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I wanted to play around with smf (System Management Facility) in Solaris 10 on my laptop, when I noticed it wasn't present. Apparently, the Solaris Express build on my laptop was b63, which is quite outdated. Time for an upgrade, then. Sun hasn't simplified things by making three versions of Solaris available for download :

  • OpenSolaris : the bleeding edge developpers release
  • Solaris 10 : the stable release
  • Solaris Express : located somewhere in between the first two

OpenSolaris is, off course, the most interesting one to follow. There is quite a bit of new stuff in the latest build, called Nevada :

  • The version number in 'uname' has been upgraded to 5.11 to make the difference with Solaris 10
  • The x86 build uses grub now to boot
  • This is cool: metasync operations can now be cancelled and resumed later, via the new -c option.

OpenSolaris now contains BFU, an utility to upgrade the system without the need to download a whole ISO image (yay!). Off course, you can use Flash Archives to backup your previous system.


Still no trace of ZFS in the SE builds. Sun promises it to be in SE end 2005; whereas ZFS will be officially released in a Solaris10 update somewhere in 2006...

Did you know that there are even 4 versions available for download ? There's the Solaris Express Community Download too, which offers a more recent SE, somewhere between SE and OS in; currently using Nevada build 16.

Dan Price's weblog, The View from the Moon, is an excellent source if you want to keep up with new OS builds.

SMF is also explained into more detail on the BigAdmin site, where an article explains howto incorporate MySQL into SMF.