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THIS BOOK--TEN CHAPTERS, ONE APPENDIX, AND ONE GLOSSARY-- IS FOR beginning system administrators, system administrators new to the Solaris ® 2. x environment, or any user who wants a task-oriented quick-reference guide to basic administrative commands.

A Quick Tour of the Contents

Chapter 1, "Introducing Solaris System Administration," describes basic administration tasks, superuser status, and how to communicate with users, start up and shut down systems, and monitor processes. It also introduces some frequently used commands and the Administration Tool new to the Solaris 2. x environment.

Chapter 2, "Using Basic OS Commands," describes basic commands for finding user information and environment information for creating and editing files, combining commands and redirecting output, displaying manual pages, and locating disk information.

Chapter 3, "Administering Devices," describes how to use tapes and diskettes to store and retrieve files, and how to administer disks. It also introduces the Service Access Facility and provides instructions for setting up port monitors for printers and modems.

Chapter 4, "Administering File Systems," describes the types of file systems provided in the Solaris 2. x environment, the default file system, the virtual file system table, and the file system administrative commands. It shows you how to make file systems available and how to back up and restore file systems.

Chapter 5, "Administering Network Services," describes commands used to check on remote system status, log in to remote systems, and transfer files between systems. It also describes how to use the Administration Tool to make changes to NIS+ databases once NIS+ is up and running.

Chapter 6, "Administering Printing," introduces the LP print service, which is completely different from the print service of the SunOS 4. x system software. It describes how to set up printing services and how to use the printing commands.

Chapter 7, "Administering User Accounts and Groups," describes how to add and remove user accounts and how to set up new group accounts.

Chapter 8, "Understanding Shells," describes some commands common to all shells and provides basic information about the Bourne, C, and Korn shells.

Chapter 9, "Administering Systems," describes commands used to display system-specific information, configure additional swap space without reformatting a disk, and create a local mail alias.

Chapter 10, "Recognizing File Access Problems," provides information on how to recognize problems with search paths and with permissions and ownership.

Appendix A, "Major Differences: SunOS 4. x versus SunOS 5. x Operating Systems," briefly describes key differences between SunOS 4. x and SunOS 5. x system software and provides a table of SunOS 4. x commands with the SunOS 5. x equivalents.

The Glossary contains basic system administration terms and definitions.

Important: Read This Before You Begin

Because we assume that the root path will include the /sbin, /usr/sbin, /usr/bin, and /etc directories, the steps show the commands in these directories without absolute path names. Steps that use commands in other, less common directories show the absolute path in the example.

The examples in this book are for a basic SunOS 5. x software installation without the Binary Compatibility Package installed and without /usr/ucb in the path.

CAUTION:  If /usr/ucb is included in a search path, it should always be at the end. Commands like ps or df are duplicated in /usr/ucb with different formats and options from those of SunOS 5. x commands.

This book does not contain all the information you need to administer systems. Refer to the complete system administration documentation for comprehensive information. See Appendix A for discussion of the differences between the Solaris 1.0 (SunOS 4.x) and Solaris 2. x (SunOS 5.x) environments.

Because the SunOS 5. x system software provides the Bourne (default), Korn, and C shells, examples in this book show prompts for each of the shells. The default C shell prompt is system-name%. The default Bourne and Korn shell prompt is $. The default root prompt for all shells is a pound sign (#). In examples that affect more than one system, the C shell prompt (which shows the system name) is used to make it clearer when you change from one system to another.

Conventions Used in This Book


In the steps and the examples, the commands to be entered are in bold type. For example: "Type su and press Return." When following steps, press Return only when instructed to do so, even if the text in the step breaks at the end of a line.


Variables are in an italic typeface. When following steps, replace the variable with the appropriate information. For example, to print a file, the step instructs you to "type lp filename and press Return." To substitute the file named "quest" for the filename variable, type lp quest and press Return.

Mouse-Button Terminology

This book describes mouse buttons by function. The default mapping of mouse buttons on a three-button mouse is:

  SELECT is Left
  ADJUST is Middle
  MENU is Right

The SELECT mouse button is used to select unselected objects and activate controls. The ADJUST mouse button is used to adjust a selected group of objects, either adding to the group or deselecting part of the group. The MENU mouse button is used to display and choose from menus.

Storage-Medium Terminology

In this book, we distinguish between three different types of media storage terminology in this way:

  Disc is used for an optical disc or CD-ROM.
  Disk is used for a hard-disk storage device.
  Diskette is used for a floppy diskette storage device. (Note: Sometimes, screen messages use the term floppy.)


Marginal icons distinguish between three different types of information:

   • The New with SVR4 icon marks material that is new with Solaris 2.x system software (not available in Solaris 1.x).
   • The New with 2.6 icon marks features that are new with Solaris 2.6 system software.
   • The New in this edition icon marks new information that has been added to this edition. Some of the new information describes new commands and features that were introduced between the Solaris 2.1 and 2.5.1 releases. Other new information was available in the Solaris 2.0 release but was not included in the first edition. Where possible, the text next indicates the release number where the command or functionality was added.

SPARC and x86 Information

This book provides system administration information for both SPARC and x86 systems. Unless otherwise noted, information throughout this book applies to both types of systems. Table I-1 summarizes the differences between the SPARC and x86 system administration tasks.

Table I-1 SPARCand x86 System Adminstration Differences

Category SPARC x86
System operation before kernel is loaded A programmable read-only memory (PROM) chip with a monitor program runs diagnostics and displays device information. The basic input/output system (BIOS) runs diagnostics and displays device information.
The PROM is also used to program default boot parameters and test the devices connected to the system. A Solaris Device Configuration Assistant boot diskette with the Multiple Device Boot (MDB) program is used to boot from non-default boot partitions, the network, or the CD-ROM.
Booting the system Commands and options at the PROM level are used to boot the system. Commands and options at the MBD, primary, and secondary boot subsystems level are used to boot the system.
Boot programs bootblk, the primary boot program, loads ufsboot. mboot, the master boot record, loads pboot.
ufsboot, the secondary boot program, loads the kernel. pboot, the Solaris partition boot program, loads bootblk.
bootblk, the primary boot program, loads ufsboot.
ufsboot, the secondary boot program, loads the kernel.
System shutdown The shutdown and init commands can be used without additional operation intervention. The shutdown and init commands are used but require operator intervention at the type any key to continue prompt.
Disk controllers SCSI SCSI and IDE
Disk slices and partitions A disk may have a maximum of eight slices, numbered 0-7. A disk may have a maximum of four fdisk partitions.
The Solaris fdisk partition may contain up to 10 slices, numbered 0-9, but only 0-7 can be used to store user data.
Diskette drives Desktop systems usually contain one 3.5-inch diskette drive. Systems may contain two diskette drives: a 3.5-inch and a 5.25-inch drive.

Solaris System Software Evolution

To help you understand how Solaris is evolving, Table I-2 provides a list of the major system administration feature differences for each release.

Table I-2 Solaris System Software Evolution

Release New Features
Solaris 1.0 Berkeley (BSD) UNIX with Solaris 4.x functionality.
Solaris 2.0 (SunOS 5.0) A merger of AT&T System V Release 4 (SVR4) and BSD UNIX. To facilitate customer transition, Solaris uses SVR4 as the default environment, with BSD commands and modes as an option. Administration Tool provides a graphical user interface Database Manager and Host Manager.
Solaris 2.1 (SunOS 5.1) Administration Tool adds a graphical user interface Printer Manager and User Account Manager.
Solaris 2.2 (SunOS 5.2) Volume management integrates access to CD-ROM and diskette files with the File Manager, and provides a command-line interface. Users no longer need superuser privileges to mount CD-ROMs and diskettes. Solaris 2.0 and 2.1 procedures do not work with volume management because volume management controls and owns the devices. (Refer to Appendix A of the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)
Solaris 2.3 (SunOS 5.3) Volume management changes Solaris 2.2 mount point naming conventions.
Administration Tool adds a graphical user interface Serial Port Manager with templates that provide default settings, which makes adding character terminals and modems much easier.
The automounter is split into two programs: an automounted daemon and a separate automount program. Both are run when the system is booted. The /tmp_mnt mount point is not displayed as part of the path name, and the local path is displayed as /home/username. Additional predefined automount map variables are provided. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)
Online: Backup 2.1 is included with the release (Not documented in this book.)
Pluggable Authentication Model (PAM) is included with the release. PAM provides a consistent framework to allow access control applications, such as login, to be able to choose any authentication scheme available on a system, without concern for implementation details of the scheme. (Not documented in this book.)
C2 Security is included in this release. (Not documented in this book.)
Format(1) changes for SCSI disks. (Not documented in this book.)
PPP network protocol product that provides IP network connectivity over a variety of point-to-point connections is included in this release. (Not documented in this book.)
Cache File System (CacheFS) for NFS is included in this release. CacheFS is a generic, nonvolatile caching mechanism to improve performance of certain file systems by using a small, fast, local disk. (New in this edition.)
New NIS+ setup scripts are included in this release. The nisserver(1M), nispopulate(1M), and nisclient(1M) scripts described in Table I.2 let you set up an NIS+ domain much more quickly and easily than if you used the individual NIS+ commands to do so. With these scripts, you can avoid a lengthy manual process.
Solaris 2.4 (SunOS 5.4) New Motif GUI for Solaris software installation. (Not documented in this book.)
Solaris 2.5 (Solaris 5.5) New pax(1M) portable archive interchange command for copying files and file systems to portable media.
Solstice AdminTools utility used only to administer local systems.
Solstice AdminSuite product available for managing systems in a network for SPARC and x86 systems.
New process tools are available in /usr/proc/bin that display highly detailed information about the active processes stored in the process file system in the /proc directory.
Telnet client upgraded to the 4.4 BSD version. rlogin and telnetd remote login capacity improved. (Not documented in this book.)
Solaris 2.5.1 (SunOS 5.5.1) The limit on user ID and group ID values has been raised to 2147483647, or the maximum value of a signed integer. The nobody user and group (60001) and the no access user and group (60002) retain the same UID and GID as in previous Solaris 2.x releases.
Solaris 2.6 (SunOS 5.6) Changes to the Solaris 2.6 printing software provide a better solution than the LP print software in previous Solaris releases. You can easily set up and manage print clients using the NIS or NIS+ name services to enable centralization of print administration for a network of systems and printers. New features include redesign of print packages, print protocol adapter, bundled SunSoft Print Client software, and network printer support.
New nisbackup and nisrestore commands provide a quick and efficient method of backing up and restoring NIS+ namespaces.
New patch tools, including patchadd and patchrm commands, add and remove patches. These commands replace the installpatch and backoutpatch commands that were previously shipped with each individual patch. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)
New filesync command nomadic support ensures that data is moved automatically between a portable computer and a server. (Not documented in this book.)
Restructuring of the previous flat /proc file system into a directory hierarchy contains additional subdirectories for state information and control functions. It also provides a watchpoint facility to monitor access to and modifications of data in the process address space. The adb(1) command uses this facility to provide watchpoints.
Large files are supported on UFS, NFS, and CacheFS file systems. Applications can create and access files up to one Tbyte on UFS-mounted file systems and up to the limit of the NFS server for NFS- and CacheFS-mounted file systems. A new -mount option is provided to disable the large-file support on UFS file systems. Using the -mount option enables system administrators a way to ensure that older applications that are not able to safely handle large files do not accidentally operate on large files.
NFS Kerberos authentication now uses DES encryption to improve security over the network. The kernel implementations of NFS and RPC network services now support a new RPC authentication flavor that is based on the Generalized Security Services API (GSS-API). This support contains the hooks to add stronger security to the NFS environment. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)
The PAM authentication modules framework enables you to "plug in" new authentication technologies. (Refer to the Solaris Advanced System Administrator's Guide.)
Font Admin enables easy installation and use of fonts for the X Window System. It supports TrueType, Type0, Type1, and CID fonts for multibyte languages and provides comparative font preview capability. It is fully integrated into the CDE desktop. (Not documented in this book.)
TrueType fonts are supported through X and Display PostScript. Font Admin enables easy installation and integration of third-party fonts into the Solaris environment. (Not documented in this book.)
The Solaris 2.6 operating environment is year 2000 ready. It uses unambiguous dates and follows the X/Open guidelines where appropriate. (Not documented in this book.)
WebNFS software enables file systems to be accessed through the Web using the NFS protocol. This protocol is very reliable and provides greater throughput under a heavy load. (Not documented in this book.)
The Java Virtual Machine 1.1 integrates the Java platform for the Solaris operating environment. It includes the Java runtime environment and the basic tools needed to develop Java applets and applications. (Not documented in this book.)
For x86 systems, the Configuration Assistant interface is part of the new booting system for the Solaris (Intel Platform Edition) software. It determines which hardware devices are in the system, accounts for the resources each device uses, and enables users to choose which device to boot from. (Not documented in this book.)
For x86 systems, the kdmconfig program is used to configure the mouse, graphics adapter, and monitor. If an Owconfig file already exists, kdmconfig extracts any usable information from it. In addition, this updated version of kdmconfig also retrieves information left in the devinfo tree by the defconf program and uses that information to automatically identify devices. (Not documented in this book.)
Full X/Open UNIX 95, POSIX 1003.1b and ISO 10646 standards compliance. (Not documented in this book.)

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