SunOS 4.1x and 5.x Administrative Command differences

This article provides a summary of the SunOS administrative command differences between SunOS 4.1.x and Solaris 2.x (SunOS 5.x) based systems

SunOS 4.XSunOS 5.XComments
add_services pkgadd


Add software packages.
arch uname -m Determine the system architecture.
at at Security is more restricted under SunOS 5.X.
automount automount The new master file names are auto_master and auto_home. The default home directory is /export/home/<username>.
bar NA Use tar or cpio -H bar to replace bar.
biff -y chmod o+x /dev/tty Set the tty permissions, as biff is not available.
biff -n chmod o-x /dev/tty Set the tty permissions, as biff is not available.
biod NA Block I/O daemon.
cc /opt/SUNWspro/bin/cc Separate product.
chown chown How it treats symbolic links is changed. The command now follows the link and changes permissions on the file. To change the ownership of the link use chown -h.
dcheck NA File system directory consistency check.
dd dd Now uses 2-byte, rather than 4-byte words.
devinfo devinfo

sysdef -d

Information reported has been changed.
df df -k Output format and options are changed.
dkinfo prtvtoc Reports similar information; privileged command in SunOS5.4 onwards.
dorfs rfstart/rfstop RFS commands.
du du -k Now reports in 512 byte, rather than 1024 byte blocks.
dump ufsdump Some new options. Now recognizes end-of-media.
etherfind snoop Similar functions.
exportfs share For both NFS and RFS.
extract_files NA Extract files from installation media.
extract_patch NA Extract patches from installation media.
extract_unbundled pkgadd


Add software packages.
fastboot init 6 Run level 6.
fasthalt init 0 Run level 0.
file file No longer has the -L option.
find find No longer has the -n cpio option.
fsck fsck Changed.
hostid sysdef -h Sysdef is used to report the current system definitions, including peripherals attached and drivers loaded.
hostname uname -n Uname prints current system definitions.
init init Many changes, including run levels, etc.
intr NA Allow the following command to be interruptible.
iostat iostat Some options are changed.
ldconfig NA Configure the cache for the run-time link editor,
lpc lpsched LP scheduler.
lpd lpadmin LP configuration command.
lpq lpstat Status of LP jobs.
lpr lp Some different options.
lprm cancel Cancel an LP job.
lptest NA Generate a test pattern for the line printer.
ls ls Some options are changed.
mach uname -p Report the machine type.
make make Now located in /usr/ccs/bin (package SUNWsprot).
makekey NA Generate an encryption key.
mkfs mkfs Changed to support additional file system types.
mknod mknod No longer have to be root to create character and block special files.
modstat modinfo Displays information about the kernel modules loaded.
mount mount Changed to include additional file system types.
ncheck ncheck Changed to include additional file system types.
portmap rpcbind Maps universal addresses to RPC program number.
printenv env Print the user's environment variables.
ps ps Options are changed, e.g. use ps -ef instead of ps aux.
pstat sar Reports on system activity.
pstat -s swap -s Reports on swap space available.
rdump ufsdump Remote drives can be specified.
restore ufsrestore File system restore program.
rpc.etherd NA Server for ethernet statistics.
rpc.lockd lockd File locking daemon.
rpc.mountd mountd Mount daemon.
rpc.rquotad rquotad Server for remote quotas.
rpc.statd statd Network status monitor.
rpc.yppasswdd rpc.yppasswdd NIS password daemon; install NIS compatibility package, SUNWnsktu.
rrestore ufsrestore Remote drives can be specified.
rusage NA Resource usage for the specified command.
shutdown shutdown Significant changes.
stty stty Some options have been changed.
suninstall suninstall Significant changes.
swapon swap -a Add swap space.
ttysoftcar NA Modem carrier control.
tzsetup NA Timezone setup. Set with the /etc/default/init file.
umount umount Changed to include additional file system types.
unload pkgrm Remove a software package.
update fsflush Flush the memory buffers.
vipw /usr/ucb/vipw /etc/passwd editing; also allows editing of /etc/shadow.
vmstat vmstat Some options are changed.
who who Additional options available.
whoami id Print the username.
yppasswd passwd



The yppasswd command is still available for changing password information on an NIS server. Use nispasswd to access NIS+ servers.
ypserv /usr/lib/netsvc/yp/ypserv


NIS daemon (install package SUNWnsktu).

NIS+ uses this daemon to service requests for information.