Solaris vs Linux - Advanced SysAdmin differences

The purpose of this article is to introduce the system and network administration features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for (RHEL) Solaris Administrators and to describe the differences between the Solaris 9 Operating System and Red Hat Linux with respect to advanced system administration tasks.

Solaris vs Linux differences

Virtual File System Management

View virtual memory statistics vmstat vmstat
Default swap device /dev/dsk/c0t0s0s1 /dev/sda2
Swap file swap partition type 82
Create a swap file mkfile dd
Prepare a file or partition to be swap mkswap
Display swap size swap -l
swap -s
Activate swap swap -a swapon -a
Remove swap space swap -d swapoff
NFS server configuration /etc/dfs/dfstab /etc/exports
NFS server daemons mountd, nfsd, lockd, statd, nfslogd, rquotad (in /usr/lib/nfs) rpc.mountd, rpc.nfsd, rpc.rquaotad (in /usr/sbin) rpc.statd, rpc.lockd (in /sbin)
NFS client daemons statd, lockd rpc.statd, rpc.lockd
NFS server start script /etc/init.d/nfs.server /etc/rc.d/init.d/nfs
NFS client start script /etc/init.d/nfs.client /etc/rc.d/init.d/netfs
View current shares /etc/dfs/sharetab
List of remote file system types /etc/dfs/fstypes
Lists file systems currently mounted by NFS clients /etc/rmtab /var/lib/nfs/rmtab
NFS server logging configuration /etc/nfs/nfslog.conf
Configuration information for the nfslogd daemon /etc/default/nfslogd
Make local directory available by NFS share exportfs
Make an NFS share unavailable unshare exportfs -u
Make all file systems in dfstab available shareall exportfs -a
Make all NFS shares unavailable unshareall exportfs -ua
List available resources from NFS server dfshares showmount -e
List NFS server directories currently mounted dfmounts showmount -d
showmount -a
NFS statistics nfsstat nfsstat
Main configuration file for AutoFS /etc/auto_master /etc/auto.master
Command to initiate AutoFS automount automount
Automount daemon automountd automount, amd amd is an alternative automount daemon that runs in user space.

autofs runs in the kernel space.
Automount start script /etc/init.d/autofs /etc/rc.d/init.d/autofs
Configuration for home directory automounting /etc/auto_home /etc/auto.home
Configuration for automounting removable devices /etc/vold.conf /etc/auto.misc Solaris uses the volume manager daemon vold.

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Storage Volume Management

Display disk label prtvtoc fdisk -l
Volume manager Solaris Volume Manager (SVM), Sun StorEdge Volume Manager lvm RHEL 3 uses LVM1 from Sistina (
Describe volumes Disk groups, Disksets Volume groups
File system vxfs ext2, ext3, reiserfs
Display volume group vxprint -l -g rootdg vgdisplay -v
Make volume groups unknown to the system vxdg deport vgexport
Make volume groups known to the system vxdg import vgimport
Scan all disks for volume groups vgscan
Create a volume group vxdg init vgcreate
Remove a volume group vgremove
Change attributes of a volume group vgchange
Display attributes of volume groups vgdisplay
Rename a volume group vgrename
Add physical volumes to a volume group vgextend
Reduce a volume group vxdg rmdisk vgreduce
Back up volume group descriptor area vgcfgbackup
Restore volume group descriptor area vgcfgrestore
Split a volume groups vgsplit
Create volume group directory and special files vgmknodes
Merge two volume groups vgmerge
Check volume group descriptor area vgck
Scan all disks for physical volumes pvscan
Initialize a disk vxdiskadd pvcreate
List physical volume vxprint -dl
metaset -p
Modify physical volume pvchange
Move physical extents pvmove
lvm system activity data collector lvmsadc
lvm system activity reporter lvmsar
Change attributes of a logical volume vxedit set lvchange
Rename a logical volume lvrename
Create a logical volume in an existing volume group vxassist make lvcreate
Display attributes of a logical volume vxprint -vl lvdisplay
Extend the size of a logical volume vxassist growto lvextend
Reduce the size of a logical volume vxassist shrinkto lvreduce
Remove a logical volume vxedit rm lvremove
Scan (all disks) for logical volumes lvscan
Database for all lvm commands /etc/lvm/
Delete active metadevices and hot spare pools metaclear
Create and delete replicas of the metadevice state database metaadb
Attach or detach metadevice to or from a mirror or trans device, or attach space (blocks) to a soft partition to grow the soft partition metattach
Update metadevice metadevadm
Manage hot spares and hot spare pools metahs
Configure metadevices metainit
Place submirrors offline and online metaoffline
Modify parameters of metadevices metaparam
Recover soft partition information metarecover
Rename metadevice or switch layered metadevice names metarename
Enable or replace components of submirrors or RAID-5 metadevices metareplace
Set up system files for root (/) metadevice metaroot
Configure shared disksets metaset
Display status for metadevice or hot spare pool metastat
Handle metadevice resync during reboot metasync
Volume manager GUI smc disk druid disk druid is only available during installation

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Access Control

Disable remote logins /etc/nologin /etc/nologin.txt The text in these files is presented to the user.
Enable remote access by root user Comment out line
console=/dev/console in
/etc/securetty Disabled by default for security
Set file access control lists setfacl setfacl
Set the ACL of a fire or directory setfacl -f
setfacl -s
setfacl --set
Modify the ACL of a file or directory setfacl -m setfacl -m
Remove ACL entries setfacl -d setfacl -x
setfacl -b
setfacl -k
Apply operations to all files and directories recursively setfacl -r
Get file access control lists getfacl getfacl
Allow users to execute privileged commands RBAC
Allow host access by using TCP wrappers /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.allow
Deny host access by using TCP wrappers /etc/hosts.deny /etc/hosts.deny
Needed for TCP wrappers /usr/sfw/sbin/tcpd
add line to /etc/default/inetd

built-in Refer to man page tcpd(1m) for the implementation on Solaris
Plugable Authentication Modules (PAM) configuration files /etc/pam.conf /etc/pam.d/* (Each PAM-aware application has a separate configuration file.)

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System Messaging and Logging

/var/logSome applications maintain their own log directory

syslog configuration /etc/syslog.conf /etc/syslog.conf
syslog daemon /usr/sbin/syslogd /sbin/syslogd
Locate log files /var/log
/var/log Some applications maintain their own log directory.
View boot messages dmesg dmesg
Log system initialization messages /sbin/initlog
initlog configuration /etc/initlog.conf
Log kernel messages /sbin/klogd
Send messages to the syslogd daemon logger logger
Manage system logs logadm logrotate
Configuration file for system log management /etc/logadm.conf /etc/logrotate.conf
System activity reporter sar sar
sar log files /var/log/sadd /var/log/sadd (dd=day of month)
View log files GUI smc redhat-logviewer

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Kernel Management

Kernel /kernel/genunix /kernel/vmlinuz
Display kernel parameters sysdef -i sysctl -a
Kernel tuning GUI redhat-config-proc
Configure kernel drivers ndd
Display device drivers prtconf -D
Device driver configuration files /kernel/drv/* /usr/src/linux/configs/*
Device files location /devices/ /dev
Recognize a newly boot -r
Display a system’s configuration prtconf kudzu -p
Map physical device names /etc/path_to_inst /etc/sysconfig/hwconf
List modules modinfo lsmod
Display information about a module modinfo modinfo
Load module modload insmod
Unload module modunload rmmod
modprobe -r
CPU statistics mpstat mpstat
CPU information psrinfo cat /proc/cpuinfo
Physical RAM information prtconf free
Display run level who -r who -r, runlevel
Trace system calls truss strace
Crash dump facility savecore netdump
Available with RHEL
Configure kernel crash dumps dumpadm edit configuration file
Crash dump configuration file /etc/dumpadm.conf /etc/netdump.conf
Default crash dump location /var/crash /var/crash on the server
Crash dump analysis tool mdb gdb
Configure power management pmconfig
Code profiler oprofile Capable of profiling all
kernel/library/application code
Code profiler control opcontrol
Code profiler analysis opvisualize
Power management configuration file /etc/power.conf /etc/sysconfig/apmd
Power management daemon powerd apmd
System information and analysis script Explorer sysreport You can download Explorer from the SunSolve(SM) Web site (

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Additional Resources

The following documenation sources provide detailed information for the Solaris 9 and Red Hat operating systems:

TitleOnline documentation
Solaris 9 documentation
Red Hat 9 documentation
Red Hat Enterprise documentation