What's New in the Solaris 9 Operating Environment

Appendix B Features in the Solaris 7 Software Release

Appendix B summarizes features in the Solaris 7 operating environment.

Note -

This appendix includes only features that were in the initial Solaris 7 software release.

Features that were added in the Solaris 7 Update releases are documented in Appendix A, Features in the Solaris 8 Software Release.

Solaris 64-bit Operating Environment

Feature Description 

SPARC: 64-bit Operating Environment

The 64-bit Solaris operating environment is a complete 32-bit and 64-bit application and development environment that is supported by a 64-bit operating system. This environment 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, this environment supports a 64-bit virtual address space and removes other existing 32-bit system limitations. (This feature is for the Solaris operating environment SPARC Platform Edition only.)

Web Browser

Feature Description 

Netscape Communicator

Solaris 7 software now ships with Netscape Communicator. 

Network Management and System Administration

Feature Description 

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. After 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 that is required to reboot a system if it crashes, or after an unclean halt.

UFS Mount Option: -o noatime

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

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

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

SPARC: Dynamic Reconfiguration

Dynamic reconfiguration enables the service provider to add, or remove and replace, hot-pluggable system boards in a running system, eliminating the time lost in rebooting. (This feature is provided for certain SPARC systems only.) 

New Commands: pgrep and pkill

The pgrep command checks the active processes on the system and displays the process IDs of the processes with attributes that 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.

Updated Version: 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.

New Utility: traceroute

Solaris 7 software includes the popular traceroute utility. The traceroute utility is used to trace the route an IP packet follows to an Internet host. This utility 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

Feature Description 


TCP selective acknowledgment (TCP SACK) provides the support that is described in RFC 2018 to solve problems that are related to congestion and multiple packet drops. In particular, TCP with SACK addresses problems in applications that use TCP large windows (RFC 1323) over satellite links or transcontinental links. 

Network Security

Feature Description 

RPC Modification: RPCSEC_GSS Command

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

NIS+ Extended Diffie-Hellman

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

BIND 8.1.2

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


Feature Description 

SPARC: Installing a 64-bit Operating Environment

The Solaris 7 installation programs have a new check box for selection of 64-bit support. This feature is selected by default when you install on UltraSPARCTM platforms.

Installing AnswerBook Collections With Solaris Web Start

The Solaris 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.  


Feature Description 

Man Pages in AnswerBook2 Format

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

Run AnswerBook2 from 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 by using the ab2cd script. You can then view the documentation from the CD.

Use CGI-Based Web Servers

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

Control Display of Style Sheet Errors

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

Language Support

Feature Description 

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 type and display text from different writing scripts such as Japanese, Thai, and Russian. Users can also 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 preprocessing 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 PostScript 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 change, 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 Middle Eastern regions.


Feature Description 

UNIX 98 Branding

Solaris 7 software is branded UNIX 98. 

Software Developer Environment

Feature Description 

SPARC: 64-bit Developer Environment

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.

Display Enhancements to the man Utility

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) that were provided for developers 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 that are developed for, and deployed in, the enterprise and across the network. 

WebNFS Software Development Kit Included

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

Function-Call Tracing: truss Utility

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

Improved Device Configuration Library

The libdevinfo library, which is 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).

Graphics and Imaging

Feature Description 

XIL Foundation Imaging Library

The XILTM foundation imaging library is suitable for libraries or applications that require 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 that represent a left-eye/right-eye view. This support provides an image display with depth perception. 

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


Feature Description 

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 that was developed on the Solaris 7 operating environment provides advanced and standard support for Hebrew, Arabic, and Thai customers. 


Feature Description 

Enhanced Font Management

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

Intel Platform Edition Hardware Support

Feature Description 

SCSI Disk Driver sd Command

The sd SCSI disk target driver, that was 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).