Solaris 2.0 only ran on desktop SPARCstations and a few other Sun
Solaris 2.1 and 2.4 and later come in two flavors, SPARC and "x86".
Solaris 2.1 (and 2.2, ...) for SPARC run on all SPARCstations and
clones, as well as all models of the Sun-4 family. The old FPU
on the 4/110 and 4/2x0 is not supported, so floating point
will be SLOW, but it does work.
Starting with 2.5 support for machines with kernel architecture
"sun4" is dropped. I.e., the machines on which "uname -m" and
"arch -k" return "sun4"; not the machines on which those commands
return sun4c, sun4m, sun4u or sun4d. The unsupported machine
include the sun4/110 (not to be confused with the SS4 @110MHz),
sun4/2xx, sun4/3xx and sun4/4xx. These are all VME based
All version of the SPARC PROMs should work under Solaris 2.x,
but you can run into the following problems:
1) No part of the boot partition may be offset more than 1 GB
into the disk, unless you have a PROM with rev 2.6 or better.
Note that the number behind the point is not a fraction, it's
an integer. Hence 3.0 > 2.25 > 2.10 > 2.9 > 2.1 > 2.0 > 1.6.
2) If booting diskless, you need a link in the /tftpboot
directory, "tftpboot -> .". Admintool will make that
A Solaris port for the PowerPC has been completed, and has been released,
effective Solaris 2.5.1. But support for it was dropped almost
immediately as it went nowhere.
Solaris 2.1, 2.4 and above for x86 have been released to end users.
It runs on a wide range of high-end PC-architecture machines.
"High-end" means: 16MB of RAM and an 80486 (or 33MHz or faster
80386DX). It will not run on your 4 MB 16MHz 386SX, so don't
bother trying! Also, floating point hardware (80387-style) is
absolutely required in 2.1. Starting with Solaris 2.4 for
x86, a fp CO-processor is no-longer required, though still
recommended. With the world moving to PCI, MCA support
is now gone and ISA support is dwindling.
The following OS revision chart maps the major Solaris releases.
Not all HW releases have been included as some are relatively
Solaris SunOS OpenWin Comments
1.0 4.1.1B 2.0
4.1.1_U1 2.0 sun3 EOL release (not named Solaris)
1.0.1 4.1.2 2.0 60-10 MP
1.1 4.1.3 3.0 SP Viking support
1.1C 4.1.3C 3.0 Classic/LX
1.1.1 4.1.3_U1 3.0_U1 4.1.3 + fixes + Classic/LX support
1.1.1 B 4.1.3_U1B 3.0_U1 1.1.1B + SS5/SS20 support
1.1.2 4.1.4 3_414 The "final" 4.x release (SS20 HS11)
2.0 5.0 3.0.1 sun4c only
2.1SPARC 5.1 3.1 Dec '92
2.1 x86 5.1 3.1 May '93
2.2SPARC 5.2 3.2 May '93
2.3SPARC 5.3 3.3 Nov '93
OpenWin 3.3 is X11R5 based: Display
PostScript instead of NeWS, no SunView.
It is still primarily OPEN LOOK.
The Spring 1995 OpenWin will be Motif
Statically linked BCP support
2.3 edition II SPARC Special Solaris 2.3 distribution for
Voyager and SparcStation 5
2.3 HW 8/94 SPARC Supports S24 (24 bits color for SS5),
POSIX 1003.2, Energy Start power management
and SunFastEthernet + patches.
2.4 5.4 3.4 From this moment on, the SPARC and x86
releases are in sync. Q3 '94
Adds motif runtime and headers (not mwm).
2.4 HW 11/94 First SMCC release of 2.4
2.4 HW 3/95 Second SMCC release of 2.4 (includes support
for booting from SSA)
2.5 5.5 3.5 UltraSPARC support, PCI support.
NFS V3, NFS/TCP, ACLs, CDE, Sendmail V8
name service cache, dynamic PPP
Posix threads, doors (new IPC mechanism)
many "BSD" type functions back in libc,
many "BSD" programs back in /usr/bin.
mixed mode BCP support (e.g., apps only
dynamically linked against libdl.so)
2.5 HW 1/96 Creator3D support (Creator3D/FFB+ is not
supported in 2.5 11/95, though the files
are present but of unsupported,
"mostly works", beta quality)
2.5.1 Ultra-2 support, Sun Enterprise
server support. Large (32bit UID)
support. 64bit KAIO (aioread64/aiowrite64),
3.75 GB of virtual memory.
Pentium/Pentium Pro optimizations.
(upto 25% for certain database apps)
Ultra ZX support.
Initial and last PowerPC desktop release.
2.5.1 HW 4/97 Support for Starfire (E10000) and Ultra-30
2.5.1 HW 8/97 Support for the Ultra-450
2.5.1 HW 11/97 Support for Ultra-5, Ultra-10 and Ultra-60 as
well as Elite3D
2.6 5.6 3.6 Largefiles, JVM + JIT, Hotjava, X11R6,
Web based answerbook, BOOTP/DHCP, SNMP agents,
VLSM, in-kernel sockets, XNTP, PAM,
CDE 1.2 as default desktop.
2.6 HW 3/98 Support for Ultra-5, Ultra-10, Ultra-60 Elite3d
and Starfire (E10K)
2.6 HW 5/98 DR Support for Starfire
7 5.7 3.6.1 64-bit OS support, logging UFS.
7 HW 11/99 Added UDF filesystem, consadm, X11R6.4 server
8 5.8 3.6.2 Dropped support for sun4c and Voyager;
added IPv6, IPsec, modular debugger (mdb), high
granularity interval timers, consadm, /dev/poll,
MAP_ANON, forced unmount, extended memory for
Intel, in-kernel mnttab, audio mixer, NFS
server logging, Starfire Interdomain networking,
Kerberos v5 client support, /proc tools core aware,
prstat (like top), perl and other free utilities
included, Apache, apptrace (symbolic library
call traces), loopback file mounts (lofi),
Intel CD boot, Intel large IDE disk support,
8 10/00 Sun Blade 100 & Sun Blade 1000 support.
8 04/01 Sun Fire server support, cdrw
8 02/02 UltraSPARC III cu (aka UltraSPARC III+),
Sun Blade 2000
8 HW 07/03 Sun Blade 1500 and 2500 support
9 5.9 - Solaris 9; supports all hardware from the
Solaris 8 HW releases.
No Intel release at FCS
OpenWindows applications removed.
1-1 thread library.
iPlanet directory server
IKE, SSH, secure LDAP client, bundled
encryption, bundled Solaris Logical Volume
Manager (formerly Disksuite), including
support for upgrades of systems with DiskSuite,
Live Upgrade 2.0, Multiple page size support,
Solaris 9 resource manager, IPsec for Ipv6,
bundled tcp wrappers, wu-ftpd based FTP server,
Solaris PPP 4.0 (based on ANU PPP),
Extended File Attributes, DNLC improvements,
UFS snapshots, KDC, Netscape 6.2.1
X11 -nolisten and IPv6 support, Xnest/Xvfb,
Freeware libraries, RSM, perl 5.6.1,
9 09/02 IPQoS, RIPv2, tunneling over IPv6, Memory
Placement Optimization, DISM, Netscape 6.2.3
9 12/02 First Solaris 9 Intel release, LX50 Support
Pluggable crypt() (Linux/BSD compatible
longer password hashes, allowing for passwords
over 8 characters long)
UFS logging improvements. Sun ONE App server.
9 04/03 Multiterabyte volume support in SVM and disk
label support using EFI labels
IPv6 6to4 router; IKE hardware acceleration
9 08/03 Live upgrade 2.1; bind 8.3.3; TCP Multidata
Multi-terabyte UFS; GNOME 2.0; Ghostscript 7.05
9 12/03 WAN boot installation. Signed packages & patches
NIS-to-LDAP transition service
Resource capping daemon for physical memory control.
SPARC: locality groups.
9 04/04 Creating mirrors with Custom Jumpstart;
USB 2.0 Feature/USB Dual Framework
Sun Blade 1500 and 2500 support
10 01/05 new features already available include:
Privileges (no more all-or-nothing superuser),
Zones (virtual, isolated OS instances),
Dtrace (dynamic tracing, everything you ever
wanted to know about your system but you couldn't
ask; you can ask it now),
SMF (service management framework),
FMA (fault management architecture),
Fire Engine (much improved TCP/IP performance),
64-bit AMD64/EM64T support in Solaris for x86,
Much improved Solaris/x86 support (Xfree86
X drivers included by default and the Xorg
server and more), SSE/SSE2 support,
and much, much, more; and even more to come!
The Solaris Express site has it all.
SX Solaris Express The latest look into Sun's kitchen where new
features show up before they're added to
an update or before they appear in the next