Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Solaris Operating Environment
The Solaris Operating Environment (OE) (Solaris) is a computer operating system, the proprietary Unix variant developed by Sun Microsystems (Solaris is slated to be released under the Common Development and Distribution License, an OSI-certified Open-Source license, in 2005).
Early versions, based on BSD UNIX, were called SunOS. The shift to a System V code base in SunOS 5 was marked by changing the name to Solaris 2. Earlier versions were retroactively named Solaris 1.x. After version 2.6, Sun dropped the "2." from the name; the most recent versions (as of early 2005) are Solaris 7, the 64-bit Solaris 8, Solaris 9 (released May 22, 2002), and Solaris 10 (released February 1, 2005).
The Solaris OE consists of the SunOS UNIX base operating system plus a graphical user environment. (The underlying SunOS version number was not affected by marketing decisions, and increased from SunOS 5.0 with Solaris 2.0 through to 5.10 in the current Solaris 10 release.) The first Solaris GUI was OpenWindows. It was followed by CDE in Solaris 2.6. Sun's Java Desktop System, which is based on GNOME, is included with Solaris 10.
Solaris is primarily written to run on SPARC processors. There is also a version called Solaris x86 that runs on PCs. Solaris was also ported to the PowerPC architecture for version 2.5.1, but the port was cancelled almost as soon as it was released. Solaris 10 is available for x86-64 as well as SPARC and x86 architectures. Sun also plans to implement parts of Linux APIs in Solaris 10, allowing Solaris x86 to natively run Linux binaries.
Although based on a number of open standards, Solaris is proprietary rather than free software in terms of licensing. However, both binary and source versions have been downloadable without cost at various times. Sun recently confirmed their intention to make Solaris 10 free software under the OpenSolaris project. Sun's Common Development and Distribution License, which was approved after review by Open Source Initiative, is a likely candidate to be the license for the free software version of Solaris.
- Official Solaris page
- Adminschoice.com - Solaris system administration articles
- Sunfreeware.com - Freeware for Solaris
- Blastwave.org - Collection of Solaris software packages
- SunHELP - Solaris news, resources, and discussion
- Solaris Central - Solaris news and discussion
- Sun Country - Hundreds of Solaris related links
- Solaris on mobile computers (laptops, notebooks)
- Solaris x86 - Solaris x86 portal
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