Understanding the Directory Server Distributions

When planning on downloading the Directory Server (5.x) or the Directory Server Enterprise Edidition (6.x) on Sun Downloads, or through your patch access on Sunsolve, when you see the option for Zip, or Native Package, you need to pay attention to this "distribution type" as you pick what to download.  It is important not only for you to understand the differences for installation, but you need to keep an eye on this when you patch, apply a support case provided hotfix, or upgrade releases of the product.  Keep a reference to the original file name, I also provide a manual way on systems to check the type of distribution you have installed directly. Unless specifically mentioned, the discussion below covers the current 6.x product line.  Understanding what you have installed will help with following the documentation as you install the product as well.

The Zip Distribution

(PatchZip, Zip, or Compressed Archive)

This is a "lightweight" distribution of the product, it is a fully functioning DS, but things like OS startup of the services require systems administration to manually set the startup and shutdown of the service based on the install OS's approach to service control.  The server can be installed, and managed from the command line in the 6.x product release quite effectively. It does not include a web server or application server to deploy the Directory Server Control Center (The DSCC Java web application).  We support the deployment of the DSCC Web application in the "Sun Java Application Server" and "Apache Tomcat".  The zip distribution lays all of its files down within the target path, as opposed to the  wide range of locations used by the JES product, including system paths (/usr, /var). Its libraries are in a private location within its  install path, and it does not share its libraries with other applications on the system.  ZIP distributions are generally only updated by patching the product itself, through a script or binary installer.

The Native Package

(Native Patch, Pkg, JES, Java Enterprise System Identity Management Suite, Java Enterprise System - full release)

 This represents a bundled release of the product that includes the Sun Management Framework Webserver (smcwebserver) which can run the DSCC web application, the installation sets this up for you.   This distribution type has a much larger download size in its Java Enterprise System packaging, as it is part of an integrated suite of products.  This distribution has the ability to configure the system its running on for restart of the JES services and the DS on reboot (where the zip distribution requires manual setup).  When downloading sunsolve patches, you are going to look for the "Patch Native" or Native Package, or Package version of patches.  The installation of this distribution type has the ds and the components it runs with installed across and using different parts of the file system as well, requiring more attention to backup and recovery of data relevant to the DS, its logging, the configuration, or the server itself.  The JES / NATIVE installations of the directory server product use a set of public or "shared" libraries that are installed in a path outside of the base directory server installation path, and can be updated as shared components are patched by any of the products using them.

How to check your release type for directory 6.x

  1. In a terminal window (command console) cd into <install path>/dsee6/lib/bin/
  2. Execute carpet or carpet.exe
  3. Look for the output with the following info - carpetIsNativePkg
  4. it will state ZIP or PKG


My output says NATIVE, I assume that's the same as PKG?

Posted by Eric Ham on June 18, 2008 at 10:32 AM PDT #

Yes, Native is synonymous with PKG

Posted by Agrajag on June 19, 2008 at 07:45 AM PDT #

Usually there is a couple of Versions of code that can be downloaded for mosts Sun Software Products:
Patch Only Install
Full Install

Cluepon: Patch only is intended for upgrades. The Full Install includes the contents of the associated Patch Only Install.

Posted by Jay Biddle on December 04, 2008 at 10:08 PM PST #

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