Summary: How stable is solaris2.5

Date: Fri Feb 02 1996 - 04:29:51 CST

Hi All,

I had a asked a set of 6 questions regarding solaris2.5 stability, problems,
ease of installation etc. I got back 16 responses. Many people have asked for
the summary. So, I am sending this without waiting for any more responses.

Each one of my questions will be followed by a summary of answers that I got.

1) How stable has solaris2.5 been, particularly are there any known NIS+/NFS/
automounter problems.

A) Most of them replied that it has been very stable. They have been using it
between 2 and 3 months some with large number of clients. One reply was that
they dont use automounter but they use amd. One interesting reply:
It has worked well for us. However, its performance still isnt quite as good
as 4.1.4. It beats the heck out of 2.4. Another sys admin responded that they
have less automounter problems since 2.5.

Overall it seems better and requires less number of additional patches as
compared to 2.4

2) How easy was the upgrade. Do we have to install from scratch or is the
upgrade working? What about other software installed on the system?

A) one reply was:

Hmmm. I did a backup of my /etc/-configs (passwd/shadow, inetd.conf, goups, services and so
on) then I did a scratch-install. This I was able to do, because in a clean installation, I
got all add-on software installed under /opt. (I preserved that one.)
This means, ALL software we do install, does NO nodifications to usr-tree !
(Only one link left: /usr/local -> /opt (SYMLINK)).
That was it. (I do have SPARC-Compilers bundled, and I did updatethen to the
recent version, when I did update the OS, so I did not need to take care of
their change to /var/sadm...)

another reply was
. Don't forget to read the relaese note about performing an upgrade.
There are some special hints of things you should take care.

One other important answer was
/ and /usr needs to be bigger for the upgrade.

All the others replied that it is easier to do an install from scratch and that
they do it. I myself think that one should save the existing OS disk as it
is for use in a backout plan in case things dont go well and then do an install
from scratch. (This is mainly for the servers).

3) I read that Solaris2.5 has 30% more performance improvement. Has this been
true in your case? If so, how did you measure it?


first answer was good:

It at least takes much shorter time to reconfigure /dev and /devices.
Also, look at the difference in kernel size:

Solaris 2.5
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root sys 631396 Oct 30 18:07 unix
Solaris 2.4
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root sys 1073692 Sep 21 15:33 unix

second answer:
While I have no benchmarks to give official numbers, we have found
Solaris 2.5 to be much faster than our SunOS machines. So much so that
we moved a copy of our source code to our first Solaris 2.5 system so
we could run major shell scripts on the Solaris system totally for
performance reasons.

third answer:

Yes: Do a loop: 10000 * times execute a shellscript:

uname -a

on a idle system and run time over it.
(All run from /tmp in a ramdisk (tmpfs) on a SS10-40:
The 2.5 ist 27% faster than the 2.4. (It was the SAME machine.)
NFS seems to be faster too, but I cannot say details yet.

All other answers were saying the same. Users and sysadmins could feel
the speed but did not measure it.

4) I also read that Solaris2.5 has a better admintool? Have you tried this?


anwer one.

Yes, much better, but a license key will have to be obtained from Sun, a
two day wait. admintool has hung the X display server of my workstation
many times when being redisplayed remotely.

another answer was:

The new admintool under 2.5 is written in motif and has not so much features
like in 2.4. You could not change or add users in NIS or NIS+, for example.
If you want to do this, you have to install Solstice Adminsuite, which
is included in the server Edition of 2.5


he admintool changed and is one together with swmtool. But you need
also AdminSuite2.1 for the configuration of OS Server etc., what was=20
the job of admintool in the 2.4 release

Most of the other answers were pretty much the same. They are saying that
you need to use solstice adminsuite which is slick and that it comes with
the server edition of sol2.5.

5) Any other experiences with Sol2.5 good or bad?

Most answers were good and more stable.

a different one was.

Some bugs are still left.
Cronlog is never cycled, kernel starts all rc.*/* script with a umask of 000

another one

You need a little bit of your time to see the new concepts in the admin
policy. After this time of "brain adjustment" I prefer the new way.
(for expample: You don't need to decide if the system will be an OS =
or not at the installation time cause you could convert a standalone
machine at any time to a OS Server with the AdminSuite)

yet another,

Its great that S2.5, (especially for server) come with meny addon software packages (ODBC drivers, Networker, Disksuite, Wabi, IPX stack ...)

cron has a memory leak that has not been patched yet.

6) Has anyone set up an installserver from which all machines can be upgraded
over the network? if so, please share your experiences.


Few said that they were able to do it without any problems. Most of them
did not try it. One good answer was

This relies on the adminstuite being installed, so I have not been able to
set up the jump start server yet.

Couple of sys admins went as far as setting up diskless nodes, but did not
install from the server on the network and are planning to do so.

Thanks a lot to all those responded. The next time someone who has these
questions will just have to look at the summary. Please pass on this info.

Thanks to.

Ramesh Radhakrishnan
UNIX Systems Administrator
Herndon, VA.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:10:52 CDT