What's New in the Solaris Express Developer Edition
x86: GRUB Extended Support for Directly Loading and Booting the UNIX Kernel
Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 release, changes have been made to GRUB that enable the boot loader to
directly load and boot the unix kernel. The GRUB multiboot module is no
longer used. This implementation integrates the previous multiboot functionality directly into the platform-specific
unix kernel module. These changes reduce the time, as well as memory requirements,
that are needed to boot the Solaris OS.
Two new keywords, kernel$ and module$, have been added to GRUB to assist
in creating menu.lst entries that work with either 32-bit or 64-bit systems. Another
new keyword, $ISADIR, displays 32–bit and 64–bit information in the boot command. In
addition, the bootadm command that manages the menu.lst file has been modified to
create file entries for the platform-specific unix module that is loaded by GRUB. During
an upgrade, the bootadm command converts any existing multiboot menu.lst entries to unix
Note - These new keywords are used in normal installations. However, the miniroot is 32-bit
only. Therefore, failsafe installations do not use the new keywords.
For overview and task-related information, see Chapter 11, Administering the GRUB Bootloader (Tasks), in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration. See also Chapter 12, Booting a Solaris System With GRUB (Tasks), in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.
For more information, see the boot(1M) and bootadm(1M) man pages.
The Solaris Express Developer Edition Release
The Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 (Developer) release includes new device drivers and additional developer tools. In addition, you
can now upgrade your Developer release. Additional developer tools include Sun Studio 12, NetBeans
Visual Web Pack 5.5, and NetBeans Profiler 5.5.
Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 2/07 release, a new installation provides a simple initial installation of the Solaris
OS for your laptop. Combined with community and Sun support and training services,
the Developer release includes the tools, technologies, and platforms that enable developers
to create custom Solaris, JavaTM, and Web 2.0 applications.
The Developer release installs a Solaris system that is automatically networked by
using DHCP with DNS name resolution. IPv6 is also enabled. The Solaris Developer
release is an initial installation, not an upgrade.
The Developer release is the new default installation from the DVD. In the
initial installation screen, you now see the following choices with the Developer release
as the default.
Solaris Express Developer Edition
Solaris Express Serial Console ttya
Solaris Express Serial Console ttyb (for lx50,v60x and v65x)
The “Solaris Express” and “Solaris Express Serial Console” installations provide system administrators with
the necessary choices to set up servers and clients. Because of the configuration
choices, these installations require more time. These installation options do not include the developer
tools. If you choose the Solaris Express Developer Edition option and do not
have enough memory to run the graphical user interface (GUI), you must select
one the of the other “Solaris Express” installations on the screen.
The Developer release includes the following developer tools, operating system, and desktop:
SunTM Studio 11 – C, C++, Fortran compilers, IDE, and integrated tools
NetBeansTM IDE 5.5 – An open-sourced IDE for Java software developers
NetBeans IDE Enterprise Pack 5.5 – Added to the NetBeans IDE, functionality to develop Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5 based applications
Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 – The OpenJDK based release of the Java platform JDK
StarOfficeTM 8 – The OpenOffice based productivity suite, including word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tools
Open Source Tools – Over 150 open source applications, including Perl, Python, and GCC
Solaris Express operating system and desktop - Includes new features from the Java Desktop System (JDS). JDS is a secure and comprehensive enterprise desktop software solution that combines open-source innovation from communities such as GNOME, and Firefox. The Desktop includes the following:
GNOME 2.16 - The latest enhanced GNOME desktop
Firefox 2.0 and Thunderbird 1.5 - Current release of Mozilla browser and email service
Orca - Screen reader and magnifier for the JDS/GNOME desktop
Java and GNOME bindings for the GNOME Platform libraries and the Cairo 2D drawing engine - Enable GNOME and GTK+ applications to be written in Java software
NetBeans plug-ins - Used in the NetBeans IDE to create applications
Ekiga - An open-source desktop Voice over IP (VoIP) and video-conferencing application for the GNOME desktop
Vino - Provides the ability to remotely administer a desktop session
To learn more about the JDS features, see Open Solaris https://opensolaris.org/os/project/jds/.
Note - The Solaris Express Developer Edition is currently only for x86 based systems. However,
developers on SPARC based systems can obtain similar functionality by downloading Solaris
Express Community Edition and then installing Sun Studio and NetBeans IDE 5.5 with
NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5.
Downloads are available at the following Web sites:
Automated Network Configuration
Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 release, the booting process runs the nwamd daemon. This daemon implements an
alternate instance of the SMF service svc:/network/physical which enables automated network configuration with minimal
intervention. The Open Solaris Network Auto-Magic Phase 0 page and nwamd man page
contain further information, including instructions for turning off the NWAM daemon, if preferred. For
more information and a link to the nwamd(1M) man page, see https://www.opensolaris.org/os/project/nwam/phase0/.
For the 5/07 developer release, the NWAM daemon is enabled by default under
the following circumstances:
You have selected the “Solaris Express Developer Edition” choice on the installation screen.
And, after having made this choice, you are performing an initial installation.
The NWAM daemon is not enabled under the following circumstances:
On the installation screen, you choose “Solaris Express.”
Or, you choose to upgrade after any choice on the installation screen.
In those cases, you must manually turn on the NWAM daemon. See the nwamd(1M) man page for details.
Upgrading the Solaris OS When Non-Global Zones Are Installed
Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 2/07 release, you can upgrade the Solaris OS when non-global zones are installed.
Note - The only limitation to upgrading involves a Solaris Flash archive. When you
use a Solaris Flash archive to install, an archive that contains non-global
zones is not properly installed on your system.
Changes to accommodate systems that have non-global zones installed are summarized below.
For the Solaris interactive installation program, you can upgrade or patch a system when non-global zones are installed. The time to upgrade or patch might be extensive, depending on the number of non-global zones that are installed.
For an automated JumpStart installation, you can upgrade or patch with any keyword that applies to an upgrade or patching. The time to upgrade or patch might be extensive, depending on the number of non-global zones that are installed.
For Solaris Live Upgrade, you can upgrade or patch a system that contains non-global zones. If you have a system that contains non-global zones, Solaris Live Upgrade is the recommended upgrade program or program to add patches. Other upgrade programs might require extensive upgrade time, because the time required to complete the upgrade increases linearly with the number of installed non-global zones. If you are patching a system with Solaris Live Upgrade, you do not have to take the system to single-user mode and you can maximize your system's uptime.
Solaris Live Upgrade creates a copy of the OS on the inactive boot environment. The inactive boot environment can be upgraded or patched when non-global zones are installed. The inactive boot environment can then be booted to become the new boot environment. Changes to accommodate systems that have non-global zones installed are the following:
A new package, SUNWlucfg, is required to be installed with the other Solaris Live Upgrade packages, SUNWlur and SUNWluu. This package is required for any system, not just a system with non-global zones installed.
These three packages comprise the software needed to upgrade by using Solaris Live Upgrade. These packages include existing software, new features, and bug fixes. If you do not install these packages on your system before using Solaris Live Upgrade, upgrading to the target release fails.
Creating a new boot environment from the currently running boot environment remains the same as in previous releases with one exception. You can specify a destination disk slice for a shared file system within a non-global zone.
The argument to the -m option has a new optional field, zonename. This new field enables creating the new boot environment and specifying zones that contain separate file systems. This argument places the zone's file system on a separate slice in the new boot environment.
The lumount command now provides non-global zones with access to their corresponding file systems that exist on inactive boot environments. When the global zone administrator uses the lumount command to mount an inactive boot environment, the boot environment is mounted for non-global zones as well.
Comparing boot environments is enhanced. The lucompare command now generates a comparison of boot environments that includes the contents of any non-global zone.
Listing file systems with the lufslist command is enhanced to display a list of file systems for both the global zone and the non-global zones.
For step-by-step procedures for upgrading a system with non-global zones installed or
for information on the Solaris Zones partitioning technology, see the following references.
New sysidkdb Tool Prevents Having to Configure Your Keyboard
SPARC: This feature was introduced for SPARC based systems in the Solaris Express 10/06 release.
x86: This feature was introduced for x86 based systems in the Solaris Express Developer Edition 2/07.
The sysidkdb tool configures your USB language and its corresponding keyboard layout.
The following procedure occurs:
If the keyboard is self-identifying, the keyboard language and layout automatically configures during installation.
If the keyboard is not self-identifying, the sysidkdb tool provides you, during the installation, a list of supported keyboard layouts during installation, so that you can select a layout for keyboard configuration.
SPARC: Previously, the USB keyboard assumed a self-identifying value of 1 during the
installation. Therefore, all of the keyboards that were not self-identifying always configured for a
U.S. English keyboard layout during installation.
Note - PS/2 keyboards are not self-identifying. You are asked to select the keyboard layout
during the installation.
Prevent Prompting When You Use the JumpStart Program
If the keyboard is not self-identifying and you want to prevent being prompted
during your JumpStart installation, select the keyboard language in your sysidcfg file. For
JumpStart installations, the default is for the U.S. English language. To select another
language and its corresponding keyboard layout, set the keyboard keyword in your sysidcfg
For more information, see one of the following:
New sharemgr Utility for File-Sharing
Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 2/07 release, you can use the new sharemgr utility for file-sharing tasks during
installations. This new utility both simplifies and enhances the file-sharing process and related tasks.
You do not need to use the share, shareall, or unshare utilities, although
these utilities are still available. Additionally, you do not need to edit the
The sharemgr utility introduces the concept of a share group. Options for sharemgr
are set to a share group, not to a specific file or directory.
A share group can be used by multiple file-system types, such as NFS
and ZFS. For example, the share group, my_group, could have one set
of options for NFS and another set of options for ZFS.
For more information, see the sharemgr(1M) man page. See also, sharemgr Command in System Administration Guide: Network Services.
Note - Starting with the Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 release, installation documentation provides both options for file-sharing, using sharemgr or using the share