Solaris Express 8/04

Alan Hargreaves beat me to posting about this month's release of Solaris Express, but since he's Down Under, he's usually a day ahead of me anyway. While the high-level list is impressive, there's also a few hidden goodies and bug fixes people may appreciate - though to list them I'll have to reset my brain back to the build 63 used for SX 8/04 after spending the day working out the final kinks in build 65, hacking on code for build 67, and making plans for changes to go into build 68. Of course as an X developer, the changes in X and the desktop are the ones I know most about - no slight to the other parts of the system, I'm just sticking to what I know best. The following are in no particular order...

bugid 5045194: Xsun doesn't allow +xinerama to follow the -dev option
The -dev option parser in Xsun only recognized a word starting with - as the start of a new option, breaking on things such as -dev /dev/fb0 -dev /dev/fb1 +xinerama - this fixes it so that now works (or any other + option for that matter). The X server command line syntax is still a mess, even in Xorg, but that's where two decades of organic evolution has left us.
bugid 5031067: Xsun unsets interactive priority boost on itself
Xsun on Solaris uses the IA scheduling class to boost the priority of the process that currently has window focus - it also used to boost itself since the other processes can't get events or draw output without the Xserver getting CPU time. A while ago a bug was introduced that caused Xsun to give up it's boost - now that's fixed.
ATA driver improvements
Improvements for various ATA (aka IDE) controllers, including faster boot times on some, support for some SATA controllers and more
fbconfig -gui
A new gui mode for configuring various parameters on SPARC frame buffers.
A new CLI utility for converting internationalized domain names between the local character set and the ASCII-compatible encoding used in DNS, so you can make your scripts IDN compatible or work with programs not yet updated to support IDN.
Perl updated to 5.8.4
See the release notes from the open source release for changes. Also perlgcc was added to the release to make it easier to compile perl modules with gcc instead of the Sun compilers.
bugid 5034873 usb mouse wheel scroll is not smooth
The USB mouse driver was not passing up scroll wheel events when the mouse wasn't moved much - you could scroll much faster by wiggling the mouse while rolling the wheel - this fixes that.
kdmconfig support for more resolutions
kdmconfig allows selecting 1400x1050 and other common laptop resolutions now without having to manually create a config file.
GNU tar (/usr/sfw/bin/gtar) updated to 1.14
Adds bzip compression support and other new features - see the changelog on the GNU tar site.
wget updated to 1.9.1
OpenGL 1.3 for Solaris SPARC moved to main OS CD
No longer do you need the Supplement CD to install OpenGL - it's on the main CD's and part of the normal install
Numerous fontconfig, STSF, and Xft fixes and improvements
Too many to list, but hard to see since nothing in Solaris Express uses these yet. To see this, you'ld need to be one of the lucky few early testers in the Java Desktop System for Solaris beta program or build open source programs using the libraries in Solaris.
dtlogin starts Xsun with -defdepth 24 by default
I know this will make some users very happy, while others will laugh at us and say "welcome to the 21st century", but this has been a long fight thanks to legacy software that only works in 8-bit PseudoColor mode. If you've still got some of this, you can easily disable this in the dtlogin Xservers configuration file, but for most people, this will bring a welcome improvement in the graphics quality of modern applications (though at a small performance penalty on some cards, since it does mean transferring 4 times as much data across the system bus for images).
O_NOFOLLOW & O_NOLINKS options to open(2)
Makes it easier to write secure code

There's a lot more, especially in the kernel and drivers, but I can't do justice to all of them...


On behalf of the Enlightenment Project, may I say in reguards to 24bit being default..... AMEN!!! ABOUT TIME!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you! Cound me in the "why didn't this happen during the introduction of sun4u? camp. This is a MAJOR burden off alot of porters backs. Having to explain why they need to turn on 24bit support from users who blame YOUR CODE instead of the X setup is really lame. Life is good. :)

Posted by benr on August 18, 2004 at 05:15 AM PDT #

Is there any reason why GNU tar was used? It's kind of late now, but would it be possible to look at star?

Posted by David Magda on August 18, 2004 at 09:31 AM PDT #

I don't know why GNU tar was originally added or star hasn't been, just that the older version of GNU tar has been replaced with a newer one. Sorry.

Posted by Alan on August 18, 2004 at 12:00 PM PDT #

There is an engineer evaluating whether we can include star in the future; last I checked it was still undecided. Note that the tar Alan is talking about is not the same as /usr/bin/tar, which is still the SystemV derived implementation. We've had GNU tar available in /usr/sfw for a while now (I think in Solaris 9, and maybe in 8) for those who wish to use it.

Posted by Dan Price on August 22, 2004 at 04:48 PM PDT #

any version of openGL for solaris x86 planned?

Posted by bbr on August 23, 2004 at 08:55 PM PDT #

Will the new Xsun binary run under Solaris9 on sun4m systems? Will Sun eventually give proprietary driver software for older hardware to I am specifically thinking of cg14 acceleration... I'd love to run NetBSD + Gnome on my quad 12MHz Ross SS20! :-)

Posted by Volker A. Brandt on August 23, 2004 at 10:11 PM PDT #

Hey, that was supposed to be 125 MHz...

Posted by Volker A. Brandt on August 23, 2004 at 10:13 PM PDT #

Lots of questions:

> any version of openGL for solaris x86 planned?
All I can say is what's in the brochures for Sun's new opteron workstations: OpenGL for those workstations is "Linux today, Solaris in future"

> Will the new Xsun binary run under Solaris9 on sun4m systems?
No, the Xsun binary for Solaris 10 relies on other Solaris 10 features, so won't run on Solaris 9 on any platform.

> Will Sun eventually give proprietary driver software for older hardware to
I don't know. That's up to the SPARC hardware group, and I don't know their plans there.

Posted by Alan Coopersmith on August 24, 2004 at 02:38 AM PDT #

Will the ultra3 SCSI driver ever be added to the install CDs? Maybe for Solaris 8 and 9 too? Please?

Posted by Solaris Guy on August 25, 2004 at 12:05 PM PDT #

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Engineer working on Oracle Solaris and with the X.Org open source community.


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