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Solaris Express Developer Edition What's New
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New Features in Solaris Express 12/05

This section describes all features that are new or have been enhanced in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

The ZFS File System

This file system enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

This Solaris Express release includes ZFS, a new 128-bit file system. ZFS provides simple administration, transactional semantics, end-to-end data integrity, and immense scalability. ZFS is not an incremental improvement to existing technology. Rather, ZFS is a fundamentally new approach to data management.

ZFS uses a pooled-storage model that completely eliminates the concept of volumes. Thus, ZFS eliminates the associated problems of partition management, provisioning, and growing file systems. Thousands of file systems can all draw from a common storage pool. Each system consumes only as much space as actually needed. The combined I/O bandwidth of all devices in the pool is available to all file systems at all times.

All operations are “copy-on-write” transactions, so the on-disk state is always valid. Every block has a checksum, so silent data corruption is impossible. In addition, the data is self-healing in replicated configurations. This feature means that if one copy is damaged, ZFS detects the damage and uses another copy to repair the damaged copy.

ZFS is Easy to Administer

For system administrators, the greatest improvement of ZFS over traditional file systems is the ease of administration.

ZFS takes a single command to set up a mirrored storage pool and file system. For example:

# zpool create home mirror c0t1d0 c1t2d0

The above command creates a mirrored storage pool named home and a single file system named home. The file system is mounted at /home.

With ZFS, you can use whole disks instead of partitions to create the storage pool.

Then, you can use the /home file system hierarchy to create any number of file systems beneath /home. For example:

# zfs create home/user1

For more information, see the zpool(1M) and zfs(1M) man pages.

In addition, ZFS provides the following administration features:

  • Backup and restore capabilities

  • Device management support

  • Persistent snapshots and cloning features

  • Quotas that can be set for file systems

  • RBAC-based access control

  • Storage pool space reservations for file systems

  • Support for Solaris systems that have zones installed

For more information, see the ZFS Administration Guide.

ZFS Command Improvements and Changes

The following section describes recent improvements and changes to the ZFS command interface in the Solaris Express release.

  • Clearing device errors – You can use the zpool clear command to clear error counts associated with a device or the pool. Previously, error counts were cleared when a device in a pool was brought online with the zpool online command.

  • Compact NFSv4 ACL format – Three NFSv4 ACL formats are available: verbose, positional, and compact. The new compact and positional ACL formats are available to set and display ACLs. You can use the chmod command to set all 3 ACL formats. Use the ls -V command to display compact and positional ACL formats and the ls -v command to display verbose ACL formats.

  • Double Parity RAID-Z (raidz2) – A replicated RAID-Z configuration can now have either single- or double-parity, which means that one or two device failures can be sustained respectively, without any data loss. You can specify the raidz2 keyword for a double-parity RAID-Z configuration. Or, you can specify the raidz or raidz1 keyword for a single-parity RAID-Z configuration.

  • Hot spares for ZFS storage pool devices – The ZFS hot spares feature enables you to identify disks that could be used to replace a failed or faulted device in one or more storage pools. Designating a device as a hot spare means that if an active device in the pool fails, the hot spare automatically replaces the failed device. Or, you can manually replace a device in a storage pool with a hot spare.

  • Replacing a ZFS File System With a ZFS Clone (zfs promote) – The zfs promote command enables you to replace an existing ZFS file system with a clone of that file system. This feature is helpful when you want to run tests on an alternative version of a file system and then, make that alternative version of the file system the active file system.

  • Recovering destroyed pools – The zpool import -D command enables you to recover pools that were previously destroyed with the zpool destroy command.

  • Temporarily take a device offline – You can use the zpool offline -t command to take a device offline temporarily. When the system is rebooted, the device is automatically returned to the ONLINE state.

  • Upgrading ZFS Storage Pools (zpool upgrade) – You can upgrade your storage pools to a newer version to take advantage of the latest features by using the zpool upgrade command. In addition, the zpool status command has been modified to notify you when your pools are running older versions.

  • ZFS backup and restore commands are renamed – The zfs backup and zfs restore commands are renamed to zfs send and zfs receive to more accurately describe their function. The function of these commands is to save and restore ZFS data stream representations.

  • ZFS and zones improvements – On a Solaris system with zones installed, you can use the zoneadm clone feature to copy the data from an existing source ZFS zonepath to a target ZFS zonepath on your system. You cannot use the ZFS clone feature to clone the non-global zone. You must use the zoneadm clone command. For more information, see System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System.

  • ZFS is integrated with Fault Manager – A ZFS diagnostic engine is included that is capable of diagnosing and reporting pool failures and device failures. Checksum, I/O, and device errors associated with pool or device failures are also reported. Diagnostic error information is written to the console and the /var/adm/messages file. In addition, detailed information about recovering from a reported error can be displayed by using the zpool status command.

For more information about these improvements and changes, see the ZFS Administration Guide.

ZFS Web-Based Management

The Solaris Express 1/06 release includes the ZFS web-based management tool, which enables you to perform much of the administration that you can do with the ZFS command line interface. You can perform the following administrative tasks with the ZFS Administration console:

  • Create a new storage pool.

  • Add capacity to an existing pool.

  • Move (export) a storage pool to another system.

  • Import a previously exported storage pool to make it available on another system.

  • View information about storage pools.

  • Create a file system.

  • Create a volume.

  • Take a snapshot of a file system or a volume.

  • Roll back a file system to a previous snapshot.

You can access the ZFS Administration console through a secure web browser at the following URL:


If you type the appropriate URL and are unable to reach ZFS Administration console, the server might not be started. To start the server, run the following command:

# /usr/sbin/smcwebserver start

If you want the server to run automatically when the system boots, run the following command:

# /usr/sbin/smcwebserver enable
ZFS and Solaris Zones

The Solaris Zones partitioning technology supports ZFS components, such as adding ZFS file systems and storage pools into a zone.

For example, the file system resource type in the zonecfg command has been enhanced as follows:

zonecfg:myzone> add fs
zonecfg:myzone:fs> set type=zfs
zonecfg:myzone:fs> set dir=/export/share
zonecfg:myzone:fs> set special=tank/home
zonecfg:myzone:fs> end

For more information, see the zonecfg(1M) man page and the ZFS Administration Guide.

Solaris Installation Tool Support of ZFS File Systems

In this release, the following Solaris installation tool support is provided:

  • Custom Solaris Jumpstart - You cannot include ZFS file systems in a Jumpstart profile. However, you can run following scripts from a ZFS storage pool to set up an install server or an install client:

    • setup_install_server

    • add_install_server

    • add_install_client

  • Solaris Live Upgrade - Preserves your original boot environment and carries over your ZFS storage pools into the new environment. Currently, ZFS cannot be used as a bootable root file system. Therefore, your existing ZFS file systems are not copied into the boot environment (BE).

  • Solaris Initial Install - ZFS file systems are not recognized during an initial installation. However, if you do not specify any of the disk devices that contain ZFS storage pools to be used for the installation, you should be able to recover your storage pools by using the zpool import command after the installation. For more information, see the zpool(1M) man page.

    As with most reinstallation scenarios, you should back up your ZFS files before proceeding with the initial installation option.

  • Solaris Upgrade – Your ZFS file systems and storage pools are preserved.

New Solaris ACL Model

ZFS implements a new ACL model. Previous versions of the Solaris OS only supported an ACL model that was primarily based on the POSIX ACL draft specification. The POSIX-draft based ACLs are used to protect UFS files. A new model that is based on the NFSv4 specification is used to protect ZFS files.

The main features of the new ACL model are as follows:

  • Is based on the NFSv4 specification and the new ACLs that are similar to NT-style ACLs.

  • Provides a more granular set of access privileges.

  • Uses the chmod and ls commands rather than the setfacl and getfacl commands to set and display ACLs.

  • Provides richer inheritance semantics for designating how access privileges are applied from directory to subdirectories, and so on.

The recently revised chmod(1) man page adds many new examples that demonstrate usage with ZFS. The acl(5) man page has an overview of the new ACL model. In addition, the ZFS Administration Guide provides extensive examples of using ACLs to protect ZFS files.

IPv6 for IP Filter

This security enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

Solaris IP Filter has been enhanced to include IPv6 packet filtering. IPv6 packet filtering can filter based on the source IPv6 address, destination address, poolsl containing IPv6 addresses, and IPv6 extension headers.

The -6 option has been added to the ipf command for use with IPv6. Use the -6 option to load and flush IPv6 packet filtering rules. The ipstat command also has a -6 option, which is used to display IPv6 statistics.

Although there is no change to the command line interface for the ipmon and ippool commands, these commands also support IPv6. The ipmon command has been enhanced to accommodate the logging of IPv6 packets. The ippool command supports the creation of IPv6 pools.

You can use the ipf6.conf file to create packet filtering rule sets for IPv6. By default, the ipf6.conf configuration file is included in the /etc/ipf directory. As with the other filtering configuration files, the ipf6.conf file loads automatically during the boot process when it is stored in the /etc/ipf directory.

For further information about Solaris IP, see the System Administration Guide: IP Services.

Support for Descriptive Names in Solaris Volume Manager

This system administration enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

Descriptive names for both volumes and hot spare pools enable system administrators to name volumes and hot spare pools by using any name that follows the naming guidelines. Additionally, the -D option has been added to the metstat command. This option enables the user to list volumes and to list hot spare pools with descriptive names.

For more information, see the Solaris Volume Manager Administration Guide.

PKCS #11 v2.20 Support in the Solaris Cryptographic Framework

This security enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

This feature adds RSA PKCS #11 v2.20 support to the Solaris Cryptographic Framework, including the stronger SHA2 algorithms.

For a list of mechanisms that v2.20 provides, see the pkcs11_softtoken(5) man page. For a list of mechanisms that are available to users, see the digest(1) and mac(1) man pages.

UDP and TCP Performance Enhancement

This networking enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

Performance of both the TCP protocol and the UDP protocol has been enhanced in this release. The enhancements result in lower latency and higher throughput for both transmit and receive performance. Network applications yield better performance due to system performance improvements. In particular, those applications which heavily transmit and receive UDP packets or utilize TCP loopback connections show greatest benefit.

For more information, see the ip(7P), tcp(7P), and udp(7P) man pages. See also the Solaris Tunable Parameters Reference Manual.

Zone Rename Feature in Solaris Containers Technology

This system resources enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

The zone name is now an attribute that can be set through the zonecfg command. See the zonecfg(1M) man page for the procedure to change the name of a zone.

Only zones in the configured state or the installed state can be renamed. For information about zones states, see the zones(5) man page.

Advanced DDI Interrupt Framework

This device management enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

The Solaris OS provides a new DDI interrupt framework for registering interrupts and for deregistering interrupts. Support for Message Signaled Interrupts (MSIs) is also provided. Management interfaces enable you to manipulate priorities and capabilities, to perform interrupt masking, and to obtain pending information.

For a list of the new interfaces, see Interrupt Functions in Writing Device Drivers. For a list of interrupt functions that are obsolete and should not be used, see the “B-3 Deprecated Interrupt Functions” table within this section.

For more information, see Chapter 8, Interrupt Handlers, in Writing Device Drivers. See also the individual man pages for the interfaces. All man pages for these interfaces are in the 9F man page section.

VLAN Support with xge 10Gb Ethernet Driver

This networking enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

VLAN support with xge enables system administrators to configure Virtual LAN over a 10-Gbyte Ethernet. This enhancement is the first VLAN implementation with 10-Gbyte Ethernet driver in the Solaris OS. The dladm command can be used to configure VLAN with great flexibility.

For further information and VLAN configuration instructions, see the dladm(1M) man page.

Core Kerberos Mechanism Resync with MIT 1.4

This security enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

The Kerberos_V5 GSS mechanism library has been synced with MIT Kerberos 1.4.0. This version includes fine-grained multithread support.

SPARC: Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0.1

This desktop enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

In this release, Adobe® Acrobat Reader is updated from version 5.0 to version 7.0.1. Adobe Reader enables you to view, navigate, and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files. This enhancement is for the SPARC platform.

rge Driver

This driver support is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release. The rge driver provides support for Realtek RTL8169S/8110S Gigabit Ethernet devices.

For further information, refer to the rge(7D) man page.

New UTF-8 Locales

This language support enhancement is new in the Solaris Express 12/05 release.

Over 50 new UTF-8 locales have been introduced in this release. As a result, Unicode support is now provided for all European, Middle Eastern, and Asian (EMEA) locales which lack a UTF-8 charset variant. Furthermore, locales for Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Malta are now available for the first time. Therefore, locales for all 25 European Union (EU) member states are now supported.

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