Solaris vs Linux - UNIX Essential differences

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

Solaris vs Linux differences


Desktop System Components

ActionSolarisRHELReference/Comment
Desktop environment CDE, Gnome, KDE Gnome, KDE http://www.gnome.org
http://www.kde.org
Directory browser dtfile, nautilus nautilus
Desktop Productivity Suite StarOffice OpenOffice StarOffice is on a seperate CD-Rom
http://www.openoffice.org
Common text editors vi, pico, emacs, xemacs, vim, gedit vim, pico, emacs, xemacs, gedit
Default web browser Netscape Mozilla, Konqueror http://www.mozilla.org
Email clients Netscape, dtmail, pine, xmh Mozilla, Evolution, kmail, pine, xmh
Help button desktop desktop, man, info
Virtual terminals alt-F1 through alt-F6
Configure monitor ffbconfig redhat-config-xfree86
Dual monitor support yes yes
Configure mouse gnome-mouse-properties gnome-mouse-properties
Desktop games yes yes
CD-ROM CD-R, CD-RW, DVD CD-R, CD-RW, DVD
Compilers gcc, g++, g77 gcc, g++, g77 GCC 3.2 Sun ONE Studio compiler collection available for purchase from Sun (Solaris only).
Developer Suite Eclipse-based IDE add-on Sun ONE Studio
Other languages Perl, Java, Python, Ruby, Tcl/Tk Perl, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Tcl/Tk JDK software not included in RHEL. Support for Java 1.4.x technology from BEA,IBM or Sun
X-window Manager metacity metacity, sawfish

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Files and Directories

ActionSolarisRHELReference/Comment
Determine the file type file file
Search for files find find, locate, slocate
View contents of a file cat, more, less, pg cat, more, less
Rename files mv mv, rename
Search for strings in binary file strings strings
Search for content in files grep, egrep, fgrep grep, egrep, fgrep
Display first few lines of file head head
Display last lines of a file tail tail
Display line, word, and character counts wc wc
Create empty file touch touch touch modifies the time stamp if the file exists.
Remove a file rm rm
Create a directory mkdir mkdir
Remove a directory rmdir, rm -r rmdir, rm -r
Create symbolic links ln -s ln -s
Create hard links ln ln
Change file access permissions chmod chmod
Set default file permissions umask umask

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User Work Environment

ActionSolarisRHELReference/Comment
Get current working directory pwd pwd
List files and directories ls, dtfile, nautilus ls, nautilus
Archive files tar, jar, pax tar, jar, pax
Compress files compress, gzip, zip compress, gzip, zip, bzip
Uncompress files uncompress, gunzip, gzip -d, unzip uncompress, gunzip, gzip -d, unzip, bzip -d
View compressed files uncompress -c, zcat, gzcat uncompress -c, zcat
Compress executable files gzexe gzexe
Display online documentation man, info man, info
User information lookup finger finger
Display who is logged in who who
Who is logged in to machines on the local network rusers, rwho rusers, rwho
Display information about local and remote users finger finger
Display a listing of last logged in users last last
Switch to another user su su
Display the effective UID whoami whoami
Display the real UID who am i who am i
Display group membership of user groups groups
Display real and effective UIDs and GIDs of user id id
Change file ownership chown chown
Change file group ownership chgrp chgrp
Display file or file system status stat

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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 http://docs.sun.com
Red Hat 9 documentation http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/
Red Hat Enterprise documentation http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/enterprise/