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By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2006-10-23 Print this article Print

Pricing and Support Solaris 10 6/06 is free to download and runs on any number of machines; security updates are freely available as well. Sun does charge for service agreements. This pricing setup contrasts with Microsofts Windows Server, Novells SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) and Red Hats RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), each of which has per-system fees.

Suns Solaris service plans (which are outlined in detail at are priced at $120, $240 and $360 per socket per year for basic, standard and premium plans, respectively.

In the most recent Solaris release, Sun has introduced PostgreSQL as an integrated database option. In the 6/06 release, PostgreSQL can be managed with Solaris 10s Service Management Framework, and Sun now offers support for running the software.

PostgreSQL used to come on the CD included with Solaris 10, and the companion CD remains a source of a good many software packages that fall outside the official Solaris release. These packages include KDE 3.1.1, which can replace the fairly long-in-the-tooth GNOME 2.6-based desktop thats installed by default on Solaris 10.

Other good sources of Solaris 10 software are the volunteer-run and Web sites. During tests, we installed several Blastwave packages, using that projects pkg-get utility (which is similar to the Debian APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) that we favor from the Linux world). Blastwave is a worthwhile resource and does not overwrite default Solaris applications, but its a bit tricky to configure initially.

Since we last reviewed Solaris, Sun has added a facility—called the Sun Update Manager—for fetching and installing updates over the Internet. Wed like to see this tool expanded to allow for installing Solaris packages such as those from the Solaris companion CD and Blastwave. The software installation frameworks featured in several Linux operating systems, chiefly Debian/Ubuntu, represent a real competitive advantage for those platforms, and wed like to see Sun offer something similar for Solaris.

Sun offers up voluminous, well-written Solaris documentation at So much documentation is available, in fact, that it can be difficult to navigate it all.

Advanced Technologies Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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