Comparison: Solaris vs Linux

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov has published a paper. According to author, “Due to the architecture of Solaris kernel and I/O subsystem there are several open source applications that can run on Solaris better then on Linux. Among them are all multithreading applications and most open source databases. Solaris also significantly improves the security of open source applicators due to built-in protection from stack overflows.

All-in-all Solaris is powerful, stable, conformant to standards OS that can run many open source applications as well as Linux and some (mainly multithreaded applications) better then Linux. Like in cases of Red Hat and Suse the cost of support is extra, but it is more reasonably priced. Security patches are free which makes Solaris similar to Windows…

Interesting stuff, do not forget to read full paper. Found via osnews.

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🐧 22 comments so far... add one

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22 comments… add one
  • Erick Jan 15, 2007 @ 18:22

    When did you publish this? Why is there no date on this article? Or is everything you write timeless? It’s very old thinking that Solaris is secure or better performing. Comparing to Linux, I can believe it. But Solaris cannot hold a candle to FreeBSD on the same hardware.

  • 🐧 nixCraft Jan 15, 2007 @ 20:04


    >Why is there no date on this article? Or is everything you write timeless?

    There was a small bug in template code. It has been fixed now. Thanks for heads up.

    I am also not a big fan of Solaris. Personally I use RHEL for servers and OpenBSD for firewall/gw. FreeBSD is wonderful operating system. However I would like to point out following case study:

  • sri Sep 28, 2007 @ 20:27

    After all the years of trying out both Linux and Sol, I dont understand why you guys think linux is all powerful and all that. I think it’s the otherway.

    Things do run better on solaris. You can test this by either reading some specs or doing your own specs. Second, Linux is way too unorganized to be reliable OS. In every version, Linux comes with too many changes and not even all linux flavors have same commands[forget about having same options]. The utilities change with every minor version like chameleons. Linux is just a overloaded plastic bag waiting to explode in anoyone’s face.

    I have been trying to use fedora as desktop for past 4 weeks and i think it’s crappier than windows. Things are extremely slow and extermely buggy. sessions hang like bats during the day. I have restart the gui everyday before leaving. What are you so bragging about linux? From where i stand i fail to see it’s strength. Everything in linux is copied from other OS. No innovation, no originality. I think people favor because they want to brag about themselves being nerds and all that.

    What tools does linux have that help you more than Solaris has? Name a few please. I am dying to hear about them and compare. Linux doesn’t even a have structure consistant with SVR4. Everyone agrees that Openoffice doesn’t even come close to MS-office. If it is so much better, i dont see why people still pay to MS.

    Face it, no matter what, unless there is a governing body and a strict adherense to standards, linux will never be truly mainstream compition. It’s just a pain in real sysad’s butt

    • Ste Aug 18, 2012 @ 23:17

      Hmmm… SRI – a few years on and now even my phone runs Linux. I’m sure your words will taste a little better with some added sugar 🙂

  • daniel Dec 5, 2008 @ 18:07

    reply to sri:


    if u think you’re so smart and linux is so crappy, how come almost 90% of all supercomputers in the world run linux? 🙂

    (check this out, u dumb ass:

    this conversation is pointless, you say you’re self “from where u stand” things dont look so good :))

    change the bloody perspective, man! wake up!

    i’m not saying freebsd or solaris are not good, i’m saying linux is better in terms of openness, flexibility and what not

    using fedora as a linux sample is just stupid, fedora is a test bed for redhat, they introduce on purpose the newest stuff in it so idiots like you can test it 😀

    then the good stuff goes into redhat etc.

    try a stable version of slackware, debian, opensuse, ubuntu etc.

    linux is easy to install, portable, supports a whole bunch of file systems, can be installed on almost any kind of device, from embedded devices to clusters, from primary partition to extended, external drive, stick, cd…

    man, you’re so stupid it’s not even worth it 🙂

    u talk about unix standards? in what way is mac os x unix compliant?

    just recently they did that in leopard for posix and sus, but the fhs is still lost in space

    hell, mac os x doesnt even have a /proc dir or a proper /home dir… :))

    but no, idiots like u will always tell it is true unix, whereas linux is not… lol

    linux IS compatible with unix in FACT, not in theory, dumb ass! 😉

    try to do a pstree on a mac see if it works :)) or a vmstat

    u have ps aux on freebsd and ps -ef on solaris, but they work both on linux 🙂

    c’mon, u’re wasting my time already…

  • LearnToSpellBeforeTrolling Aug 4, 2009 @ 12:09

    Lowercase “daniel” is a retard.

  • JackBauer Oct 6, 2009 @ 20:20

    I remember being all young and stupid. Way back in the day when I thought that calling people names actually made me sound smart instead of the dumbass I actually was broadcasting.

    Linux is the little kiddie version of UNIX. Linux, to this day, is not POSIX or SUS compliant, which is why it is only allowed to call itself a “UNIX-Like Operating System”. It is not a UNIX, and behaves as such, especially in how it drags its ass in multi-threaded processing. Linux was designed as, and most defintiely is, a UNIX-wanna-be counterfeit. Ask Torvalds himself.

  • JackBauer Oct 6, 2009 @ 20:39

    Also – you’ll find Solaris all over Department of Defense hardware. It’s everywhere. You know where you’ll find Linux? Nowhere. Nobody is willing to trust their lives to an operating system that is now as bloated and unstable as Windows. Even worse, plintered into a billion different distributions that nobody can put faith in anymore.

    Put that in your “rage against the machine / free software will save the world” pipe and smoke it.

  • Erick Oct 7, 2009 @ 9:47

    Linux is powering some of the busiest sites in the world. I use CentOS. It is super fast and very secure in the hands of a knowing admin. If you’ve tried Ubuntu over a weekend to make a comment like “Linux is as bloated as Windows”, then you really have very little clue what you’re on about. Solaris may be x-compliant and y-compliant, but that doesn’t mean anything. Titanic was compliant to every ship building standard.

  • bob-slack Oct 7, 2009 @ 14:57

    yeah, check out webhosting sites on – the best ones use linux and freebsd 😉 commercial unix is used in corporate environment, where you need to hold someone accountable for whatever the hell is going on there – that doesnt make solaris better than linux. debian/redhat/suse are highly scalable and are being used in ways in which you couldnt use solar/aix/hp-ux. they’re all ok, as long as u’re using the proper tool for the right purpose 😉

  • johnny bravo Oct 7, 2009 @ 15:40

    actually it’s true that linux tends to get bloated and dispersed, but no-one obliges you to use the system that way. you can pick your own linux flavor and stick with it. (slackware is very fast, stable and close to the unix/bsd philosophy). on the other hand, unix went through the same nonsense and lack of standardization back in the 80s, that linux is going through right now. only then did the big companies like ibm, hp or sun realize the need of a single unix specification (watched by the opengroup nowadays). i think unix is generally more mature than linux, but then again – it is 40 years old this year, whereas linux is like a teenager – it’s only 18 🙂

  • Yakov Oct 31, 2010 @ 8:32

    I think that Unix systems are more stable and relaiable. i would guess that the reason so many web hosts use linux to host, is becuase of its price. the lower the cost to run your hosting company the cheaper you can sell your hosting service for.

    i have used many UNIX machines. I think all of them are nice IRIX, SOLARIS, AIX, HP-UX
    i have used many flavours of linux, they are nice too , just not as stable or reliable in my opinion.

  • Sandaway Nov 2, 2010 @ 20:17

    I have used Irix, Solaris and a few distributions of Linux (Redhat, Fedora and Ubuntu) and found Linux is the most flexible and fits my need most. In fact, major scientific computing business seem to see the same. Ansys Fluent and Matlab don’t run on Intel/AMD based Solaris computers. Comsol will stop support Solaris as well.

    On hardware side, many companies (like E-Trade and Google) chose to build Web applications based on large numbers of the less expensive PC-class x86-architecture servers running Linux, rather than a smaller number of high-end Sun servers. (

  • sandesh Jun 16, 2011 @ 9:51

    Sri:: plz give reply Brother…….do u want 2 say anything in ur defence/….?????

  • Former Son of Sun Feb 24, 2012 @ 23:53

    Browsing an old article, hehe I love it. Solaris 11 benched better than Fedora’s current. I love it. The only problem, Oracle borked the whole thing up. What I once used to run in Linux and Open Solaris (a program which worked natively on both without needing to make changes) does not work on Solaris 11… Also wine support has taken a hit. Win apps no longer work. I like wine because it runs almost at native speed, while virtual machines (or even zones/containers etc) tend to be a bit slower… C’mon guys, don’t leave Solaris out. What about 2003’s Project Looking Glass? Sun literally left that code out on the streets, it’s free and open. Take it!!! Develop it!! Did I mention ZFS???

  • Toby Mar 19, 2012 @ 1:19

    At work I use and maintain daily:

    Solaris 11,
    Debian stable.

    They are all great, and there’s aspects of each that I have grown to appreciate over time. I hate all the OS snobbery 🙁 Horses for courses etc…
    Arch & Solaris 11 are my favourites if I had to choose only 2.

  • hehe Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:27

    Google is using customized linux distribution for their servers. Half of their employees use “Goobuntu” for their workstations, which is a customized Ubuntu… Maybe Solaris is better in some ways, but I don’t think my website would ever catch up the traffic of google. 🙂 no worries!

    • Tobias Oct 25, 2012 @ 19:28

      Google is not running any out-of-the-box flavor of Linux. They have redesigned the kernel so much that they often can’t apply patches without re-writing them.

  • Paul nionz Dec 19, 2012 @ 22:50

    .hey .linux is betTer .valve offer high end games linux .is there high game for solaris? .. solaris sucks. .

    • Kyle May 31, 2013 @ 13:18

      Solaris is built for NFS’s and other server roles – not for “high end” valve games…. idiot.

  • Johnny Jan 4, 2013 @ 5:59

    I manage both Solaris 10/11 and RHEL 5/6 boxes at my work, and believe they both have their strengths – eg. Running large Oracle DBs on SPARC hardware (when it works) is nice, but wouldn’t waste my time building a public-facing server running Solaris just to serve web content – use the right tool for the right job…

    Linux does have a lot of things they have copied off the more traditional Unices (eg. upstart –> kickstart) but also does have a lot of original projects running – btrfs, KVM to name a few.

    It also doesn’t help when Solaris is now owned by Oracle – their tech support is disgraceful, they are a DB and middleware company trying to support OS and hardware and they are in the business of buying out companies and either abandoning them or trying to integrate them with their overpriced software…

    And to Sri re tools I prefer on Linux to Solaris – tcpdump runs circles around snoop which you can’t deny.

    And to finish it off, Linux can’t be doing too badly if even Oracle have the foresight to clone RHEL into OEL to provide to customers – they can see for themselves that Solaris is in demise and the gap between functionality of traditional Unix and Linux is slowly shrinking.

  • ryona Aug 17, 2013 @ 7:50

    Um, actually they are. Nearly every difference between Google’s Goobuntu (and their server OSes, don’t know if those also run Goobuntu or not) lies in small patches and a differently configured kernel. But other than that, it’s still Linux, plan and simple.

    Now to everyone arguing for Linux vs Solaris, there is no one simple, correct answer. Linux is better supported and more customizable. Solaris might be faster, but you can easily configure the Linux kernel to do the same (want great responsiveness? Use a preemptive kernel. Want high throughput? Disable forced preemption). Solaris might be more secure out of the box (although I’m not sure), but the Linux kernel gets far more review and bug fixes. And not just that, but even OpenBSD can’t compare to a properly configured hardened Linux kernel (grsecurity). And you don’t see any *BSD using grsecurity, or anything similar, much less Solaris. As for what follows true UNIX philosophy, don’t start arguing about that as if being POSIX compliant makes the system truly better. If you’re looking for that, why are you using anything but Plan9?

    Stop it with the petty arguing. The least we can all agree on is that Linux, all unicies, etc blow Winblows away. There’s no doubting that the vast, vast, vast majority of people disagree with all of you and think Windblows is the best thing ever because it plays CoD (as if Linux can’t).

    So stop arguing with yourselves, you’re worse than bsdfags you damn Solaris freaks. 😉

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