News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

Solaris 11 SRU naming convention change

Gerry Haskins
Director Security and Release Management

We're tweaking the naming convention used by Oracle Solaris SRUs (Support Repository Updates) to use a 5-digit taxonomy.

For example, Oracle Solaris

The digits represent Release.Update.SRU.Build.Respin

For the above example, the old name would have been Oracle Solaris 11.1 SRU 6.4. 

As with Oracle Solaris 10 and below, all bug fixes are putback to the tip of the source tree for Solaris 11, which is currently Solaris 11.1.x.y.z. 

Therefore, these same SRUs are also the way to get fixes for systems installed with Oracle Solaris 11 11/11, in exactly the same way that Solaris 10 Kernel patches included code from all preceding Solaris 10 Updates.

As discussed in previously postings, systems should be updated to a later SRU, for example from Oracle Solaris 11 11/11 SRU13.4  to Oracle Solaris

If you maintain a local Solaris Repository behind your firewall, both Solaris 11.1 and whichever subsequent SRUs you are interested in should be added to your Repo.  This is because SRUs only contain the change delta relative to the preceding Solaris Update.

Solaris's long standing Binary Compatibility Guarantee coupled with the technical benefits of Image Packaging System (IPS) help to ensure a smooth update experience.

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Comments ( 7 )
  • guest Saturday, April 13, 2013

    Question: have you done something to fix the bad latency of Solaris 10? Linux was faster than S10. Is S11 faster?

  • guest Monday, April 15, 2013

    Yes, Solaris 11 is significantly faster than Solaris 10.

    And you also get all the virtualization technology bundled as no additional cost, such as Hypervisor level LDoms (Logical Domains) and OS level Zones, as well as comprehensive Network virtualization which is new in S11. All with near zero virtualization overhead.

    And you get ZFS, one of the most sophisticated filesystems available, so you won't lose data. Ever.

    And patching is a thing of the past in Solaris 11. It uses the Repository based Image Packaging System (IPS) which is far better and easier to use than SVR4-based patching.

    While Linux is competitive on small boxes, Solaris beats it (and other competitors) hands-down in terms of near linear scalability right the way up to big iron.

    Try it out. (Available to download from oracle.com -> Products & Services -> Oracle Solaris)

    I think you'll like it.

  • guest Friday, September 27, 2013

    Dear Curious,

    There's a difference between Marketing speak and Engineering speak.

    As Dilbert defines it:

    Engineers: Most people believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe, if it ain't broke, it simply doesn't have enough features yet.

    Marketing: A combination of alcohol and guesswork.

    I'm an Engineer, but I'm happy to try my hand at Marketing.

    The Engineering speak regarding FMRI is definitive, unambiguous, and how it really works at an IPS level. But believe me, you never want to ask a Solaris Engineer to explain what's a major, minor, and micro release. You will lose the will to live long before she's finished. Indeed, it's nearly an initiation test to know which is which and quite frankly, it provides absolutely no clarity to users. But I digress.

    Conversely, Marketing speak is loose, ambiguous, and not worth the paper its written on. Many of Oracle's tools, such as MOS, BugDB, etc., use a 5-digit versioning taxonomy. Squishing a 7-digit FMRI string into a 5-digit tool versioning taxonomy is the "art" of my amateur Marketing and the source of your query. Obviously, the main way to access IPS packages is via Repositories, not MOS, but we also make SRUs available on MOS for completeness. And we need to refer to Updates and SRUs in BugDB, etc., using their 5-digit taxonomy.

    Soooo, 0.Major.Update.SRU.Reserved.SRUBuild.Nightly is squished into Release.Update.SRU.Build.Respin with the 2 fields that (to date) are always "0" dropped. That is, the leading "0" and the mysterious "Reserved" field, which I won't explain as it'll only confuse. It's reserved for a Use Case I hope we never use.

    To put it another way, the Release.Update.SRU.Build.Respin taxonomy, for example, is the following FMRI fields: Major.Update.SRU.SRUBuild.Nightly. Actually, "Respin" is a more accurate term than "Nightly". We build Solaris nightly internally, but customers will only ever see "Respins" when we "backpublish" fixes to released versions.

    Hope that helps!

    Best Wishes,


  • Curious Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Still getting odd responses when I post, trying again...

    Thanks for the amusing and detailed answer, Gerry. So the best way to check if a machine is current versus a repo level mentioned in a security alert (e.g. marketing level) would be to run 'pkg info entire' and massage the FMRI (or, I guess, Branch) as you indicate... right? And for versions before this naming convention change I could just add zeroes for the missing fields. I see the Version field contains the information in a recent repo, but it's just there in parenthesis and is surely less dependable than the FMRI.

    Or is there a better way I am missing? It seems there must be a smoother way to check to see if you are current versus a given repo (and hence a given CVE number from the Critical Patch Update pages), but

    maybe not yet, especially with the naming changes so far in Solaris 11. And the marketing/engineering divide, of which I am also sadly familiar.

    Thanks again!

  • guest Monday, October 21, 2013

    The Version field in parenthesis should be perfectly reliable, but you can always use the FMRI if you prefer.

    BTW, there's further security related customer experience improvements in the works.

    At Oracle OpenWorld, we mentioned we're working on a Security CVE meta-package which will list all fixed CVEs and the package versions containing the fix.

    Updating to the latest Security CVE meta-package will automatically pull in all the referenced security fixes relevant to the packages installed on the target system.

    This is expected to be available first half calendar year 2014.

    We also announced @ OpenWorld that in Solaris 11.2, we plan to introduce a solaris-minimum install group, which can be used as a basis for security hardened / minimized installs. This install group will provide the minimum necessary for a functioning Solaris install (able to update packages, create zones, minimal admin editor interface, i/o, etc.). Customers can then add whichever packages their apps require to that minimal basis.

    Again, the timeline is likely to be first half(-ish) calendar year 2014.

    All forward looking statements are subject to the normal disclaimers, including:

    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.

    Best Wishes,


  • ra Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    HI All,

    Can you please let me know how to find the latest 3 SRUs and latest 3 security patches in Oracle Solaris 11

    1) how to find the current version

    2) where we get the latest versions of SRU's in Oracles

    3) how do we find the latest security patches

    i need above info as soon as possible. Can any one help me to get the above information

    Thanks and regards


  • Gerry Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Hi Nakul,

    Assuming you have a support contract which covers Solaris...

    login to support.oracle.com

    Click on the "Patches & Updates" tab.

    Select the "Product or Family (Advanced)" search option.

    Type "Solaris" into the product field and select "Solaris SPARC Operating System".

    Select a release. For example, "Oracle Solaris 11 Operating System".

    Select platform if you wish. (You can ignore the Platform shown in results as all SRUs include both SPARC and x86 objects, so any SRU download will work for both SPARC and x86.)

    Click search.

    Sort the results by "Updated" (that is, Date) with most recent first.

    Best Wishes,


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