNIX 98 branding 

Solaris 7 software is branded UNIX 98. 

Software Developer Environment 

64-bit developer environment (SPARC only) 

The Solaris 7 operating environment provides developers with complete 32-bit and 64-bit development environments. 

Runtime linker  

The runtime linker permits programs to find shared libraries without having to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH and makes the loading of shared libraries even more efficient.

man utility now displays SGML code

The man utility is now able to display man pages that are coded with SGML, as well as the traditional nroff.

Solaris 64-bit X Window libraries 

All of the core X11 shared libraries (.so) and all lint libraries (.ln) for programmers provided in 32-bit versions are available in 64-bit versions for 64-bit Solaris software.

Java Development Kit for Solaris performance improvements 

The Java Development Kit 1.1.5 for Solaris has been specially tuned and tested. As a result, it offers significantly improved scalability and performance for Java applications developed for, and deployed in, the enterprise and across the network. 

WebNFSTM Software Development Kit included

The WebNFS Software Development Kit (SDK) provides remote file access for Java applications using WebNFS. Since it implements the NFSTM protocol directly, it requires no NFS support on the host system.

truss now performs function-call tracing

The truss utility traces the system calls, signals, and machine faults of a process. It has been enhanced with a new option to enable entry and exit tracing of user-level function calls executed by the traced process.

Improved device configuration library 

The libdevinfo library, used to obtain device configuration information, has been made more robust and comprehensive in Solaris 7 software. For more information, see the man page libdevinfo(3).



The XIL foundation imaging library is suitable for libraries or applications requiring imaging or digital video, such as document imaging, color prepress, or digital video generation and playback. 

New support for stereoscopic image display enables the presentation of image pairs representing a left-eye/right-eye view. This provides an image display with depth perception. 

The XIL Developer's Kit is now separate from Solaris and is available free of charge. 


Common Desktop Environment, (CDE) 

CDE contains new tools to make it easy to find, manipulate, and manage address cards, applications, email addresses, files, folders, hosts, processes, and web addresses. 

Included in CDE is support for Motif 2.1, which includes five new Motif widgets and is MT-safe. Motif 2.1 supports ISO standard Complex Text Language locales in which a single binary developed on the Solaris 7 operating environment provides advanced and standard support for Hebrew, Arabic, and Thai customers. 


Enhanced Font Management 

The Desktop Font Downloader allows users to download, remove, re-encode and convert fonts, check status, and perform other administrative tasks on a PostScriptTM printer.

Intel Platform Edition Hardware Support 

SCSI disk driver sd

The sd SCSI disk target driver, formerly supplied only on Solaris (SPARC Platform Edition) systems, is now used for SCSI disk support and ATAPI CD-ROM support in place of cmdk. The cmdk driver is still available to support non-SCSI hard disks.

Intelligent I/O framework support 

Intelligent I/O (I2O) is an emerging standard for modular, high-performance I/O subsystems. This feature, which is dependent on I2O-capable hardware, is only available for Solaris (Intel Platform Edition).