[rescue] [geeks] Older versions of Solaris?

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Mon Oct 27 13:17:47 CDT 2008

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 12:10:48PM -0400, Brooke Gravitt wrote:
>Is it not possible to download previous versions of Solaris from Sun
>anymore? I am only able to grab 10 with my account now. What about
>2.6, 7, 8 and 9? Is there an ISO archive anywhere?

Just to make a point, Solaris 2 was not free (as in beer). The cost of a
copy was around $500 (from what I remember) for 2.1, up to 2.6. Solaris
7 also cost similar money. At some point Sun decided they needed to
compete with Linux and offered Solaris 7 for free if you paid for

This was not all versions, only the original Sun version. The version that
Tadpole sold for their laptops (e.g. 3GX) was never reduced in price.

You could get a copy of Solaris 7 for Intel or SPARC, or a combo pack.

This was just the media, it did not include the licenses. You
could get a restricted amount of licenses for free from the website, 
although Sun did not include an mechanism to check if you were licensed
and to track them. 

Basicly if you used the computer for production work you still had to
buy a license. Commercial (or amateur) software development was covered
by the free license.

To put it into perspective, at that time most people still had 56k modems. 

Solaris 8 was released also with a restrictive license. You could order a copy, 
or download it for free. The same with Solaris 9 and 10.

Solaris 10 was released as closed source, and then later as open source
but not under the GPL. Sun maintains and offical source tree, and there
have been several versions built from source released to the public by
private individuals or groups. I haven't followed it, so I don't know
which ones still exist or why one would use them over the official
Solaris releases.

I have no idea of the sales history of Solaris 1 which contained SunOS,
or SunOS itself, but I do know that new machines included a nontransferable
RTU (Right to Use) license. In order to legally use SunOS on a computer
that you did not buy new, you had to buy a new RTU, which from what 
I remember was ignored by all except the large used hardware dealers.

Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM

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