SUMMARY: Solaris vs. HP-UX

From: Anthony Gunia <>
Date: Mon Jan 12 2004 - 11:46:41 EST
Hi all,

Thanks so much to all the following for their answers:

Ed Kerekes
John Timon
John Sullivan
Larye D. Parkins
Neil Quiogue
Jim Vandevegt
Anatoliy Lisovskiy
Reggie Beavers
Joe Fletcher
Steve Starer
Tony Schloss
Bertrand Hutin

Here are some URLs that provide a lot of information on Solaris vs. HP-UX: (most popular)

Here are some additional information regarding Solaris vs. HP-UX form some of
the individuals above:

"However, it has been my general observation that Solaris has better
community support along with having a freeware repository (
Documentation ( and patches ( are superb
compared to other commercial *NIXes.

Performance comparisons are hard to come by also as HP-UX uses the PA-RISC
chips of HP which have different "speeds" which would make it a bit tough to
match it with the appropriate SPARC chip in Sun."


"11	Potpourri of useful commands.
11.1	Solaris
psrinfo -v Processor Information
/usr/platform/sun4u/sbin/prtdiag -v (Ultra's only)
/usr/bin/showrev [-p]
isainfo -kv (tells 32-bit or 64-bit kernel)
iostat -E (lists disk errors)
prex (tells more information about processes)
truss -vlstat -tlstat ls -l <file or directory> (will give all three UNIX
vxtask list (give status on VxVM background tasks like volume creation, etc.)

> Is there any command/utilities, that can list all those files that are open
> also can it count number of files open
sar -v 1 5 will show total number of files open.
You can use /usr/proc/bin/pfiles or lsof to get more information.

11.2	HPUX
insf -e will re-create all block and character special files.
insf -H hardware path Add special files for new hardware at or below the given
stty +resetGSP < /dev/GSPdiag1 Reset the GSP from HPUX shell.
echo itick_per_usec/D | adb -k /stand/vmunix /dev/mem Returns CPU speed in
echo physmem/D | adb -k /stand/vmunix /dev/mem HPUX 10.20: Returns number of
4K pages of physical RAM. Divide by 256 for MB.
echo phys_mem_pages/D | adb -k /stand/vmunix /dev/mem HPUX 11.x: Returns
number of 4K pages of physical RAM. Divide by 256 for MB.

Other stuff for the HP-UX trainee...

--Solaris: /etc/init.d & /etc/rc?.d
--HPUX:    /sbin/init.d & /sbin/rc?.d
--HPUX: uses three-digit numbers in the RC directories instead of two.

--HPUX: integrated albiet stripped-down VxVM and VxFS under the guise Logical
Volume Manager. Definitely use it. All file systems except /stand can be

Always seems to me your dollar goes a lot farther buying Sun equipment opposed
to HP." There is some argument that the HP boxes are designed for higher
backplane performance. For instance, a while back I read someone saying they
greatly preferred the HP N4000 to the Sun 450, saying on the N4000 each PCI
slot is its own PCI bus, as opposed to 3-4 slots sharing a bus on the Sun


"Merits to both. Where HP-UX might have an appeal is from the hardware side.
Both the PA-RISC and IA64 systems are faster that the SPARC equivalents. In
the case
of the Itanium stuff there is quite a significant performance lead. I'd check
application support though.

Other than that they are "the same only different". Can't think of anything
that one does significantly better than the other from an O/S management
level. The
SAM tools in HP-UX are pretty good. Must confess I've been almost exclusively
for the last 18 months (with a little Tru64) so perhaps I'm a bit behind on
the HP


"What are you looking for? I've got about 5 years of HP-UX and more of
Solaris/SunOS. Is there something in particular you're looking at? My HP-UX
was 9 and 10. I can tell you a couple of things from those flavors:
1. No dynamic kernel modules in HP-UX 9 / 10. Patching frequently meant
building a new kernel.
2. HP-UX has a nice scsi probe that works at OS. I think it was called , but I
don't recall
3. HP-UX use to bundle a logical volume manager - it was Veritas with a
different set of command names. I think they stopped doing that and now just
sell Veritas
4. HP's high availability tool is MC-Service Guard. Shell script based, and
took a fair amount of code to make work but was very good once you got it set
up correctly.
5. HP had SAM, like AiX's SMIT. It wasn't bad actually.
6. HP also had a patch depot concept that made it reasonably easy to set up a
common area for patches so you could get every server to a given patch level
from a common set of patches.
7. HP via service guard had a way of doing IP address assignments on an
interface that was different from virtual interfaces in Solaris. You never had
the kind of routing issues you can get with a virtual interface on Solaris
8. Solaris' proc tools are great. I never found anything like them in HP-UX
although they might be there

If I had to deploy something today, I'd choose Solaris with Veritas VM and
Cluster Server  over HP-UX with MC-Service Guard and lvm. Reasons: I like the
Solaris kernel structure, Cluster server and VM over MC service guard."
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Received on Mon Jan 12 11:46:31 2004

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