Using Solaris Live Upgrade for patching
By Gerry Haskins on Jan 04, 2008
Solaris Live Upgrade can be used to patch a system as well as to upgrade from an earlier Marketing or Update release of Solaris.
Live Upgrade avoids many of the problems encountered when patching a live Solaris 10 boot environment as Live Upgrade modifies an inactive boot environment, rather than the live boot environment. This means that the live boot environment remains in a consistent state throughout the modifications. Once the inactive boot environment has been patched to the appropriate level, the system is rebooted to activate the modified boot environment. Live Upgrade has the additional advantage that it provides a ready-made fallback option - simply reboot back into the old boot environment if you encounter problems with the modified boot environment.
The downside of Live Upgrade is that it requires a number of prerequisite patches to be installed on the live boot environment before it can be used. See Infodoc 72099 available from SunSolve for a list of prerequisite patches. This is OK for pre-Solaris 10 systems and Solaris 10 systems without Containers (Zones).
However, for Solaris 10 systems with non-global Zones, this list of pre-requisite patches includes complex Kernel patches such as 118833-36 (SPARC) and 118855-36 (x86). This somewhat limits the usefulness of Live Upgrade as a Solaris 10 patching aid for systems with non-global Zones running a version of Solaris older than Solaris 10 11/06 (Update 3) or otherwise at a Kernel patch level of less than 118833-36 (SPARC) / 118855-36 (x86).
But for other environments, Solaris Live Upgrade provides a good method to patch systems.
For further information, please see the following articles on the How To page of the Big Admin Patching Hub: