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A Unix variety

External linkSolaris is actually a combination of products from External linkSun. It has a long-ish history, some of which is recounted here ;)

In the beginning, there was the Stanford University Network (ie, SUN) workstation -- a 68k-based machine, designed to bring the power of minicomputers to the technical desktop. It was supplied with Berkeley's Unix -- BSD 4.2, I think.

This was gradually extended and basically improved by Bill Joy and the team at Sun, and now called SunOS.

Around the time of SunOS 4.1, Sun allied itself with AT&T, who owned Unix at the time. BSD had diverged from AT&T's version of Unix, System V, many years ago and the two were quite incompatible from a programmer's viewpoint. As part of their alliance with AT&T, Sun agreed to change SunOS to become compatible with System V.

By this time, SunOS 4 (the BSD-based version) was being sold as Solaris 1 -- a combination of the SunOS kernel, NIS, NFS and various other bits and pieces.

Solaris 2 was the first version to switch over to the new, System V-based kernel, confusing called SunOS 5 by Sun.

Solaris has since evolved through versions 2.0 up to 2.6 (being SunOS 5.0 - 5.6) and then the marketing forces once again took hold of the OS naming. Solaris 7 (aka Solaris 2.7 containing SunOS 5.7), Solaris 8 and shortly Solaris 9, have joined the ranking of those products where every release is a major version number.

Solaris is currently available for Sun's SPARC machines and a limited number of Intel IA86 machines, although the Intel port has been dropped for Solaris 9.

It's a mature, stable OS and has a good set of features that help make it an OS of choice for high-performance environments.

Version 3 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:20 +1000 by tyson
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