Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

Resolving stale links to SunSolve documentation on My Oracle Support

A couple of folks have posted comments on old blog entries complaining that they can't resolve links to old SunSolve content.

SunSolve was decommissioned as part of the integration into Oracle.  Documentation which is still relevant was migrated.  The URIs changed in the process.  So did the document IDs.

On the basis that it's better to teach a man how to fish than to just give him a fish, here's a tip on how to do find the current links to such migrated documentation.  At least, this is how I do it:

If you're looking to find the current URI for a document for which you have a stale URI such as http://sunsolve.sun.com/search/document.do?assetkey=1-79-250526.1-1 , simply search MOS using the "core" document number in the old SunSolve URI - for example "250526" in this example.  Enter this in the "Search Knowledge Base" search box. 

If the document is still relevant, MOS will usually return the corresponding new Document ID.  For example, in this case Document 1019995.1.  The top line of the document 1019995.1 states "Migrated ID: 250526".

I've updated the Doc IDs for a number of my old blog postings.  Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Wednesday Sep 14, 2011

Useful Oracle Sun patch download options, including metadata & READMEs

(Updated May 14, 2013)

Here are some Oracle Sun patch download options which my colleague Don O'Malley and I believe you may find useful:

You can download an Oracle Sun patch README simply by using an URI of the following form:

https://updates.oracle.com/readme/120068-02

Just replace the PatchID in the URI above with the PatchID you are interested in.

If you are logged on to MOS, and have a valid support contract associated with your account, you can download patches using an URI of the following form for an individual patch:

https://updates.oracle.com/all_unsigned/120068-02.zip

XML metadata for a patch is available using a URI of the form:

https://updates.oracle.com/Orion/Services/search?bug=120068-02

This XML metadata contains useful information like:

  • The MD5 and SHA-1 checksums, see <digest type=...>.  Getting MD5 and SHA-1 checksums directly from MOS or this XML metadata file is the most accurate way to get checksum information. 
  • The latest PatchID in this lineage which obsoletes (supersedes) this patch revision , see <patch_replacements> - in this example 127127-11
  • What bug fixes (CRs) are delivered in the Patch - note if <fixes_bugs truncated="yes">, then the list of CRs fixed in truncated, so see the patch README for the full list of CRs
  • What access entitlement is needed to download this patch - in this example "OS" (Operating System) which means you need a support contract which covers Solaris in order to download it.  Other common access entitlements are "FMW" (Firmware) and "SW" ([other] Software), which means you need a support contract which covers Hardware or other Software respectively.  If multiple access entitlements are shown, then a support contract which covers any of them is sufficient to download the patch.
  • The Oracle BugDB Bug number reference to this patch which can be used as an alternative way to access it (see example below) - in this example 9615556
  • The Oracle BugDB Bug number reference to the README of this patch which can be used as an alternative way to access it (see example below) - in this example 12450076

Note, there are two nearly identical <patch> entries in the XML Metadata file in this example, one for 32-bit and one for 64-bit.  This is common and occurs for the vast majority of Oracle Sun patches.  Java patches are the main exception to this multiple <patch> entries rule for Oracle Sun patches, as they produce a separate 64-bit patch which will have a separate metadata file.  Where multiple <patch> entries exist in a metadata file, they always refer to one and the same patch, so either metadata entry can be parsed.  So while the "aru" <request id> references in the URIs differ for each in addition to <platform>, it's the identical patch which is downloaded in each case.

It's also possible to access a nice landing page using the Oracle BugDB Bug number reference to a patch (taken from the XML Metadata file above) to construct a URI of the form:

https://updates.oracle.com/download/9615556.html

The "View Digest" button on the landing page shows the MD4 and SHA-1 Checksums for the patch.  The landing page also facilitates viewing of the README and download of the patch.

The "HTML version" of the patch README can be accessed two ways: 

https://updates.oracle.com/Orion/Services/download?type=readme&bugfix_name=120068-02 (using the PatchID) or

https://updates.oracle.com/Orion/Services/download?type=readme&aru=12450076 (using the Oracle BugDB Bug number reference to the README taken from the XML Metadata file above)

Both of the above URIs resolve to the same patch README.  The "HTML version" of the README contains a download link for the patch at the top of the page.  It also provides links to two key resources for Oracle Sun patching information:

It's also possible to directly access the MOS Flash-based download page using a URI of the form:

https://support.oracle.com/CSP/ui/flash.html#tab=PatchHomePage(page=PatchHomePage&id=gnrgyece()),(page=PatchDetailPage&id=gnrgyece(patchId=120068-02&patchType=Patch&patchName=120068-02))

Since patchsets are named a little differently, here's a table showing the relevant URIs for key patchsets:
Patchset Name
Landing Page
README
Download
XML Metadata
Checksums (subset of XML Metadata)
Recommended OS Patchset for Solaris 10 SPARC
Landing Page README Download XML Metadata

Click "View Digest" on Landing Page or extract from XML Metadata

Recommended OS Patchset for Solaris 10 x86
Landing Page README Download XML Metadata

Click "View Digest" on Landing Page or extract from XML Metadata

Critical Patch Update (CPU) Patchset for Solaris 10 SPARC, Apr 2013
Landing Page README Download XML Metadata Checksums
Critical Patch Update (CPU) Patchset for Solaris 10 x86, Apr 2013
Landing Page README Download XML Metadata Checksums
Solaris 10 1/13 (Update 11) SPARC Patchset
Landing Page README

See Landing Page

XML Metadata Checksums
Solaris 10 1/13 (Update 10) x86 Patchset
Landing Page README See Landing Page XML Metadata Checksums
Here are some other useful links:
Sun Alerts - Knowledge article with summary of, and links to, all published Sun Alerts alerting customers to known Security (through the link to the "Critical Patch Update (CPU) and Security Alerts" page), Availability and Data Corruption issues
patchdiag.xref - metadata file listing latest available revision of all Oracle Sun 6-2 digit patches
withdrawn_patch_report - list of all Oracle Sun patches withdrawn from release in the last 12 months
weekly_patch_report - list of all Oracle Sun patches released in the last week

You can be proactively notified daily of Sun Alert issues (and other knowledge articles) by configuring the "Hot Topics" option in My Oracle Support:

   1. Go to url https://support.oracle.com/CSP/ui/flash.html
   2. Sign in
   3. Select the tab "More..." --> Settings
   4. Select "Hot Topics E-Mail" on the left
   5. Update the Hot Topics Settings
         1. Toggle the E-Mail to 'On'
         2. Ensure set "Send Every 1 Days"
         3. Select desired format (text or HTML)
         4. Set the item limit to some number larger than 5 (suggest 25)
         5. Set Service Request to "None"
         6. leave "Product Bugs Marked as Favorites" deselected
   6. Add the needed Sun Alert Filter(s) ** Note: To receive all Sun Alerts, use the following filter **
   7. Select  "Add..." (new window will pop up)
         1. Add the Product "Solaris SPARC Operating System"
         2. Add the Platform "GENERIC (All Platforms)"
         3. Check the "Knowledge Articles" box
         4. Check the "Alerts" box
         5. Select "OK" (selection window closes)
   8. Select "Save"
         1. You should be able to see your Hot Topics filter you just set up.
   9. Log out of MOS

Finally, for details on how to script access to resources such as the URIs listed above, check out:

MOS - Using 'wget' to Automate Sun Patch Downloads

I'd like to thank my colleague, Don O'Malley, for researching much of the above. 

I hope you find this helpful.

Best Wishes,

Gerry.

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Using My Oracle Support for Hardware Products

My colleagues in Services are running Best Practice Webinars on knowledge searching and how to find Firmware, Storage updates, and Oracle Solaris patchsets.

The next sessions for patching are this Thursday, Feb 18th, at 9AM MT (U.S. Mountain Time) and 5PM MT.  If you miss these, don't worry, there's more being hosted through to the end of April 2011.  See below.

Log into MOS and see https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article?cmd=show&type=NOT&doctype=SYSTEMDOC&id=1282218.1 for details.

Here's the blurb:

Our new seminar series titled "Using My Oracle Support for Hardware Products" covers a variety of topics focused on using My Oracle Support to service your hardware products. The seminar series includes five Advisor Webcast topics for customers using Solaris or Sun Hardware. The topics are repeated throughout the schedule. The schedule  runs from 8 February through 28 April.  To see the schedule and to register for a session, please review Advisor Webcasts: My Oracle Support - Best Practices for Hardware Customers

    \* Best practice on knowledge searching and how to find Firmware, Storage updates, and Oracle Solaris patch sets
    \* Hardware Asset and Automated Service Request (ASR) Management
    \* Automatic Service Request from end to end
    \* Proactive Hardware Service Portal
    \* My Oracle Support - Hardware Service Request

Oracle support experts will be on hand to present these topics and answer questions about best practices in using My Oracle Support for servicing your supported hardware products.

Friday Jan 28, 2011

Resolving 'smpatch' / Update Manager issues

A number of customers have reported issues with 'smpatch' / Update Manager resulting from the recent migration to the My Oracle Support (MOS) infrastructure.

My colleagues BethB, PeterM, and EthanR have published Document 1288579.1 which explains what to do if you are unable to register systems & download patches via sconadm, smpatch, and Update Manager . This document is also accessible via the Oracle Sun OS Community page too.

I apologize most sincerely for any inconvenience caused.

Monday Jan 10, 2011

Searching for Oracle Sun patches in My Oracle Support (MOS)

My colleague, Mike Brown, has published this knowledge article which you may wish to bookmark, pointing to frequently accessed Oracle Solaris patch deliverables, including the Recommended patch clusters, quarterly Critical Patch Updates (CPUs), Solaris Update Patch Bundles, patch utilitiy patches, patchdiag.xref, the checksums file, and the LU Zones Starter Patch Bundle.

Also, here's a cut-and-paste of my response to some comments posted regarding finding Oracle Sun patches on My Oracle Support (MOS) which I hope you'll find useful.

To get the Solaris patch clusters and patch bundles, use the "Product or Family (Advanced Search)" option on the "Patches & Updates" tab. Select:

  • Product is Solaris Operating System
  • Release is Solaris 10 Operating System
  • select "Type" instead of "Platform" and Type is "Patchset"

...and it'll return all Solaris 10 patch clusters and patch bundles. This includes the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Clusters, the Solaris Update Patch Bundles, the Solaris OS Critical Patch Updates (CPUs), Live Upgrade (LU) Zones Patch Bundle, etc.

You can add further search filters, e.g. Platform is Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit), to further refine the results.

Using "Platform" is useful to eliminate the double-entries for 32-bit and 64-bit. These dual returns are a pet peeve of mine and I'm continuing to work with the MOS team to get this "fixed" in a future release. They are an historical artifact from Oracle DB platform porting and are not relevant to the Solaris OS.

Note that the alternative option for "Type" is "Patch", which can be used to search for individual patches.

Please note that you can see all revisions of a patch by searching with the format 119254-% . The "-" (dash) is required in the current version of MOS.

You can also search for words included in the Patch Synopsis by using the Description field. For example:

  • Product is Solaris Operating System
  • Release is Solaris 10 Operating System
  • Type is Patch
  • Platform is Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
  • Description contains patch utilities

In the example above, the Description option searches for the phrase "patch utilities" in the Synopsis line of patches. This returns the Solaris 10 SPARC patch utility patches.

Since the synopsis line of patches is free format, some guesswork is involved in searching using this method. For example "patch utility" returns nothing. "IP" returns more than just TCP/IP related patches.

Alternatively, you can use "Classification", which can be set to "Security" to return Security patches.

Click on the "Updated" column in the search returns to get these listed from earliest to latest or vice versa.

Firmware updates are also available from My Oracle Support.

  • Click on "Produce or Family (Advanced Search)".
  • Select the hardware product you are interested in.   For example, type "x6" and select, Product is Sun Blade X6440 Server 
    Module.
  • Select the Release(s) you are interested in, e.g. Release is X6440 SW 2.2.0
  • Click Search.

My understanding is that MOS currently limits search results to 100 entries in the current version and again I'm discussing "fixing" this with the MOS team in a later release.

Searches can be edited and saved for re-use at a later date.  MOS also remembers selections you've made in previous sessions which is a useful feature.

A "Classification" of "Other Recommended" rather logically will give other non-security recommended patches included in the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Cluster. (In MOS terminology, "Security" and "Other Recommended" together are equivalent of the old Sun "Recommended" term.) But if you want to know exactly what's in the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Cluster, it's easier to simply look at the patch  list in the Cluster README.

As discussed in the http://blogs.sun.com/patch/entry/solaris_10_recommended_patching_strategy which I published last week, we're really trying to encourage customers to move away from selecting unique patch combinations and to instead use the Solaris OS patch clusters and patch bundles as the core of your patching strategy.

But there is still occasionally the need to search for individual patches to address specific issues.

If you are looking for individual patches to address a specific CR, then use "Patch Name, Number, or Sun CR ID" search option instead of "Product or Family (Advanced Search)". For example, enter Sun CR ID 6927931 and patch 119254-78 is returned which is the patch in which the CR is fixed. A CR which was fixed a long time ago, e.g. 6486471, will return all patch revisions which contain the fix, so you can decide whether you want to take the latest patch revision which fixes it or the earliest.

As I say, I'm continuing to work with the MOS team to enhance the customer experience further, but I hope you find the above tips helpful.

A colleague in MOS has kindly forwarded a link to a tutorial on the PowerView feature in MOS which you may find useful.

Best Wishes,

Gerry.

Friday Dec 10, 2010

SunSolve to MOS transition this weekend

The SunSolve front page says it all:

The MSC and SunSolve Will Retire on December 10, 2010

Find out what you need to know about the migration to My Oracle Support.

Stay up-to-date on the latest details about the migration to My Oracle Support. Access the My Oracle Support Welcome Center for transition information, training, significant changes, and Frequently Asked Questions.

The information on the Welcome Center will be updated regularly as the transition approaches, so please be sure to revisit the page often to get the latest updates.

See my previous postings, Oracle Sun patches now available from MOS , and Test site available for SunSolve to MOS transition for details on how to download patches from My Oracle Support (MOS).

Please note that I am not leading this transition and I will be unable to help with issues regarding access entitlement.

If you encounter issues with My Oracle Support, then:

  1. If you can log into MOS, use the "Contact Us" link to file a Service Request
  2. If you can't log into MOS, call Oracle support
I wish you a successful transition.


Thursday Nov 18, 2010

Test site available for SunSolve to MOS transition changes

My SunSolve colleagues tell me that the ability to test sample scripted My Oracle Support (MOS) patch downloads is now available. 

If you use scripted patch downloads, e.g. using 'wget', I highly recommend you take this opportunity to test the necessary changes to the download syntax in advance of the transition from SunSolve to MOS which is currently scheduled for December 10.

The document detailing the 'wget' syntax changes relating to the upcoming transition from SunSolve to MOS, http://sunsolve.sun.com/search/document.do?assetkey=1-79-1199543.1-1, has been updated with the relevant instructions.  I suggest you bookmark that document and return to it regularly for updates.

Thursday Oct 14, 2010

Goodbye SunSolve, Helloooo MOS!

As Miriam Brace's recent blog post signals, it's nearly time to say goodbye to SunSolve as the transition to My Oracle Support (MOS) continues.

There's syntax changes for 'wget' users which are detailed on SunSolve and copied on ISP.  This document includes details on how to continue to access the patch metadata files 'patchdiag.xref' and 'checksums'.

As per my previous posting, Oracle Sun patches and patch clusters/bundles are already available from MOS.

Expect to hear more news on the migration, including timelines, in the near future.  SunSolve and Miriam's blog are good sources of up to date information.

Thursday Jul 29, 2010

Oracle Sun patches now available from My Oracle Support (MOS)

As you may already know, Oracle Sun patches are now available from My Oracle Support (MOS).

We've uploaded over 30,000 6-2 digit PatchIDs to MOS, including all Solaris 8, 9, and 10 patches, SunCluster, and patches for over a thousand other products.  Any patch for these products which was available on SunSolve is now also available from MOS, making MOS your one stop support shop for all Oracle products.

My colleague David F. Campbell has also completed the upload of all patch and firmware update content to MOS from CDS (Content Delivery System, formerly the Sun DownLoad Center (SDLC)).

Any another colleague, Tom Murray, has completed the upload of StorageTek patch content natively to MOS too. Most StorageTek patches are in a mainframe patch format and are not applied using the Solaris 'patchadd' utility.  To host them on SunSolve after the StorageTek acquistion, we wrapped them in a 6-2 digit PatchID.  However, it doesn't make sense to wrap these StorageTek 6-2 digit PatchIDs in Oracle BugDB IDs which would be a second level of indirection.  Therefore, Tom has uploaded them in their native format to MOS.

Customers with an Oracle support contract can log into My Oracle Support.  The full functionality version is Flash based, https://support.oracle.com.   There is also a limited functionality html version, https://supporthtml.oracle.com .

Click on the "Patches & Updates" tab and you'll see that the Patch Search options have been expanded to "Patch Name, Number or Sun CR ID".  As it suggests, you can search by the 6-2 digit PatchID or a Sun CR (Change Request) number (i.e. 7 digit BugID).

Please note that you can see all revisions of a patch by searching with the format 119254-% .  The "-" (dash) is required in the current version of MOS.

To get the Solaris patch clusters and patch bundles, use the "Product or Family (Advanced Search)" option on the "Patches & Updates" tab. Select:

  • Product is Solaris Operating System
  • Release is Solaris 10 Operating System
  • Select "Type" instead of "Platform" and Type is "Patchset"

...and it'll return all Solaris 10 patch clusters and patch bundles. This includes the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Clusters, the Solaris Update Patch Bundles, the Solaris OS Critical Patch Updates (CPUs), Live Upgrade (LU) Zones Patch Bundle, etc.

You can add further search filters, e.g. Platform is Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit), to further refine the results.

Using "Platform" is useful to eliminate the double-entries for 32-bit and 64-bit.  These dual returns are a pet peeve of mine and I'm continuing to work with the MOS team to get this "fixed" in a future release.  They are an historical artifact from Oracle DB platform porting and are not relevant to the Solaris OS.

Note that the alternative option for "Type" is "Patch", which can be used to search for individual patches.

For example:

  • Product is Solaris Operating System
  • Release is Solaris 10 Operating System
  • Type is Patch
  • Platform is Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)
  • Description contains patch utilities

In the example above, the Description option searches for the phrase "patch utilities" in the Synopsis line of patches. This returns the Solaris 10 SPARC patch utility patches.

Since the synopsis line of patches is free format, some guesswork is involved in searching using this method. For example "patch utility" returns nothing. "IP" returns more than just TCP/IP related patches. "firmware" returns any patch with the word "firmware" in its Synopsis.

Alternatively, you can use "Classification", which can be set to "Security" to return Security patches.

Click on the "Updated" column in the search returns to get these listed from earliest to latest or vice versa.

My understanding is that MOS currently limits search results to 100 entries in the current version and again I'm discussing "fixing" this with the MOS team in a later release.

Searches can be edited and saved for reuse at a later date.

A "Classification" of "Other Recommended" rather logically will give other non-security recommended patches included in the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Cluster. (In MOS terminology, "Security" and "Other Recommended" together are equivalent of the old Sun "Recommended" term.) But if you want to know exactly what's in the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Cluster, it's easier to simply look at the patch list in the Cluster README.

As discussed in the http://blogs.sun.com/patch/entry/solaris_10_recommended_patching_strategy which I published yesterday, we're really trying to encourage customers to move away from selecting unique patch combinations and to instead use the Solaris OS patch clusters and patch bundles as the core of your patching strategy.

If you are looking for individual patches to address a specific CR, then use "Patch Name, Number, or Sun CR ID" search option instead of "Product or Family (Advanced Search)". For example, enter Sun CR ID 6927931 and patch 119254-78 is returned which is the patch in which the CR is fixed. A CR which was fixed a long time ago, e.g. 6486471, will return all patch revisions which contain the fix, so you can decide whether you want to take the latest patch revision which fixes it or the earliest.

For firmware patches:

  • Go to the "Patches & Updates" tab
  • Click on "Produce or Family (Advanced Search)"
  • Select the hardware product in which you are interested.  For example, type "x6" and select, Product is Sun Blade X6440 Server Module.
  • Select the Release(s) you are interested in, e.g. Release is X6440 SW 2.2.0
  • Click Search.

As I say, I'm continuing to work with the MOS team to enhance the customer experience further, but I hope you find the above tips helpful.

 So which Oracle Sun patches are currently available from MOS ?:

  • Over 30,000 Oracle Sun 6-2 digit PatchIDs (i.e. of the format xxxxxx-xx) for over a thousand products and product versions.  This includes all Solaris 8, 9, and 10 patches, SunCluster patches, etc.
  • All the Oracle Sun Patch Clusters and Patch Bundles
  • All the patch and firmware update content previously hosted on CDS (Content Delivery System, formerly the Sun DownLoad Center (SDLC))
  • All StorageTek patches

What's not transitioned to MOS ?:

  • Really, really old patches, such as SunOS 1.x patches, Solaris 7 and older patches, etc.   These are utterly obsolete products so there's no point in propagating this crud forward.
  • Public patches available without a support contract, such as OpenOffice and StarOffice patches.  It is planned to support these in a future MOS release.  In the meantime, they can be downloaded from https://sspatch.oracle.com/showMe.do?page=public
  • Some patch metadata files such as the "Checksum" and "patchdiag.xref" files.  It is planned to support these in a future MOS release.  In the meantime, they can be downloaded from https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article=?cmd=show&type=NOT&id=1272947.1

Terminology: You say potato, I say potato, and Dan Quail says "potatoe"

There's an unfortunate patch terminology clash between Oracle and Sun patches which you need to be aware of:

  • The Sun term "obsolete" equates to the Oracle term "superseded" - i.e. a patch which is no longer the latest patch is a sequence.
  • The Sun term "withdrawn" equates to the Oracle term "obsolete" - i.e. a patch withdrawn from release due to problems with it.

Since the term "obsolete" is deeply embedded in SVR4 patching, e.g. the variable name SUNW_OBSOLETE in the pkginfo files, it is not possible for us to change it.  Neither is it likely that Oracle will change their terminology as it's well known in DB and Fusion middleware circles.  Users simply need to be aware of this terminology clash when dealing with Oracle Sun SVR4 based patches.

I hope this doesn't become a hot potato. :)

Best Wishes,

Gerry.

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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