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SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface)

An interface standard for peripheral devices and computers to communicate with each other.

Secondary group

Specifies additional groups, other than the primary group, that a user can belong to. Each user can belong to a maximum of 15 secondary groups.

Secondary swap

Additional swap added to a system's primary swap.


See disk block.

Secure shell

Secure shell, or SSH, is both a computer program and an associated network protocol designed for logging in to and executing commands on a networked computer. Secure shell is designed to replace the earlier rlogin, TELNET, and rsh protocols, which are considered unsecure protocols. SSH provides secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an unsecure network. Users of SSH can also use it for tunneling, forwarding arbitrary TCP ports and X11 connections over the resultant secure channel, and transferring files using the associated scp or sftp programs. An ssh server, by default, listens on the standard TCP port 22.


A system that provides resources, services, or file systems, such as home directories or mailboxes, to other systems on the network.

Shared resource

A shared file system on an NFS server.

Shell variable

A structure that holds data and is uniquely named by the user within the shell. It holds the data assigned to it until a new value is assigned or the program is finished.

Single-user mode

Used to describe a Solaris run state where the system does not support multi-user operations. This run state is used to perform system administration tasks.

Slave NIS server

A secondary NIS server that contains all of the maps in case of a failure of the primary server.

SMC (Solaris Management Console)

SMC is a graphical user interface designed to ease several routine system administration tasks. When using SMC, the system administrator is presented with a menu-like interface that is much easier to use than the ASCII interface supplied at the command prompt.

Soft mount

A file system mounted using the mount o soft option. The soft option indicates that the retry request does not continue once the server becomes unresponsive. The default for the mount command is hard.

Soft partition

A new feature of SVM that breaks the traditional eight slices per disk barrier by allowing disks, or logical volumes, to be subdivided into many more partitions.

Software group

A logical grouping of the Solaris software (clusters and packages). During a Solaris installation, you can install one of the following software groups: Core, End-user Solaris Software, Developer Solaris Software, Entire Solaris Software, and Entire Solaris Software Group Plus OEM Support.

Software package

A Solaris software package is the standard way to deliver bundled and unbundled software. Packages are administered by using the package administration commands, and they are generally identified by a SUNWxxx naming convention when supplied by Sun Microsystems. SUNW is Sun Microsystems' ticker symbol on the stock exchange, hence the SUNW prefix.

Software patch

A patch is a fix to a reported software problem. Sun will ship several software patches to customers so that problems can be resolved before the next release of software.

Software spool directory

For convenience, you can copy frequently installed packages to a spool directory. This way you don't need to use the CD media each time you install the package.

Solaris Volume Manager objects

A graphical representation for the state database, metadevice or part of a metadevice, or hot spare pool.


Stands for simultaneous peripheral operations online. For printing, spooling is when an application generates the printer output and sends it to the print spooler. The spooler feeds the print images to the printer, one at a time, at slower printing speeds. The printing is then done in the background while the user interacts with other applications in the foreground.

For software installation, spooling is the process of copying software packages from CD-ROM to a directory on the local disk.

Standalone system

Clients that use remote services, such as installation software, from a server don't rely on a server to function. These are referred to as standalone systems.

State database replica

A copy of the metadevice state database. Keeping copies of the metadevice state database protects against the loss of state and configuration information critical to metadevice operations.

Sticky bit

A permission bit that protects the files within a directory. If the directory has the sticky bit set, a file can be deleted only by the owner of the file, the owner of the directory, or root.

Storage block

These occupy space allocated to the file system. See also data blocks.


Accessing several disks at the same time in parallel to gain performance.

Stripe width

The amount of data written across a striped or RAID volume. In Solaris Volume Manager, this is the interlace size multiplied by the number of disks in the stripe.


Spreading, or interleaving, logical contiguous blocks of data across multiple independent disk spindles. Striping allows multiple disk controllers to simultaneously access data, improving performance.


A metadevice that is part of a mirror. See also mirror.

SVM (Solaris Volume Manager)

Uses virtual disks to manage physical disks and their associated data.


Stores much of the information about the file system. The superblock resides in the 16 disk sectors (sectors 1631) that follow the bootblock. The superblock is a table of information that describes the file system.

When a file system is created, each cylinder group replicates the superblock beginning at sector 32. The replication protects the critical data in the superblock against catastrophic loss.

Swap file

Physical memory is supplemented by this specially configured file on the physical disk. See also swap space.

Swap space

Swap space and necessary file system overhead is included in the disk space recommendations for each software group. A minimum of 512MB is required for swap space, but more space might be needed. By default, Solaris Web Start allocates 512MB for swap space. A swap partition or a swap file is used to provide swap space.


Space used as a virtual memory storage area when the system does not have enough physical memory to handle current processes. See also swap space.


The central device through which all hosts in a twisted-pair Ethernet installation are connected. Each port on the switch can give full bandwidth to a single server or client station. See also hub.

Symbolic link

A pointer to files anywhere on the network. The file or directory could exist in another file system, on another disk, or on another system on the network. Symbolic links only contain one type of data: the pathname of the file to which they point. The size of a symbolic link always matches the number of characters in the pathname it contains.

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