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Date:      Wed, 6 Nov 96 09:38:50 -0500
From: (Curt Welch)
Subject:   Re: SunOS and Solaris?
Message-ID:  <>

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>  My question is: What's the difference between Sun's SunOS
>  and Solaris.

SunOS refers to the old BSD version of their OS.  Solaris
is the new (in the last 2 or 3 years) System V based version
of their OS.  Solaris is what Sun wants everybody to use.  They
tried to drop support of the old SunOS versions, but so many
customers complained that they decided they would continue
supporting SunOS and continue producing new versions of SunOS
to support new Sun hardware.   But other than hardware support
and bug fixes, no new features are being added to SunOS.

Note however that if you do a "uname -a" on a Solaris system
it's still called SunOS.  The name "Solaris" refers to the
whole package where as the SunOS name (and versions) refer
to the kernel.  The SunOS 5.3 kernel is part of Solaris 2.3
(or at least I think that's how the numbers work).  The "Solaris"
name actually started being used before the switch to the
System V based kernel.  Solaris 1.X systems (which include
the SunOS 4.X kernel) were BSD based.  But common usage
quickly led people to use the "Solaris" name to refer to
versions of the OS that were based on the System V kernel
and the SunOS name to refer to the older BSD systems.

As far as the differences between BSD and Systems V, that's
simple.  System V sucks and BSD doesn't. :)

Curt Welch

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