Solaris (originally called SunOS) is a high-end workstation and server operating system developed by Oracle (formerly Sun Microsystems, Inc. who were bought out by Oracle in 2010). Solaris had many desktop environments. Suntools, was introduced in the mid-1980s for Sun's own Sun-3 workstation. When Solaris 2.0 was released, they started using OpenWindows, then CDE, and then (as now) GNOME.

In 2005, OpenSolaris was released by Sun. When Oracle acquired Solaris, it was announced that OpenSolaris would be discontinued and Solaris 11 would be released under a proprietary license. Its successor is Illumos which comes in various distributions such as OpenIndiana, SmartOS, Tribblix, and OmniOS.

Version list[edit | edit source]

Version Release date
Sun Unix 0.7 1982
Sun UNIX 4.2 Release 0.4 1983
SunOS 1.0 November 1983
SunOS 1.1 April 1984
SunOS 1.2 January 1985
SunOS 2.0 May 1985
SunOS 3.0 February 1986
SunOS 3.2 September 1986
SunOS 3.5 January 1988
SunOS 4.0 December 1988
SunOS 4.0.1 December 1988
SunOS 4.0.2 September 1989
SunOS 4.0.3 May 1989
SunOS 4.0.3c June 1989
SunOS 4.1 March 1990
SunOS 4.1e April 1991
SunOS 4.1.1 March 1990
SunOS 4.1.1B February 1991
SunOS July 1991
SunOS 4.1.1_U1 November 1991
SunOS 4.1.2 December 1991
SunOS 4.1.3 August 1992
SunOS 4.1.3C November 1993
SunOS 4.1.3_U1 December 1993
SunOS 4.1.3_U1B February 1994
SunOS 4.1.4 November 1994

Solaris / SunOS 5.x

Solaris version SunOS version Release date Notes
Solaris 2.0 SunOS 5.0 June 1992 Available only for developers. NIS+ support.
Solaris 2.1 SunOS 5.1 December 1992 for SPARC, May 1993 for x86 Support for sun4 and sun4m architectures. First x86 release. Support for SMP.[1]
Solaris 2.2 SunOS 5.2 May 1993 SPARC-only release. Support for sun4d hardware. Added multithreading libraries.[2]
Solaris 2.3 SunOS 5.3 November 1993 SPARC-only release. OpenWindows drops NeWS in favor of Display Postscript. SunView support dropped.
Solaris 2.4 SunOS 5.4 November 1994 First unified release. Support for the Motif runtime.
Solaris 2.5 SunOS 5.5 November 1995 Support for UltraSPARC processor. Includes CDE, NFSv3 and NFS/TCP. Dropped sun4 support.
Solaris 2.5.1 SunOS 5.5.1 May 1996 The only release that supports PowerPC processors. Processor sets included, resource management technologies and expanded user and group IDs to 32 bits.
Solaris 2.6 SunOS 5.6 July 1997 Intoduced Kerberos 5, PAM, TrueType fonts, WebNFS, large file support and an enhanced procfs. Dropped support for SPARCserver 600MP series of servers.
Solaris 7 SunOS 5.7 November 1998 Support for 64-bit UltraSPARC. Sun dropped the 2.x prefix. Added UFS logging. Dropped MCP support for x86.
Solaris 8 SunOS 5.8 February 2000 Introduces Multipath I/O, Solstice DiskSuite, IPMP, support for IPv6 and IPsec, mdb, and RBAC. Dropped sun4c support.
Solaris 9 SunOS 5.9 28 May 2002 for SPARC, 10 January 2003 for x86 Added iPlanet Directory Server, Resource Manager, extended file attributes, IKE IPsec keying. Dropped OpenWindows and sun4d support.
Solaris 10 SunOS 5.10 31 January 2005 Support for x86_64 Intel/AMD processors. Includes DTrace, Solaris Containers, Service Management Facility (SMF), which replaces init.d. sun4m support dropped. UltraSPARC I support dropped. Support for EISA-based PCs removed. Adds JDS (Java Desktop System), based on GNOME 2. Solaris 10 had many updates over the years, each adding new features (such as ZFS, GRUB for x86 systems) and fixing bugs and improving perfomance. Last update is 1/13.
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 SunOS 5.11 15 November 2010 Adds a new packaging system called IPS (Image Packaging System), ZFS (only) for boot, a minimum of 1GB of RAM, Solaris Containers, network virtualization (from OpenSolaris), quality of service (QoS), virtual consoles (also from OpenSolaris), ZFS encryption and deduplication, fast reboot (carried from OpenSolaris), Updated GNOME 2. Removed CDE, Xsun, and the /usr/ucb commands.
Solaris 11 SunOS 5.11 2011-11-09 New enhancements and features as compared to Solaris 10.

This version keeps the same features from Solaris 11 Express and adds a few more. These new features are:

  • Distro Constructor for creating custom Solaris installation images.
  • Zones: Immutable (read-only) Zones, NFS servers in such zones, delegated administration, P2V pre-flight check, zonestat utility along with libzonestat dynamic linked library.
  • The root account is a role, netcat and other enhancements.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Support for sun4 and sun4m architectures added; first Solaris x86 release. First Solaris 2 release to support SMP.
  2. SPARC-only release. First to support sun4d architecture. First to support multithreading libraries (UI threads API in libthread).