Announcing SunOS 4.0.3

Sun Microsystems is pleased to announce the release of SunOS 4.0.3. The U.S. version of SunOS 4.0.3 will begin shipping May 4, 1989, and the export version will follow in two weeks.


SunOS 4.0.3 is distributed as either an upgrade or a full install release in two versions, domestic and export. The upgrade can be applied to any Sun-2, Sun-3 or Sun-4 system running 4.0, or later, SunOS. To migrate from SunOS 3.x to SunOS 4.0.3, a full installation will have to be performed. The Sun386i can coexist as a client of any SunOS 4.0.3 based system (except SPARCstation 1) through the use of the server kit which is supplied on the Sun386i 4.0.1 distribution media. In addition to supporting all of Sun's current SPARC and Motorola product lines, SunOS 4.0.3 has the following features:

o New platform support

- Sun-3/80 Desktop Workstation

- Sun-3/470 Deskside Workstation

- Sun-3/480 Server

- SPARCstation 1 Desktop Workstation

- SPARCsystem 330 and 370 Deskside Workstations and Servers

o New peripheral support

- SMD-4 disk controller (previously supported by a feature tape)

- 688 MB, 8" SMD disk drive

- CG6, 8-bit color graphics accelerator

- CG8, 24-bit color frame buffer

- FPU2, TI8847-based floating point chip set for the Sun-4/110, 150, 260, and 280

- SunDials, Graphics input peripheral

o New software features

- Pre-Configured Kernels

In addition to the large default "generic" kernel supplied with SunOS 4.0.3, a pre-configured and compiled kernel, for minimally configured systems, is provided for each Sun architecture. Using one of these pre-configured kernels or building a custom kernel, using the provided configuration files, can improve system performance.

- SunDiag

SunDiag is the evolutionary replacement of SysDiag. It uses Sun's latest technology in terms of user interface, test execution, and automation. SunDiag has an extremely user friendly SunView interface that can be used locally or from a remote workstation. It has self-configuration capabilities, which have become necessary with our varied platforms, and allows true concurrent testing. SunDiag is compatible with SysDiag, SunDiag executes all of the tests that SysDiag executed and more, but they differ in user interfaces. SysDiag will still be included in SunOS 4.0.3 for those who need it, but it will be moved to /usr/old as a warning of its pending obsolescence with the release of SunOS 4.1.

- Enhanced GPSI

This newest release of GPSI (Graphics Processor Software Interface) microcode adds new features to the GP2/CG5 and GP+/GB/CG3 graphics board sets. See the "SunOS 4.0.3 Release Manual" for feature details.

- The 'sunupgrade' program.

'sunupgrade' is an interactive program supplied with the Upgrade SunOS 4.0.3 tape set and is used to upgrade existing 4.0 or 4.0.1 installations to the latest release. 'sunupgrade' makes the upgrade process much faster, simpler, less painful, and provides an alternative to 'suninstall' for upgrading existing systems.

- Bug fixes

SunOS 4.0.3 includes over 430 bug fixes to the SunOS 4.0 base code and documentation set. The "SunOS 4.0.3 Release Manual" details the full set of bug fixes.


SunOS 4.0.3 has maintained binary compatibility with 4.0 and 4.0.1 based applications.


Documentation for SunOS 4.0.3 will consist of the existing SunOS documentation set (Docubox A and B) with the addition of a SunOS 4.0.3 Release Minibox. The SunOS 4.0.3 Release Minibox contains the architecture independent, release specific documentation and an Errata for the SunOS documentation set. For convenience, the SunOS 4.0.3 Release Minibox can be ordered separately from the "End User, OEM, and Services Version Price List". Adding the Release Minibox to an existing 4.0 documentation set will bring it up to the 4.0.3 documentation level.

The RTF for SunOS 4.0.3 is now located in the media kit.

If a customer orders the "System Administration Manuals" (SX-9B) or the "SunOS Reference Manual" (SX-9C) as an unbundled document set, they will receive the SunOS 4.0.3 Release Minibox with their order at no charge. This will enable the customer to obtain the updated 4.0.3 release information.

SunOS 4.0.3 incorporates significant improvements to the 'suninstall' documentation. The improvements include the following:

o Restructured layout to make finding information easier.

o Installation Roadmaps that provide an overview of the installation process.

o Use of icons to draw attention to critical information.

o The presentation of information is task oriented wherever applicable.

o Pre-installation and post-installation procedures are detailed completely.

o An entire chapter on 'performing a system upgrade' which includes walk-through examples.

o Blank 'suninstall' forms that the user can fill out to help prepare for the installation.

o A glossary.


SunOS 4.0.3 is distributed as either an upgrade or a full install release in two versions, domestic and export. When SunOS 4.0.3 releases in May 1989, it will begin shipping as the current standard SunOS. Availability/Distribution to Customers WITHOUT Software Support Contracts:

o Customers purchasing a new system simply need to order the appropriate RTU using the numbers in the "End User, OEM, and Services Version Price List" on the Sales Order. If media or documentation is also required, use the numbers found in Table A below on the Sales Order as well.

o Customers wishing to upgrade their current systems with the 4.0.3 release to obtain the bug fixes and/or support for the new peripherals listed above should place a Sales Order using the upgrade ordering numbers found in Table C.

Availability/Distribution to Customers WITH Software Support Contracts:

o Customers with software support contracts will receive the SunOS 4.0.3 upgrade tape automatically.