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Solaris 10: System Administration Part 1: Exam CX-310-200 (Exam Prep Series)

Solaris 10: System Administration Part 1: Exam CX-310-200 (Exam Prep Series)

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by Bill Calkins

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In This Book You’ll Learn How To:

  • Install and configure the Solaris 10 operating environment on SPARC and x86/x64-based platforms
  • Set up, manage, back up, and recover file systems
  • Execute System Boot and Shutdown Procedures for SPARC and x86/x64-based systems
  • Manage services using the Service Management Facility (SMF)


In This Book You’ll Learn How To:

  • Install and configure the Solaris 10 operating environment on SPARC and x86/x64-based platforms
  • Set up, manage, back up, and recover file systems
  • Execute System Boot and Shutdown Procedures for SPARC and x86/x64-based systems
  • Manage services using the Service Management Facility (SMF)
  • Perform User and Security Administration
  • Set up and manage printers and system processes
  • Perform system backup and recovery operations


“Bill’s original Cert Prep guides were used throughout Sun’s service organization as the SEs studied for Certification. This was not mandated by Sun management but happened through word-of-mouth by those software engineers who had successfully passed the exam. In this new edition, Bill adds a chapter to explain the boot process (from POST to service initialization through SMF) on both SPARC and x86 systems. All chapters have been updated to reflect the Solaris 05/08 updates including detailed coverage of the x86 platform. This new guide is still the best source I know of to study for the exam.  –Brian Howard, Systems Engineer / Solaris Ambassador



Bill Calkins is owner and president of Pyramid Consulting, a computer training and consulting firm specializing in the implementation and administration of open systems. He works as a consultant with Sun Microsystems and has contributed extensively to the Solaris certification program and simulation technology. He also owns www.unixed.com, a website that provides online UNIX training materials. Bill has more than 20 years of experience in UNIX system administration, consulting, and training at more than 250 different companies and government agencies and has authored several books on Solaris.




ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3790-8

ISBN-10: 0-7897-3790-6


Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Exam Prep
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
7 MB

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Bill Calkins has been training Solaris system administrators for more than 15 years. This book contains the training material he uses in his basic and advanced Solaris administration courses. Over the years, this material has helped thousands of Solaris administrators become certified. This is our first edition of the Solaris 10 System Administration Exam Prep. It began with the Training Guide for Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, and 9 and is now the Exam Prep for Solaris 10. Instructors from universities and training organizations around the world have used this book as courseware in their Solaris administration courses. In addition, administrators from around the world have used this book as a self-study guide when instruction from a Sun training center is either unavailable or not within their budget. Many people have written with their success stories, suggestions, and comments. Their suggestions are what keep making this guide more valuable.

The SCSA Solaris 10 OS CX-310-200 and CX-310-202 Exam Prep books provide training materials for anyone who is interested in becoming a Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris 10. When used as a study guide, these two books will save you a great deal of time and effort searching for information you will need to know when taking the exam. Each book covers the exam objectives in enough detail for the inexperienced administrator to learn the objectives and apply the knowledge to real-life scenarios. Experienced readers will find the material in these books to be complete and concise, making it a valuable study guide for the Sun Certified System Administrator (SCSA) exams.

This book is not a cheat sheet or cram session for the exam; it is a training manual. In other words, it does not merely give answers to the questions you will be asked on the exam. We have made certain that this book addresses the exam objectives in detail, from start to finish. If you are unsure about the objectives on the exams, this book teaches you what you need to know. After reading each chapter, assess your knowledge of the material covered using the review questions at the end of the chapter. When you have completed reading a section, use the practice exam at the end of the book and the ExamGear test engine on the CD-ROM to assess your knowledge of the objectives covered on each exam. This CD-ROM contains sample questions similar to what you are likely to see on the real exam. More sample questions are available at http://www.UnixEd.com, so be sure to visit this site to find additional training and study materials.

How This Book Helps You

This book teaches you how to administer the Solaris 10 operating system. It offers you a self-guided training course for all the areas covered on the CX-310-200 certification exam by showing you how to install, configure, and administer the Solaris 10 operating environment. You will learn the specific skills that are required to administer a system and to pass the first part of the Sun Certified System Administrator exam for Solaris 10 (CX-210-200). Experienced administrators who are upgrading an existing Solaris certification will find in-depth coverage of the new topics that they will need to learn for the CX-310-203 upgrade exam in both the SCSA Solaris 10 OS CX-310-200 and CX-310-202 Exam Prep books.

Throughout the book, we provide helpful tips and real-world examples that we have encountered as system administrators. In addition, we provide useful real-world exercises to help you practice the material you have learned. The following list describes this book's setup:

  • Organization: This book is organized according to the individual exam objectives. Every objective you need to know for installing, configuring, and administering a Solaris 10 system is in this book. We have attempted to present the objectives in an order that is as close as possible to that listed by Sun. However, we have not hesitated to reorganize them as needed to make the material as easy as possible for you to learn. We have also attempted to make the information accessible in the following ways:

    • This Introduction includes the full list of exam topics and objectives.

    • Read the "Study and Exam Prep Tips" element early on to help you develop study strategies. This element provides valuable exam-day tips and information on exam/question formats.

    • Each chapter begins with a list of the objectives to be covered, exactly as they are defined by Sun. Throughout each section, material that is directly related to the exam objectives is identified.

    • Each chapter also begins with an outline that provides you with an overview of the material and the page numbers where particular topics can be found.

  • Instructional features: This book is designed to provide you with multiple ways to learn and reinforce the exam material. The following are some of the helpful methods:

    • Objective explanations: As mentioned, each chapter begins with a list of the objectives covered in the chapter. In addition, immediately following each objective is an explanation in a context that defines it more meaningfully.

    • Study Strategies: The beginning of each chapter also includes strategies for studying and retaining the material in the chapter, particularly as it is addressed on the exam.

    • Exam Alerts: Throughout each chapter you'll find exam tips that help you prepare for exam day. These tips were written by those who have already taken the Solaris 10 certification exams.

    • Notes: Notes contain various types of useful information, such as tips on technology or administrative practices, historical background on terms and technologies, or side commentary on industry issues.

    • Cautions: When you use sophisticated information technology, mistakes or even catastrophes are always possible because of improper application of the technology. Cautions alert you to such potential problems.

    • Step by Steps: These are hands-on lab excercises that walk you through a particular task or function relevant to the exam objectives.

    • Key Terms: A list of key terms appears near the end of each chapter.

    • Exercises: Found at the end of the chapters in the "Summary" section, the exercises are performance-based opportunities for you to learn and assess your knowledge.

    • Suggested Readings and Resources: At the end of each chapter is a list of additional resources that you can use if you are interested in going beyond the objectives and learning more about the topics presented in the chapter.

  • Extensive practice test options: The book provides numerous opportunities for you to assess your knowledge and practice for the exam. The practice options include the following:

    • Exam Questions: These questions appear in the "Summary" section at the end of each chapter. They allow you to quickly assess your comprehension of what you just read. Answers to the questions are provided in the section "Answers to Exam Questions."

    • Practice Exam: A practice exam is included in Part II of this book, "Final Review," (as discussed in a moment).

    • ExamGear: The ExamGear software included on the CD-ROM provides further practice questions.

    Note - ExamGear software For a complete description of the ExamGear test engine, see Appendix A, "What's on the CD-ROM."

  • Final Review: This part of the book gives you two valuable tools for preparing for the exam:

    • Fast Facts: This condensed version of the information contained in the book will prove extremely useful for last-minute review.

    • Practice Exam: A full practice exam is included, with questions written in styles similar to those used on the actual exam. Use the practice exam to assess your readiness for the real exam.

  • Appendix and glossary: This book also contains a glossary and a description of what is on the CD-ROM (Appendix A).

These and all the other book features will enable you to thoroughly prepare for the exam.

Conventions Used in This Book

  • Commands: In the text, steps, and examples, the commands you type are displayed in a special monospace font.

  • Arguments and options: In command syntax, command options and arguments are enclosed in < >. (The italicized words within the < > symbols stand for what you actually type. You don't type the < >.)

  • Using the mouse: When using menus and windows, you select items using the mouse. Here is the default mapping for a three-button mouse:

    Left button: Select

    Middle button: Transfer/adjust

    Right button: Menu

    The Select button is used to select objects and activate controls. The middle mouse button is configured for either Transfer or Adjust. By default, it is set up for Transfer, which means that it is used to drag or drop list or text items. You use the left mouse button to highlight text, and then you use the middle button to move the text to another window or to reissue a command. The middle button can also be used to move around windows on the screen. The right mouse button, the Menu button, is used to display and choose options from pop-up menus.

  • Menu options: The names of menus and the options that appear on them are separated by a comma. For example, "Select File, Open" means to pull down the File menu and choose the Open option.

  • Code-continuation character: When a line of code is too long to fit on one line of a page, it is broken and continued to the next line. The continuation is preceded by a backslash.


This book is designed for anyone who has a basic understanding of UNIX and wants to learn more about Solaris system administration. Whether or not you plan to become certified, this book is the starting point to becoming a Solaris system administrator. It's the same training material that Bill uses in his Solaris 10 Intermediate System Administration course. This book covers the basics as well as intermediate system administration topics you need to know before you begin administering the Solaris operating system. Our goal was to present the material in an easy-to-follow format, with text that is easy to read and understand. The only prerequisite is that you have used UNIX, that you have attended a fundamentals of UNIX class for users, or that you have studied equivalent material so that you understand basic UNIX commands and syntax. Before you begin administering Solaris, it's important that you have actually used UNIX.

This book is also intended for experienced system administrators who want to become certified, update their current Solaris certification, or simply learn about the features of the Solaris 10 operating environment. To pass the certification exams, you need a solid understanding of the fundamentals of administering Solaris. This book will help you review the fundamentals required to pass the certification exams.

The Sun Certified System Administrator Exams

To become a Sun Certified System Administrator, you need to pass two exams: CX-310-200 (Part I) and CX-310-202 (Part II). This book covers the Part I exam, which is a prerequisite for Part II. You will not receive a certificate until you have passed both examinations. Also, if you are already certified in Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, or 9, you need to use materials found in volumes 1 and 2 of this series to take the upgrade exam, CX-310-203, to become certified on Solaris 10.

Beware of fakes. We have seen some websites that promote their own certification programs, so be sure to evaluate them carefully. Certification programs promoted by these sites are not the same as the Sun certification program, and you will not receive a certificate from Sun until you pass Sun's exams from a certified Sun testing center. Go to my website (http://www.UnixEd.com) for links to the real exams and information on Sun's certification program if you are in doubt. In addition, feel free to visit our online Solaris certification discussion forum at http://www.UnixEd.com, where you can ask me questions directly.

Exam CX-310-200

The following sections cover the Exam CX-310-200 objectives.

Manage File Systems

List the different types of file systems and file types in the Solaris operating environment. Understand how to add disk devices to a system and the device files associated with each disk on each Solaris platform (SPARC and x86/x64). Understand how to use the format and fdisk utilities. Understand how to create, mount, and repair file systems. Understand all the configuration files associated with managing file systems.

Install Software

Describe the methods used and the sequence of steps required to perform the Solaris 10 operating environment software installation on SPARC-, x64-, and x86-based systems. Identify the function of the package administration commands. Understand how to install, verify, and remove operating system patches.

Perform System Boot Procedures

Understand the entire boot process, with knowledge of the various configuration files and startup scripts on SPARC-, x64-, and x86-based systems. Understand how to use and execute boot PROM commands. Understand the role of the Solaris Management Facility (SMF) in the boot process, and become familiar with SMF-related commands. Understand the function of the files or directories accessed during the boot process. Understand the commands used to change the run level of a system to a specified state.

Perform User and Security Administration

Understand all aspects of administering users and groups. Understand how to set and verify file and directory permissions.

Manage Network Printers and System Processes

Describe the purpose, features, and functionality of the print management tools available in the Solaris operating environment. Understand the LP print service directory structure and the Solaris operating environment printing process. Understand the commands that display information for all active processes on the system. Understand the effect of sending a specified signal to a process. Understand the various methods used to terminate an active process.

Perform System Backups and Restores

Understand the functional capabilities of the various backup, archive, and restore utilities in Solaris 10. Identify the commands and steps required to back up and restore a file system. Given a specific scenario, be prepared to develop a strategy for scheduled backups and back up an unmounted file system using the appropriate commands.

Exam CX-310-203 (Solaris 10 Upgrade Exam)

If you're already certified on Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, or 9, you only need to take the CX-310-203 upgrade exam to update your certification. Here are the current objectives for that exam:

  • Install Software

  • Manage File Systems

  • Perform System Boot and Shutdown Procedures for SPARC-, x64-, and x86-Based Systems

  • Perform User and Security Administration

  • Perform Advanced Installation Procedures


It's not uncommon for Sun to change the exam objectives or to shift them around after the exams have been published. I highly recommend that before you start this book, you visit my website at http://www.UnixEd.com to get the most up-to-date list of exam objectives, the errata for this book, up-to-date sample exam questions, and any other last-minute notes about these exams. We will provide all the information you need to pass the exam; all you need to do is devote the time. Learning the objectives is the first step; the next step is to practice. You need to have access to both SPARC- and x86/x64-based systems running Solaris 10 so that you can practice what you have learned. Unless you have a supernatural memory, it will be difficult to pass the exams without practice.

In the back of this book is the ExamGear software test CD that prepares you for the questions you might see on the exam. The CD-ROM-based test engine was designed by educational experts to help you learn as you test. It is a preview of the types of questions to expect on the exams, and it tests your knowledge on all the exam objectives. If you are weak in any area, the sample questions will help you identify that area so that you can go back to the appropriate chapter and study the topic. Each question on the CD-ROM has a flash card to help you in case you get stuck. This flash card contains brief, concise, textbook excerpts that explain why each answer is correct so that you can learn as you test.

Also, for an additional cost, you can purchase more questions for the ExamGear test engine from our website. You'll obtain hundreds of questions that will take you deep into each exam objective, providing a comprehensive skills assessment and helping you evaluate your readiness and retention of the materials.

Advice on Taking the Exam

More extensive tips are found in the "Study and Exam Prep Tips" element and throughout the book, but keep in mind the following advice as you study for the exam:

  • Read all the material: This book includes information not reflected in the exam objectives to better prepare you for the exam and for real-world experiences. Read all the material to benefit from this.

  • Do the step-by-step lab exercises, and complete the exercises in each chapter: This will help you gain experience and prepare for the scenario-type questions that you will encounter.

  • Use the questions to assess your knowledge: Each chapter contains exam questions. Use these to asses your knowledge and determine where you need to review material.

  • Review the exam objectives: Develop your own questions and examples for each topic listed. If you can develop and answer several questions for each topic, you should not find it difficult to pass the exam.

  • Relax and sleep before taking the exam: Your time for taking the exam is limited. However, if you have prepared and you know Solaris network administration, you will find plenty of time to answer all the questions. Be sure to rest well the night before so that you can handle the stress that time limitations put on you as you take the exam.

  • Review all the material in the "Fast Facts" element the night before or the morning you take the exam.

  • If you don't know the answer to a question, just skip it and don't waste much time: You need to complete the exam in the time allotted. Don't be lazy during the exam; answer all the questions as quickly as possible. Any unfinished questions will be marked as incorrect.

  • Visit my website, http://www.UnixEd.com. It contains the following:

    • Late-breaking changes that Sun might make to the exam or the objectives. You can expect Sun to change the exams frequently. Make sure you check my website before taking the exam.

    • A FAQs page with frequently asked questions and errata about this book or the exams.

    • Links to other informative websites.

    • Additional practice questions and sample exams for the ExamGear test engine. The ExamGear test engine has hundreds of questions that you can use to further assess your retention of the material presented in the book. The exams feature electronic flash cards that take the place of those sticky notes that you've used as bookmarks throughout the book. Don't attempt the real exam until you can pass every section of the practice exams with a 95% or better score.

    • An online forum where you can discuss certification-related issues with me and other system administrators, including some who have already taken the exam.

    • Additional study materials, training programs, and online seminars related to Solaris certification.

    • You can also email me directly from this website with questions or comments about this book. I always try to answer each one.

When you feel confident, take the real exams and become certified. Don't forget to drop me an email and let me know how you did (guru@UnixEd.com).

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Bill Calkins is a Sun Certified System Administrator for the Solaris operating environment. He is owner and president of Pyramid Consulting Inc., a computer training and consulting firm located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, specializing in the implementation and administration of Open Systems. He has more than 20 years of experience in Unix system administration, consulting, and training at more than 150 different companies. Bill has authored several Unix textbooks, which are currently best sellers and are used by universities and training organizations worldwide:


  • Solaris 2.6 Administrator Certification Training Guide Part I (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 157870085X)
  • Solaris 2.6 Administrator Certification Training Guide Part II (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 1578700868)
  • Solaris 7 Administrator Certification Training Guide: Parts I and II (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 1578702496)
  • Solaris 8 Training Guide (CX-310-011 and CX-310-012): System Administrator (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 1578702593)
  • Inside Solaris 9 (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 0735711011). Solaris 9 Training Guide (CX-310-014 and CX-310-015): System Administrator (New Riders Publishing, ISBN: 0789729229)
  • Solaris 10 System Administration – First Edition (Que, ISBN: 0789734613)


Bill has worked with Sun Press and Prentice Hall as a technical editor and a major contributor to many of their Solaris titles.


Bill’s professional interests include consulting, writing, teaching, traveling, and developing Web-based training materials.


Bill works as a consultant with the certification group at Sun Microsystems and assists with the development of the Solaris 10 SCSA, SCNA, and SCSECA certification exams. Bill also consults with Sun Microsystems Professional Services and assists in the development of Solaris training and testing materials for the education division at Sun Microsystems.


Bill works as an instructor in government, corporate and university settings, and has helped thousands of administrators get their certification. Recently he was recognized by the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) as the “technical trainer of choice for the joint war fighting community.”


His experience covers all varieties of Unix, including Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, IRIX, and Linux. When he’s not working in the field, he writes Unix books and conducts training and educational seminars on various system administration topics. He draws on his many years of experience in system administration and training to provide a unique approach to Unix

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Solaris 10: System Administration Part 1: Exam CX-310-200 (Exam Prep Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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