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Solaris Express 6/04

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

Alan Hargreaves posted a list of highlights in Solaris Express 6/04, and the What's New in Solaris 10 Beta 4 docs are posted on docs.sun.com now (S10 Beta 4 and Solaris Express 6/04 are both the same s10_58 build of Solaris 10, just different release mechanisms), but I often find the changes I most like are the little ones not listed in the highlights and major new fixes list. For this release, my favorite changes since the previous (s10_55) are (in no particular order):

XFree86 DDX module updates for Solaris x86
The drivers from the XFree86 porting kit were added to Solaris x86 in the previous release - this one improves the integration with kdmconfig and includes several other updates to make them work better.
pfiles(1) now displays the pathname to each open file
   9: S_IFREG mode:0644 dev:85,6 ino:12592 uid:0 gid:0 size:286
/usr/bin/mktemp added
For making shell scripts more secure
X Keysyms updated
The new keysyms defined in XFree86 4.4 and X.Org X11R6.7.0 have been added to the X Keysym DB and headers for Solaris. This isn't a big thing in itself, but simply as the first step of integrating X11R6.7.0 changes into Solaris. There are many more bits to come, and not all of them will make Solaris 10 FCS, but it's a start.
CDE/Motif support for Sun Keyboards on Solaris x86
CDE & Motif applications now recognize the extra Sun keys like Copy & Paste when you use a Sun Type 6 USB keyboard on an x86 machine. (You can get this on earlier releases by manually editing /usr/dt/lib/bindings/xmbind.alias and changing the Sun entry from the sun_at line to the sun line.)
Mozilla 1.4 installation bug fixed
The /usr/sfw/bin/mozilla link should be correctly installed now (it wasn't always in the previous release) so that you can actually run Mozilla. [Update: turns out there's still a Mozilla 1.4 installation bug that breaks Mozilla installs since the package install scripts can't find certain things when not running on the OS image being installed to - if Mozilla still won't start, pkgrm all the SUNWmoz\* packages and re-pkgadd them from the install CD while the system is running. This bug is supposed to be fixed in s10_60.]
proc(1m) commands buffer output
Sounds trivial, until you run pmap or pfiles on your Xsun, from an xterm displaying on your Xsun and watch the whole screen deadlock as pmap grabs the Xsun process, tries to print data, but hangs because the pipe to xterm has filled, because xterm's pipe to Xsun has filled, because Xsun can't drain it until pmap lets go. Simply buffering the output of pmap/pfiles/etc. and not dumping to stdout until the process has been let go clears this classic deadlock that has bitten almost everyone who debugs X problems.

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Comments ( 5 )
  • Derek Wednesday, June 9, 2004
    Any word when Sol Express 6/04 is going to be released? You said it was due out yesterday, but Sun's website still has 5/04 up.
  • Ari Wednesday, June 9, 2004
    Does Sun plan to do anything to speed up Xrender/Xft out of the box? With the update that provided Xrender, the font path is pretty huge but no fontconfig caches are included, which means anything built against Sun's Xft is slooowww to start (every font directory is scanned at program startup) unless fc-cache is run as root on the system. On most Linux systems, fc-cache is handled automatically, but on Solaris it must be run automatically.
  • Alan Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Derek: It should be up now - it was released via the Beta program first, and was supposed to be released yesterday via Solaris Express.

    Ari: Starting with s10_54 (Solaris Express 4/04), fc-cache is run automatically for you. That fix has been backported to Solaris 9 Update 7 (the update currently under development) and to the fontconfig patch for prior S9 releases that is currently undergoing testing. A lot of additional work is ongoing to improve Xft / anti-aliased text performance since it will be used heavily by the upcoming Java Desktop System for Solaris release later this year.

  • Ari Pollak Monday, June 21, 2004
    I should note that Mozilla up till version 1.4.2 creats the ~/.mozilla directory with insecure 644 permissions by default, when there are usually unencrypted passwords contained inside. An unpatched 1.4 probably isn't great to ship with.
  • Alan Thursday, June 24, 2004
    Sun's Mozilla 1.4 includes a number of security fixes from community post-1.4 patches - though I haven't checked this one. Work is in progress on moving to Mozilla 1.7 anyway as part of the Java Desktop System for Solaris release.
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