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|Transitioning From Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11 Oracle Solaris 11 Information Library|
The default desktop environment in Oracle Solaris 11 is the Oracle Solaris Desktop, which includes GNOME 2.30 from the GNOME Foundation. Also included is the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird Email client, and the Lightning calendar manager from the Mozilla Foundation.
Note - If you use the text installation method, the Oracle Solaris Desktop package (solaris-desktop) is not installed on your system by default. Also, the solaris-desktop package cannot be applied directly to a running system. For more information, see Installing the Oracle Solaris Desktop Software Package After an Installation.
Other new desktop features include the following:
Accessibility feature enhancements
Bluefish HTML editor
Compiz OpenGL based window manager
D-Bus IPC Framework
Evince PDF viewer
GIMP image editing program
GNOME Python bindings
Gobby text editing collaboration tool
Multimedia support enhancements
Planner and openproj project management tools
Trusted Extensions integration
xchat IRC client
Xserver features that augment the desktop, such as virtual terminal (VT) switching
The following key features are new or enhanced in Oracle Solaris 11:
Accessibility enhancements – Users with disabilities can use a wide range of accessibility features, including Orca, espeak, and brltty. These features replace gnopernicus and provide better text-to-speech support. The dasher on-screen keyboard also has been added in this release.
Note that the GNOME On-screen Keyboard (GOK) program that is used Oracle Solaris 10 is no longer available. The new dasher application can be used as a replacement for some users.
Command Assistant – Locates command-line information in Oracle Solaris managed content, for example books and man pages. To add Command Assistant to the desktop panel, use the Add to Panel -> Command Assistant dialog box.
Graphical login manager – Oracle Solaris 10 uses the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) and dtlogin as the default login GUI. The GNOME graphical desktop manager (GDM) is also available in Oracle Solaris 10. In this release, GDM is the only graphical login option.
The GDM configuration process has also changed considerably in Oracle Solaris 11. To learn more, consult the gdm and console-kit-daemon man pages. ConsoleKit configuration features are now used to manage multi-seat environments. To troubleshoot transition issues, see GNOME Desktop Manager Issues.
Audio devices – The new Open Sound System (OSS) framework manages audio devices and provides better audio support. Some audio devices that were previously supported are no longer supported. Programs that use the Sun Audio Device Architecture (SADA) interfaces continue to be supported. If your audio device is not working properly, you can launch a dialog box from the desktop that enables you to choose which audio device and GStreamer audio input/output plugins to use:
This program also includes a Test button that enables you to determine whether your audio settings are correct. Note that some audio cards present themselves as having more than one device, for example, one for analog audio and one for digital audio. If you are currently using RealPlayer, you will need to transition to the multimedia tools that are currently supported.
FreeDesktop GStreamer – The FreeDesktop GStreamer module is a desktop tool that provides multimedia support. GStreamer uses a plug-in infrastructure that enables the use of additional media formats.
gksu – Is the graphical version of the sudo command. When launched, the tool displays a prompt that enables you to type an additional password to run an administrative tool.
Additional media tools – The Rhythmbox media player, Cheese photo/video tool, the Ekiga video conference tool, and the Brasero CD/DVD burner are included in this release.
Multimedia formats – The FLAC, Speex, Ogg Vorbis, and Theora media formats are supported through the use of GStreamer plugins. Oracle Solaris 11 provides GStreamer 0.10, while Oracle Solaris 10 uses GStreamer 0.8.
Network configuration management – The NWAM feature is used to manage automatic network configuration from the desktop. This tool functions similarly to the netcfg and netadm command-line tools. See Part I, Network Auto-Magic, in Oracle Solaris Administration: Network Interfaces and Network Virtualization.
Package Manager and Update Manager – Are the graphical versions of the IPS command-line tools. Package Manager and Update Manager can be used to manage and update software packages from the desktop. See Chapter 2, IPS Graphical User Interfaces, in Adding and Updating Oracle Solaris 11 Software Packages for instructions on using these tools.
Print management – CUPS is the default print service in Oracle Solaris 11, replacing the LP print service. Solaris Print Manager is no longer available. CUPS has a print manager that can be started from the desktop by choosing System -> Administration -> Print Manager.
Removable media – Oracle Solaris 11 includes various removable media enhancements, including support for hot-pluggable device discovery, content recognition, usability, security, and performance across all layers of the software stack, from device drivers to the GUI. You can use the Eject button on a CD/DVD drive's front panel to eject a disc, even if it is mounted. The Nautilus file manager automatically registers when external hard drives or flash cards are inserted.
The functions of the vold daemon and the volcheck command are now performed by the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) through the rmvolmgr and gvfs-hal-volume-monitor commands, which are HAL-aware. See rmvolmgr(1M).
Seahorse – GnuPG is now supported. The Seahorse application manages encryption keys and passwords in the gnome-keyring. Seahorse also replaces the gnome-keyring-manager for managing SSH and GnuPG keys.
Time Slider – Manages ZFS snapshots. The tool can be used to regularly back up data by taking timed ZFS snapshots.
Solaris Trusted Extensions (GNOME) desktop – This feature is now only supported in the Oracle Solaris Desktop (GNOME 2.30). In Oracle Solaris 10, Trusted Extensions is supported in both CDE and the GNOME Desktop. In Solaris 8 and earlier releases, Trusted Solaris support is limited to CDE.
This version of the Trusted Extensions desktop includes significant changes that improve usability, robustness, and functionality. In addition, zones and RBAC improvements have been made. For example, the txzonemgr GUI has significantly improved. This tool can now be used to manage most aspects of Trusted Extensions. If you are currently using Trusted CDE, you will need to migrate to the version of Trusted Extensions that is currently supported.
Virtual console terminals – You can now switch between an X session and a virtual console terminal. This service is enabled by default. To switch between sessions, use the Alt + Ctrl + F# hotkey combination. For example, to switch to vt2, press Alt + Ctrl + F2. Also, you can create graphical VT sessions and then switch between those sessions by using the User Switcher panel applet. To add the applet to the desktop, right click the panel, then select the Add to Panel... option. To switch to a new or different graphical login session, click the applet, then select Switch User.
Web browser and Email – Oracle Solaris 11 includes the new Firefox and Thunderbird applications.