Solaris 11 First Steps

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What's new in Solaris 11


Automated Installer

The automated installer short AI is a new way to setup an install server. The configuration is in XML files. For further informations look here.

Package Management

No more patching! The new way to update your operating system is pkg. This tool get's new versions of Software over the network. You can add multiple repositories, search repositories for software packages and install them over the network. Some examples.

Support repository

[Get your client certificates]


Live upgrade is now Boot environments (beadm)

For many years the usage of live upgrade was a bit difficult. With support of ZFS in live upgrade the updates went easier and consumed less disk space. Since OpenSolaris (and now in Solaris 11) we have a new way to make updates. The new way to handle upgrades and updates is beadm the boot environment admin tool. You can create a boot environment manually at any time as known from live upgrade. New is that software updates from pkg create boot environments automatically if needed (or if pkg is used with --require-new-be or --require-backup-be).

Distro Constructor

You can compile your own Solaris 11 distribution ISO image by using the Distribution Constructor. This will make customized installations much faster. There is a good article at Oracle called How to Create a Customized Oracle Solaris 11 Image Using the Distribution Constructor.

Networking (Crossbow)

An enhanced version of the new network stack from the project Crossbow (known from OpenSolaris) is implemented. The new stack virtualizes the network of your Solaris. This means a lot of new features like virtual switches, virtual NICs and so on can be used. You can build even complex networks virtualized inside your Solaris instance.

Interface Names

The new network virtualization covers interface names. They are now named net0, net1, ... and not after their drivers. So now you can just say net0 is frontend traffic. and interface net1 is backend. Independant of which hardware your server is build of. You can even name them after their usage like frontend0 and backend0. So you always now what kind of traffic is at this interface.

Etherstubs and VNICs

Etherstubs are virtual switches inside your OS which can be connected to VNICs and physical interfaces.


The tool ipadm is, together with dladm, a powerful tool to manage your network stack.

Storage Engine (COMSTAR)

ZFS deduplication and encryption

ZFS deduplication

ZFS encryption


Immutable Zones


Kernel based CIFS