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Solaris Internals: Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris Kernel Architecture (2nd Edition) Hardcover – Jul 10 2006

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"In total, the two books Solaris Performance and Tools & Solaris Internals reviewed here present a new level of knowledge about the internals of Solaris, what they do, how they behave, and how to analyze that behavior. The books are a must for developers, system programmers, and systems administrators who work with Solaris 8, 9, or 10. They are especially useful for users of Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris because of their exploration of the new tools in those releases. These books receive my highest recommendation. "–Peter Baer Galvin, Contributing Editor, Sys Admin Magazine

From the Back Cover

"TheSolaris(tm)Internalsvolumes are simply the best and most comprehensive treatment of the Solaris (and OpenSolaris) Operating Environment. Any person using Solaris--in any capacity--would be remiss not to include these two new volumes in their personal library. With advanced observability tools in Solaris (likeDTrace), you will more often find yourself in what was previously unchartable territory.Solaris(tm) Internals, Second Edition,provides us a fantastic means to be able to quickly understand these systems and further explore the Solaris architecture--especially when coupled with OpenSolaris source availability."

--Jarod Jenson, chief systems architect, Aeysis

"TheSolaris(tm) Internalsvolumes by Jim Mauro and Richard McDougall must be on your bookshelf if you are interested in in-depth knowledge of Solaris operating system internals and architecture. As a senior Unix engineer for many years, I found the first edition ofSolaris(tm) Internalsthe only fully comprehensive source for kernel developers, systems programmers, and systems administrators. The new second edition, with the companion performance and debugging book, is an indispensable reference set, containing many useful and practical explanations of Solaris and its underlying subsystems, including tools and methods for observing and analyzing any system running Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris."

--Marc Strahl, senior UNIX engineer

Solaris(tm) Internals, Second Edition,describes the algorithms and data structures of all the major subsystems in the Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris kernels. The text has been extensively revised since the first edition, with more than 600 pages of new material. Integrated Solaris tools and utilities, including DTrace, MDB, kstat, and the process tools, are used throughout to illustrate how the reader can observe the Solaris kernel in action. The companion volume,Solaris(tm) Performance and Tools, extends the examples contained here, and expands the scope to performance and behavior analysis. Coverage includes:
  • Virtual and physical memory
  • Processes, threads, and scheduling
  • File system framework and UFS implementation
  • Networking: TCP/IP implementation
  • Resource management facilities and zones

TheSolaris(tm) Internalsvolumes make a superb reference for anyone using Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS) from Sun Microsystems has evolved steadily since the release of Solaris 2.0 in 1992. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The best source for learning about Solaris internals July 29 2006
By calvinnme - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is actually just one of a two volume set - "Solaris Internals" for developers, and "Solaris Performance and Tools" for system administrators. I will speak of the second edition of "Solaris Internals", since I am not a system administrator by trade. "Solaris Internals" is the badly needed update for the only book that I know of that contains information on how Solaris implements functions behind the application programming interfaces. This information will be most helpful to application developers, device driver and kernel module developers, and advanced system administrators that are responsible for performance tuning and capacity planning. The book reads like a combination computer architecture and operating systems manual, and though it can be a bit dry at times, it was meant to be a reference book that professionals can go to for the details. In that sense, the first edition never failed me. In fact, if you are not familiar with the concepts of computer architecture and operating systems theory in general, this book will probably be over your head. From perusing the second edition, the format seems to be very much the same in the second edition, just with expanded material reflecting the additional features of Solaris 10. Also, if you are into Solaris systems programming as I am, another essential volume is "Solaris Systems Programming". That book is also very dry reading, but it has what you need to know in order to write code with system calls to the Solaris operating system. I show the table of contents below:

Part One: Introduction to Solaris Internals
Chapter 1 -- Introduction

Part Two: The Process Model
Chapter 2 -- The Solaris Process Model
Chapter 3 -- Scheduling Classes and the Dispatcher
Chapter 4 -- Interprocess Communication
Chapter 5 -- Process Rights Management

Part Three: Resource Management
Chapter 6 -- Zones
Chapter 7 -- Projects, Tasks, and Resource Controls

Part Four: Memory
Chapter 8 -- Introduction to Solaris Memory
Chapter 9 -- Virtual Memory
Chapter 10 -- Physical Memory
Chapter 11 -- Kernel Memory
Chapter 12 -- Hardware Address Translation
Chapter 13 -- Working with Multiple Page Sizes in Solaris

Part Five: File Systems
Chapter 14 -- File System Framework
Chapter 15 -- The UFS File System

Part Six: Platform Specifics
Chapter 16 -- Support for NUMA and CMT Hardware
Chapter 17 -- Locking and Synchronization

Part Seven: Networking
Chapter 18 -- The Solaris Network Stack

Part Eight: Kernel Services
Chapter 19 -- Clocks and Timers
Chapter 20 -- Task Queues
Chapter 21 -- kmdb Implementation
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is THE BOOK for Solaris internals Jan. 11 2007
By Wesley Busdiecker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written and detailed. If you wish or need to know about the internals of Solaris this book is the source. This is a second edition and covers 10 and updates information on 8 and 9. The first edition covered 2.5.1, 2.6, and 7. I liked the first edition and waited for this edition based on the books/authors web site and have not be disappointed. Highly recommended, a reasonable background in OS theory is helpful with the type of material covered here - but not required - it will aid in understanding however. Recommended more general OS books would include "Operating System Concepts" by A. Silberschutz, J. Peterson, P. Galvin, "Operating Sytstems" by A. Tanenbaum, A. Woodhull, and "Unix Internals" by Uresh Vahalia among others.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
UNIX engineers rejoice! Sept. 11 2006
By Greg Price - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Do you want to know how the Solaris kernel works? This is the book for you!

If you've read any of the other titles by these authors you'll know how clear and succinctly written this book is. The book is not your normal 2nd edition "nip and tuck", it's a rewrite!

One of the things I really like about this book is that it describes the internal theory and implementation of many kernel subsystems, but is not a code walk through or reiteration of other books / manuals.

The book covers many of the new and recent features of Solaris, so it's also valuable for long time Solaris engineers that need to keep updated. People that are new to UNIX internals will also like this book as it starts with the assumption of some UNIX principles (but not too much), and takes you a *lot* further.

There are pointers to other material for the truely adventurous, and small examples with sample output that keep the subject material relevent and enable to reader to make the connection between the theory and their system.

Very highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable Resource to have on hand Jan. 29 2009
By William E. Branson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that I have two copies of the first edition, one that stays in my home library and one that is falling apart literally. So I have used the internals book (s)many times in my career. I am a man of many hats, systems administration, system architect, system engineer, system analyst, and too many more to say in this forum. In my career I have had many reasons to use these fine products. Mainly because when I am working a job or consutling for whatever reason, I need to know that I have the resources to get the job done.

Next, my first real performance tuning challenge was a Sun Enterprise E10K, with multiple domains, running SAP. It was a huge deployment and there were already problems in the developmental deployment phase. The machine was running Solaris 8 and there was some great discussion between the clients and the vendor about the possible solutions. The vendor had people on the phone that were discussing the performance issue and I overheard them say a name or two, Richard McDougall and Jim Mauro. I asked them who they were and they looked at me kind of funny, but one of them said he is one of our top performance people. They had a book lying open on the conference table and it was the first edition of this book. I looked at a few pages of it and bought one that night. I got to be part of a great moment in my career. I used that book and its secrets for many other problems in the following years. Then Solaris 10 comes along and is an whole different animal for an Operating System. DTrace is a great utility built into the system for finding out all sorts of neat things. Well, the story I heard was that the second edition of this book was too big to fit into one book and there was a real need to expand it out into a second edition that specialized in Dtrace and other Performance Tuning Tools. That is a second book that I will talk about on its review page. This book, the internals book, second edition, is so invaluable to me that I have two copies of it as well. One that goes with me everywhere and one that is home in my reference library. I have been working with Solaris and Sun OS about Sun OS 4.1.4 and Solaris 2.4. Solaris 10 is so much different and better than any I have used before it. Solving performance issues is different too. Understanding how Solaris 10 works on a computer is very crucial to solving performance issues. You must have the tools available to do that with or the outcome could be very bad.

Finally, I rate this book as High as I can since I have used and still use both editions weekly to refer to something in Solaris that pertains to an issue I am having or someone in one of the environments I support is having. Kudos to Rich and Jim. I hope that all follow on books will keep going in the same direction, that of giving one the knowledge about Solaris internals to help solve those performance issue.


Bill Branson
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Simply a wonderful book Oct. 2 2007
By Sergio Aguayo - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The book is really well written, covering even more topics (i.e. Networking) than the first edition. Considering the advanced nature of the book, it's surprisingly easy to understand.

However, i would recommend reading Operating Systems: Design and Implementation (3rd edition) by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Albert S. Woodhull before this one if you're not familiar with Operating Systems, as this book covers advanced topics which are not for begginers.