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Solaris 11 is launched

The long wait is over, and Oracle have finally pushed Solaris 11 out of the door. It feels a bit odd to be talking about Oracle releasing a new version of Solaris, but given how long ago Solaris 10 came out, it’s good to see what they’ve been up to.

By now most people should be up to speed with the new features in Solaris 11, like the Automated Installer (AI) and the new IPS packaging system.

ZFS with encryption has been available since Solaris 11 Express was released a year ago. We’ve had a heads-up that support for 32bit x86 CPUs was being dropped, as was support for anything other than T and M class SPARC boxes.

However, there are some extra new features that have come to light with the FCS release:

  • Password caching for su – this is an implementation in PAM that’s similar to the ticketing system used in sudo. Darren Moffat has an entry in his blog that details how to enable it.
  • root is no longer a user, it’s a role. This been the case since Solaris 11 Express, and in OpenIndiana, but it needs repeating
  • Encrypted user home directories, using encrypted ZFS and delegated key management
  • SMF layers – basically allowing a way to apply and manage SMF properties and customisations. You can read more on Sean Wilcox’s blog here.
  • Many new zone tweaks – Immutable Zones, zone boot environments, and different packages in the global zone and other zones
  • Intel AESNI crypto functions have been added to OpenSSL. Previously in Solaris x86, the AESNI functions had been added to the kernel and pkcs11 libraries – now they’re available within OpenSSL as well.

If you can make it to Oracle’s City Office in London next Wednesday, the UK Oracle User Group Solaris SIG (yeah, I know, LOSUG was much less of a mouthful) are having a special Solaris 11 launch event, starting at 2pm and running through the normal meeting in the evening.

You can find more details on the Solaris SIG site here – it promises to be an interesting event that’s well worth attending.

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