Sun Microsystems makes available to developers today the first version of Solaris 9.
It is an early access version "still short on performance and without all the features planned for it," said Bill Moffitt, product line manager for Solaris.
Nevertheless, this version contains enough of the planned changes to allow developers and customers to begin testing their existing applications with this latest release. As Sun collects feedback from early testers of Solaris 9, it can incorporate fixes and modifications into a second advance release planned for early 2002. Solaris 9 will become generally available in the first half of 2002, Moffitt said.
Version 9 will include "a lot of incremental improvements" enhancing performance, scalability and manageability, without instituting major revisions or additions to the operating system, he said.
The early release has been divided into several files for download from www.sun.com/solaris/programs/solaris9ea.html. This is not something you necessarily want to try at home. If downloaded over a 56-kilobit-per-second line, the largest file of 127 megabytes might take about six hours and require a disk drive with three gigabytes of space. The operating system as a whole is about 600 megabytes, Moffitt said. "I think youd need a fatter pipe."
Developers seeking to download Solaris are asked to register at the Sun site and give an e-mail address. Participating developers tend to have two Sun Sparc-based computers and load whats known as network image from one to the other after assembling the downloaded files, Moffitt said.