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System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System
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Packaging and Patch Tools Overview

The Solaris packaging tools are used in administering the zones environment. The global administrator can upgrade the system to a new version of Solaris, which updates both the global and the non-global zones.

Solaris Live Upgrade , the standard Solaris interactive installation program, or the custom Solaris JumpStart installation program can be used in the global zone to upgrade a system that includes non-global zones.

The zone administrator can use the packaging tools to administer any software installed in a non-global zone, within the limits described in this document.

The following general principles apply when zones are installed:

  • The global administrator can administer the software on every zone on the system.

  • The root file system for a non-global zone can be administered from the global zone by using the Solaris packaging and patch tools. The Solaris packaging and patch tools are supported within the non-global zone for administering co-packaged (bundled), standalone (unbundled), or third-party products.

  • The packaging and patch tools work in a zones-enabled environment. The tools allow a package or patch installed in the global zone to also be installed in a non-global zone.

  • The SUNW_PKG_ALLZONES package parameter defines the zone scope of a package. The scope determines the type of zone in which an individual package can be installed. For more information about this parameter, see SUNW_PKG_ALLZONES Package Parameter.

  • The SUNW_PKG_HOLLOW package parameter defines the visibility of a package if that package is required to be installed on all zones and be identical in all zones. For information about this parameter, see SUNW_PKG_HOLLOW Package Parameter.

  • The SUNW_PKG_THISZONE package parameter defines whether a package must be installed in the current zone only. For information about this parameter, see SUNW_PKG_THISZONE Package Parameter.

  • Packages that do not define values for zone package parameters have a default setting of false.

  • The packaging information visible from within a non-global zone is consistent with the files that have been installed in that zone using the Solaris packaging and patch tools. The visibility includes packages that have been imported from the global zone using read-only loopback mounts. See Configuring, Verifying, and Committing a Zone for more information about this process.

  • A change, such as a patch or package added in the global zone, can be pushed out to all of the zones. This feature maintains consistency between the global zone and each non-global zone.

  • The package commands can add, remove, and interrogate packages. The patch commands can add and remove patches.


Note - While certain package and patch operations are performed, a zone is temporarily locked to other operations of this type. The system might also confirm a requested operation with the administrator before proceeding.


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