What’s New in Solaris Express 4/06 (Nevada Build 36)

Today marks the release of Solaris Express 4/06 (or Nevada Build 36).
I missed blogging about 3/06, and I feel guilty.

Anyway, you can look at the 3/06 What’s
New Doc
for a summary of 3/06, so I’ll just pretend I wasn’t a slacker
last month.

Among other things, about 750 bugs were fixed.

Notable New Features in Solaris “Nevada”, Build 36 (SX 4/2006)


  • The DTrace JNI binding project integrated. This means that you can
    now control DTrace from Java programs; the author, Tom Erickson, has
    subsequently released Chime,
    a client program which uses this facility.


  • ZFS persistent offline was added; this changes the behavior of
    zfs offline to persist across reboot. offline -t is
    available as a “temporary” offline.

  • ls -V was introduced, which provides a new ACL display mode to ls
    which is more compatible with NFSv4/ZFS ACLs. This produces ACLs in a compact
    format, which some users prefer.
  • Disk write caches are enabled if ZFS owns the disk. [6322205]
  • The fsstat utility was added, providing vfs-level observability.
  • The ZFS FMA Phase 1 project integrated, bringing a sophisticated approach
    to I/O fault handling to the system. Eric wrote a nice blog
    about this.

  • zfs mountroot phase 1 was implemented, which allows you to hand-assemble
    a system which boots from ZFS. See Tabriz’s Blog for details.

  • The .zfs/ feature of ZFS is now supported over NFSv3 (it was supported over NFSv4 already).



  • libumem now uses significantly less memory on some workloads.
    Jonathan wrote a nice blog
    about this. [6304072]

  • getrusage() is now faster. [6381512]


  • FMA for Athlon 64 and Opteron Processors was integrated. This
    brings sophisticated error telemetry and diagnosis to Opteron and
    Athlon 64 systems of all shapes and sizes (not just those made by Sun).
    Here are the highlights:

    • CPU & Memory error detection
    • ChipKill is on by default
    • Offlining of CPUs and Cores
    • Memory retire

    All of this should add up to additional improvements in the uptime of
    Opteron and Athlon systems running Solaris.

  • Hotplug support for PCI Express was added; the front-end for this is the cfgadm command.
  • Hotpluggable drives are now better able to accomodate EFI-labels and
    device IDs, both of which are very important to supporting ZFS on USB
    and Firewire disk drives. [6348407]

  • It’s now possible to offline CPU 0 on x86 systems, a long standing
    annoyance. [6342823]

  • The AMD64 kernel now emulates two Intel-invented instructions, lahf
    and sahf. [6219321]

  • A closed-source disassembler for x86 was purged from the system and
    replaced with open code.

  • An audio driver for the ATI IXP400 chip was added.
  • The Intel ACPI interpreter was updated to 20060217.

Free Software

  • PostreSQL has been integrated and is available in /usr/bin
  • Samba has been converted to an SMF service:
    svc:/network/samba:default [6310561]

  • Samba is now compiled with LDAP support. [6174211]
  • Apache has been updated to 2.0.55.


  • The “Coolstart” project has landed. See Jan’s
    Blog Entry
    for more information about how to turn on fancy boot-time graphics.
    CDE, JDS, dtlogin and gdm have all been reskinned to match. (dtlogin in
    particular looks really nice now).

  • dtlogin and the various CDE daemons have been converted to SMF
    services: svc:/application/graphical-login/cde-login,
    svc:/network/cde-spc, svc:/network/rpc/cde-calendar-manager,
    and svc:/network/rpc/cde-ttdbserver
  • Fixes to the USB mouse driver mean better compatibility with the latest
    mice [5083593] [6328758]
  • A video driver for the AST 2000 chip was added to XSun.
  • The OpenGL vendor switching project was integrated. The goal here is
    to allow multiple different implementations of OpenGL to co-exist on a
    machine at one time, and provide boot time selection of the best implementation
    for the hardware present. man -M /usr/X11/man ogl-select for details.

  • Font handling in JDS was improved. [5099951]
  • Xorg now works properly if the system has no mouse connected. [6245431]
  • ATI mach64 driver performance has been significantly improved. [6303855]
  • Xorg auto-configuration has been improved to more accurately detect
    monitor characteristics. [6385111]

Community Contributions

  • Juergen Keil contributed:

    [6368142] sd: unaligned write memory corruption; zfs on dvdram media: panic
    [6311025] build_reserved_irqlist ignores irq15 information from ELCR register
    [6372009] dma_mem_alloc failures when free memory is low; zfs panic on usb mass storage
    [6388096] NULL pointer dereference panic in sd_range_lock()
  • Rich Lowe contributed:

    PSARC 2006/134 logadm(1m) $zonename keyword
    [4823583] crontab command prints incorrect usage
    [6352485] RFE: add $zonename to the list of macros supported by logadm
    [6357132] DHCP server should not open /dev/ip
    [4844685] gratuitous "in.ndpd: terminated" printed during shutdown.

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