[tex-live] Solaris 10 vs. 11 Support

Christian Kuehnke christian at kuehnke.de
Thu Jun 30 18:06:33 CEST 2011

Hi all,
I was going to install TeX Live on my Solaris (on Intel) systems at home, when I found out that pre-compiled packages are only available for Solaris 11. This topic was recently discussed on the mailing list under the subject "[tex-live] TeX Live 2011 on Solaris Intel: three problems".

Apostolos Syropoulos, who thankfully provided the binaries for i386-solaris and x86_64-solaris in the past, made a few statements I would like to comment on:

>I understand that there are few people who still use Solaris 10, but the majority of people use either Solaris 11 Express (by Oracle) or OpenIndiana/Illumos (the OpenSource fork).

That might be true for the academic community and home users, but not for professional users. In fact, Solaris 11 ("Express") is not officially supported for production use. Rumors are that an officially supported Solaris 11 will be released at the end of this year.

>This OS is outdated and lacks certain features. (About Solaris 10)

As I said, Solaris 10 is *the* officially supported Solaris version at the moment. From a production systems perspective it is the *current* version. Even if the supported Solaris 11 is released, professional users might wait to put it into production for another few months.

On top of this, Solaris 11 for SPARC will cease to support a large variety of older processors (at least up to and including UltraSPARC IV+).

As far as features are concerned, I do not see which features TeX Live requires that are not available on Solaris 10. In fact, I was able to compile TeX Live out of the box on my Solaris 10 at home. I admit that I have a homegrown /usr/local and I have not checked which dependencies were resolved from there, but that should be easy to do.

The people at Sun (and now Oracle) are absolutely pendantic when it comes to upward compatibility. Everything correctly compiled on Solaris 10 (and using officially supported interfaces) should also run on Solaris 11.

>(...) and since all versions of Solaris come with some (outdated) version of gcc it is a matter of creating two symlinks (...)
># ln -s /usr/sfw/lib/libstdc++.so.6 libstdc++.so.6

Why should we do this (for which root support is needed) or mess around with LD_LIBRARY_PATH when there is a way to link statically against libgcc_s and libstdc++ in the first place?

I strongly suggest to use Solaris 10 as the baseline version for the binary releases at least until the end of 2012. And I am volunteering to do the compilation (for i386 and x86_64).

Should the TeX Live community decide to go all the way with Solaris 11 (and not support Solaris 10), I can live with that as well. Hopefully, people will still be able to compile it themselves. It should just be properly documented then that the binaries are for Solaris 11 only.

Best regards,

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