Solaris Essential Reference

Solaris Essential Reference


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Solaris Essential Reference by John Mulligan

"Could someone give me an easy way to look up the sed and awk commands for Solaris?" asked a time-pressed computer design engineer. Most Solaris users use it in a professional technical environment. They're looking for the fastest way to find a needed command so they can get on with their work. The Solaris Essential Reference assumes that you're well versed in general UNIX skills and simply need some pointers on how to get the most out of Solaris. This book provides clear and concise instruction on how to perform important administration and management tasks, and use some of the more powerful commands and more advanced topics. It includes the best way to implement the most frequently used commands, deal with shell scripting, administer your own system, and utilize effective security. Bonus coverage includes information on third-party software packages available for Solaris that are essential to operating a good system. Such applications are pico, pine, top, TCP Wrappers, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735700239
Publisher: Sams
Publication date: 05/14/1999
Series: Landmark Series
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John P. Mulligan is the creator and co-editor of SolarisGuide (, the leading online information resource about Sun Microsystem's Solaris operating environment, featuring technical manuals, FAQs, news, and more. Started as an informal collection of Solaris information while he was a student at Lafayette College, SolarisGuide has since been acquired by Corporation and is now the premiere source for Solaris news and information for professionals worldwide. John spent three years working in the Computer Support Services department at Lafayette College working on just about every aspect of UNIX system administration and management. He was responsible for migrating all the college Sun systems from SunOS 4.x to SunOS 5.x (a.k.a. Solaris 2). During that time, he also worked on a research project involving the mathematical modeling of microfluidic flows on Sun Solaris work-stations. He is also the author of the first edition of Solaris Essential Reference and now the second edition, updated for Solaris 8. Solaris Essential Reference remains a concise and efficient reference available for the Solaris Operating Environment. John currently lives in East Berlin, Pennsylvania, and works at P.H. Glatfelter Company as an environmental engineer. He can be reached at

Table of Contents


Book Conventions. Informational Utilities.


1. Text Utilities.

Sorting. Formatting. Editors. Advanced Text Tools.

2. Shell Scripting.

Shell Summary. Executing Scripts and Commands. Setting and Unsetting Environment Variables. RC File Environment Variables. Input and Output. Redirection. Logical Operations. Loops.

3. Process Control.

Starting Processes. Process Status. Stopping Processes.

4. Network Clients and Utilities.

Informational Utilities. File Transfers. Communications. Remote Shells and Login.


5. Compilers/Interpreters.

Compiler. Interpreter. Debugging Flags.

6. Programming Utilities.

Programming Utilities.

7. Debugging.

Proc Tools-Tools for Manipulating the /proc Filesystem. Debugging Tools.


8. Startup and Shutdown.

Power Management. PROM Level Booting. Shutdowns and Rebooting. Run States.

9. User Management.

Basic User Management Tasks. Ancillary User Management Tasks. Quotas.

10. Network Administration.

Daemons and Servers. Anonymous FTP. PPP. DHCP. LDAP. Network File System (NFS). Mail.

11. Filesystems.

Filesystem Overview and Description. Constructing and Mounting New Filesystems. Checking and Tuning Filesystems. Backups. Copying Filesystems. Device Configuration.

12. Security.

System Auditing. ASET. Role Based Access Control (RBAC). Network Sniffing. Kerberos.

13. System Configuration and Tuning.

System Identification. Modules. General Configuration. Kernel Tuning.


Appendix A: Solaris Version Changes.

Solaris 2.2. Solaris 2.3293. Solaris 2.4. Solaris 2.5. Solaris 2.5.1. Solaris 2.6. Solaris. Solaris.

Appendix B: Common Startup Problems and Solutions.

Appendix C: Linux Compatibility.

Appendix D: GNU Public License.

GNU General Public License.

Appendix E: Web Resources.

Administration and Management. Common Desktop Environment/OpenLook. Developer Resources. Hardware. Lists of Resources. Magazines (Online and Print). Online Documentation. Security. Software. Solaris x86. Solaris PPP/NAT.

Appendix F: Signals.

Signals by Value. Commonly Used Signals.

Appendix G: TCP/UDP Port List.

TCP/UDP Ports by Service. TCP/UDP Ports by Port.



This book is designed to be the ideal reference for Solaris users who know what they want to do--but just need to know how to do it. This reference assumes that the reader is well versed in general UNIX skills and is simply in need of some pointers on how to get the most out of Solaris. Rather than a lengthy tutorial that holds the user's hand, this book serves as a desktop reference of everything an experienced user will need to know to use Solaris.

Although there are many versions of Solaris, this reference is concerned for the most part with Solaris 2.5 and 2.6--two of the most recent and widely used versions of Solaris. During the writing of this book, Solaris 2.7 (marketed under the name Solaris 7) was released. It includes a fully 64-bit operating system (SunOS 5.7) and many other enhancements. Although Solaris 7 is, in many ways, different from previous releases, everything in this reference will work on Solaris 7 as well. The new features of Solaris 7--many of which are graphical interfaces-are not covered in this text. However, a brief list of the new features has been included in Appendix A, " Solaris Version Changes."

I have placed the emphasis on the essentials of using the SunOS 5 operating system, rather than on using the OpenWindow environment. The general rule is that anything that can be done from a graphical user interface in Solaris can also be done from the command line. Using the command-line interface rather than a GUI allows users and administrators to have full access to Solaris computers even when they are not using a terminal that can support graphics. Therefore, the commands and explanations in this reference can be used via remote logins overcorporate LANs, across the Internet, or while sitting at the actual computer console--regardless of what type of monitor or frame buffer is present.

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