Wednesday Oct 12, 2011

Live Upgrade document updated and simplified

I forgot to let you know, but a couple of months ago, my colleagues, Don O'Malley and Ed Clark updated the Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade (LU) document describing the pre-requisites for Live Upgrade.

The original document was pretty convoluted and required several cups of strong coffee to parse.  The updated version is a little easier to understand, even without caffeine.

Thanks also to Beth Barrett, Rick Ramsey, and Jon Bowman who helped make this happen.

Friday Oct 15, 2010

Using Live Upgrade in complex environments

One of my senior engineers, Enda O'Connor, has written a document on Patching Solaris using Advanced Live Upgrade Strategies for Zones and Clusters which I hope you will find useful.


Tuesday Dec 15, 2009

Veritas now supports Solaris Live Upgrade

As I've mentioned in a previous posting, Veritas now supports Solaris Live Upgrade.   Please see here for details.

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

New FREE online Patch Training Courses

I'm delighted to announce the availability of 10 new free online patch training modules.

This is the result of a lot of work from those nice people in Sun Learning Services, the Install Revenue Product Engineering (RPE, a.k.a. Sustaining) team, and my own folk.

The modules concentrate on using Live Upgrade for patching, as well as providing background on Deferred Activation Patching, Kernel patches, and other useful information.

You can access the modules as follows:

I think even experienced Sys Admins will find the modules useful in clarifying patching best practices and providing context and background information on the evolution of patching technology and best practices in Solaris 10.

If you don't like the online course format, or if you want a reference document to refer back to after taking the course, please see the attached .pdf.


Best Wishes,

Gerry Haskins,
Director, Software Patch Services

Tuesday Mar 10, 2009

Improvements to Patch Cluster pages on SunSolve

My team and I have been working with the SunSolve team on improvements to the Patch Cluster pages on SunSolve.  These improvements went live on April 20, 2009.

The old "Recommended Patch Clusters" and "Recommended and Security Patches" pages have been combined into a single Patch Cluster & Patch Bundle Downloads page.

A Notice Board section at the top of the page will be used to alert customers to current issues.

Click on the cluster headings to see a brief description of the purpose of the cluster, with links to view the cluster README as well as a download link.   The date the cluster was last updated and the size of the cluster are also shown.

No change has been made to the underlying cluster file names, so scripts using 'wget' to access the patch clusters should be unaffected.

This is part of an ongoing effort to improve our patch presentation to customers.

As before, customers need a valid support contract in order to be able to access patch clusters. 

If you are not registered in Member Support Center, simply log into SunSolve and associated one or more support contracts with your Sun Online Account using the "Change Contract" option in the top right hand menu.

If you are registered in Member Support Center, your contracts will be automatically associated with your account (and the "Change Contract" option will not be shown when you log into SunSolve).

Friday Jul 04, 2008

Solaris 10 Live Upgrade Zones Starter Patch Bundle

The Solaris 10 Live Upgrade Zones Starter Patch Bundle has been released.  It is designed to make it simpler for customers running on systems below Solaris 10 5/08 (Update 5) to apply the pre-requisite patch level needed to be able to utilize basic Live Upgrade functionality in a Zones environment.  These patches need to be applied to the live boot environment to enable Live Upgrade to work correctly in a Zones environment.

Aside: Customers with systems running Solaris 10 5/08 (Update 5) or later already have all the  pre-requisite patches pre-installed on the live boot environment and hence do not need to apply this patch bundle.

After this, Live Upgrade itself can be used to create an inactive boot environment and apply any additional patches referenced in SunSolve document 206844 'Solaris[TM] Live Upgrade Software: Minimum Patch Requirements' (formerly Infodoc 72099) to provide advanced Live Upgrade functionality such as support for ZFS Root. The document is available from:

The Solaris 10 Live Upgrade Patch Bundle is available from the normal patch cluster download center on SunSolve.  To download the patch bundle, login to SunSolve, , click on the Patches and Updates link, click on Recommended Patch Clusters, and scroll down the window under the heading "Recommended Solaris Patch Clusters, J2SE and Java Enterprise System Clusters" to find the "Solaris 10 SPARC Live Upgrade Zones Starter Patch Bundle" or "Solaris 10 x86 Live Upgrade Zones Starter Patch Bundle".  As always, you need a valid support contract to access patch clusters.  See previous postings for further information on support contracts.

Thursday Jun 19, 2008

More info on patching using Live Upgrade

My colleague, Enda O'Connor, has written another useful article on Big Admin about patching using Live Upgrade, restrictions, and how-to use Live Upgrade to upgrade/patch from Solaris 8 or Solaris 9 to Solaris 10.  See Doc ID 1019995.1 on MOS.

BTW: Searching "Live Upgrade" under 'Search Knowledge Base' on MOS brings up some other good LU articles too.

Tuesday Apr 29, 2008

Patch Management Best Practices

Please see the Patch Management Best Practices guide which my colleague, Enda O'Connor, has published on the BigAdmin Patching Hub.  I hope you'll find it useful.

Enda is a senior engineer in Patch System Test and he is far more technical than I am.

Enda has more practical experience of patching Solaris 10 Zones environments than anyone else in Sun.


Friday Jan 04, 2008

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


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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