Using Solaris Live Upgrade for patching

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:

How to Use Solaris Live Upgrade to Install Patches On Your System

How to Patch a System With RAID-1 Volumes by Using Solaris Live Upgrade

How to Patch and Upgrade a System by Using Solaris Live Upgrade When Non-global Zones are installed

Comments:

Hey Gerry, how nice to see you on blogs.sun.com! I think your blog is going to be very popular - please keep up the good posts.

Posted by melanie gao on January 06, 2008 at 08:03 PM GMT #

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About

This blog is to inform customers about patching best practice, feature enhancements, and key issues. The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle. The Documents contained within this site may include statements about Oracle's product development plans. Many factors can materially affect these plans and the nature and timing of future product releases. Accordingly, this Information is provided to you solely for information only, is not a commitment to deliver any material code, or functionality, and SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON IN MAKING PURCHASING DECISIONS. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described remains at the sole discretion of Oracle. THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT BE INCORPORATED INTO ANY CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT WITH ORACLE OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES OR AFFILIATES. ORACLE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THIS INFORMATION. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gerry Haskins, Director, Software Lifecycle Engineer

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