What’s New in Solaris Express 2/05 (Nevada Build 7)

Welcome to Nevada! Nevada is our code-name for the next version of Solaris.
For now at least, the uname -r output is 5.10.1 although
that is subject to change. As I did for the last couple of Solaris 10 SX
builds, I’ll attempt to keep you abreast of the changes happening in each
SX release. I missed doing one which described the delta between SX 11/04 (s10_72)
and the FCS build of Solaris 10. The most important of those changes include:

  • Inclusion of gcc for SPARC, x86 and AMD64 (/usr/sfw/bin/gcc).
  • Intel 10GB NIC driver (ixgb driver)
  • svcadm (part of SMF) picked up a synchronous mode (via -s)
  • BIND 9 became the default name server. BIND 8 was removed.
  • A large fraction of binaries delivered (including kernel modules) are now
    cryptographically signed. See elfsign(1).

Ok. Now entering Nevada. Notable New Features in Solaris Nevada,
Build 7 (AKA Solaris Express 02/2005):

Desktop

  • Updated Xorg from 6.8.0 to 6.8.2RC2, including numerous bug fixes and new
    hardware support (see
    the X.org release notes
    ). The final version of 6.8.2 will be available in
    a future Solaris Express build.

  • An annoying bug in the /usr/sfw/bin/mozilla prevents it from starting
    up properly. Edit the OS_VERSION check in the script to work around
    the problem.

  • You can now double-click .jnlp (java web-start) and .jar files to run them
    under GNOME.

Hardware support

  • via823x SADA audio driver on x86 and AMD64 platforms.
  • Chelsio
    10gb NIC driver available on all platforms (SPARC, x86, AMD64).

Security

  • 64-bit openssl(1) command available. Solaris already ships with
    a 64-bit openssl library. The openssl command provides a tool for
    using various cryptography functions of OpenSSL’s crypto library
    from the shell.

  • Support for a PKCS#11 “MetaSlot”. This is an extension to the
    Cryptographic framework which presents a single slot which is the
    union of the capabilities of other slots which are loaded in the
    framework.

  • IKE gets a performance boost by using the encryption framework.
    IKE is also now fully compliant with RFC 3947 (NAT-T support).

Storage

  • iSCSI devices are now supported via the new iscsiadm(1m) command.
  • The fcinfo(1m) utility is now available; this utility can be used
    to list fibre channel ports on the system in a concise and clear
    fashion.

Performance

  • Hierarchical (Multi-level) Lgroup support. Solaris has an abstraction
    called an Lgroup (latency group) which is the way in which the system
    tracks NUMA system topology. Traditionally, Solaris has run on systems
    with no difference in latency (traditional SMP systems) or only two
    levels of latency (local memory and remote memory). Newer system
    designs have more levels. For example, 4-CPU Opteron systems have 3 such
    levels; 8-way Opteron systems may have 4 levels. This project
    enables better performance on ring and ladder system topologies, and
    picks up performance wins on Oracle (TPC-SO), Fluent, and other
    benchmarks. There are some new liblgrp APIs to go along with this
    work (lgrp_latency_cookie(3LGRP)).

  • Faster memmove(3c) (anywhere from 0-400%, 40% is typical) on 32-bit
    x86 platforms. AMD64 performance of memmove(3c) and bcopy(3c) were also
    improved.

  • Improved context switch performance on AMD64.
  • Much improved performance on 32-bit x86 string functions:
    strcpy(3c) (as much as 50%), strlen(3c) (as much as 25% on long strings)
    and strchr(3c) (as much as 45% on long strings).

Other:

  • New TCP_INIT_CWND TCP socket option allows the congestion control
    window calculation to be overridden with a user specified value.
    See tcp(7p) for full details.
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