"SunOS" and "Solaris"
In 1987, AT&T Corporation and Sun announced that they were collaborating on a project to merge the most popular Unix flavors on the market at that time: BSD (including many of the features then unique to SunOS), System V, and Xenix. This would become System V Release 4 (SVR4).
On September 4, 1991, Sun announced that its next major OS release would switch from its BSD-derived source base to one based on SVR4. Although the internal designation of this release would be SunOS 5, from this point Sun began using the marketing name Solaris. The justification for this new "overbrand" was that it encompassed not only SunOS, but also the OpenWindows desktop environment and Open Network Computing (ONC) functionality.
Even though the new SVR4-based OS was not expected to ship in volume until the following year, Sun immediately began using the new Solaris name to refer to the currently shipping SunOS 4 release (also including OpenWindows). Thus SunOS 4.1.1 was rebranded Solaris 1.0; SunOS 5.0 would be considered a part of Solaris 2.0. SunOS 4.1.x micro versions continued to be released through 1994, and each of these was also given a Solaris 1.x equivalent name. In practice, these were often still referred to by customers and even Sun personnel by their SunOS release names. Matching the version numbers was not straightforward:
|SunOS Version||Solaris Version||OpenWindows Version|
|4.1.3||1.1 SMCC Version A||3.0|
Today, SunOS 5 is universally known as Solaris, although the SunOS name is still visible within the OS itself—in the startup banner, the output of the uname command, and man page footers, among other places.
Matching a SunOS 5.x release to its corresponding Solaris marketing name is simple: each Solaris release name includes its corresponding SunOS 5 minor version number. For example, Solaris 2.4 incorporated SunOS 5.4. There is one small twist: after Solaris 2.6, the "2." was dropped from the Solaris name and the SunOS minor number appears by itself. The latest Solaris release is named Solaris 11 and incorporates SunOS 5.11.
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