Oracle offers migration path for Solaris 10 apps

To Solaris 11.4, rather than somewhere more cloudy and less Sunny

Oracle has given Solaris 10 users an easier way to migrate their apps – to a more modern version of Solaris.

The help comes in the form of sysdiff – a Python script that Big Red states will analyze a Solaris 10 rig to find the "binaries, libraries, modified data, and configuration files that are not part of Oracle Solaris 10 itself."

The script outputs a package compatible with Oracle's Image Packaging System, and that package should be ready for deployment under Solaris 11.4 (the latest version of the OS).

While sysdiff will help Solaris 10 users to migrate apps before that date, the tool isn't a click and forget affair. Oracle's post about the tool explains that if the software you want to move runs on bare metal, you'll need to migrate it a Solaris 10 branded zone (a type of container that Solaris offered years before Docker made containers cool again). You'll also need a working Oracle 11.4 system to run sysdiff.

Once the script runs, you may still have some manual work to do if your application has dependencies on packages that aren't part of Solaris 11.4. Oracle offers the example of an app that relies on OpenSSL 0.9.7d, which is not supported in Solaris 11.4. Moving that app from version 10 to version 11.4 will therefore mean bringing that old version of OpenSSL along for the ride.

Solaris 10 went end of life in 2018 but Oracle currently offers Extended Support – a state in which Oracle continues to offer some updates.

So why has Big Red introduced this tool now?

The answer is probably that Extended Support for Solaris 10 ends in January 2024 – a mere 20 months into the future, but probably enough time to move legacy apps to version 11.4.

Once those apps are running on Solaris 11.4, they should be safe for another decade. Big Red has set 2034 as the year in which it will give up on the OS altogether.

Between now and then, Oracle has promised regular updates. And in another sign the company still cares about Solaris, March 2022 saw debut of a free version of Solaris that delivers more frequent updates under a license aimed at making life easy for developers and non-commercial users – and perhaps also those who fancy taking sysdiff for a spin to see how it works on their Solaris 10 apps. ®

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