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Solaris Express Installation Guide: Planning for Installation and Upgrade
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Upgrade Planning

You can upgrade a system by using one of three different upgrade methods: Solaris Live Upgrade, the Solaris installation program, and custom JumpStart.

Table 4-5 Solaris Upgrade Methods

Current Solaris OS

Solaris Upgrade Methods

Solaris 8, Solaris 9, Solaris 10

  • Solaris Live Upgrade – Upgrades a system by creating and upgrading a copy of the running system

  • The Solaris installation program – Provides an interactive upgrade with a graphical user interface or command-line interface

  • Custom JumpStart method – Provides an automated upgrade

Upgrade Limitations

The following table lists limitations when you upgrade a system under some conditions.



Upgrading to a different software group

You cannot upgrade your system to a software group that is not installed on the system. For example, if you previously installed the End User Solaris Software Group on your system, you cannot use the upgrade option to upgrade to the Developer Solaris Software Group. However, during the upgrade you can add software to the system that is not part of the currently installed software group.

Upgrading when non-global zones are installed

You can upgrade a system that has non-global zones installed with the Solaris installation program, Solaris Live Upgrade or JumpStart. The following limitations apply:

  • Solaris Live Upgrade is the recommend program to upgrade or patch a system. Other upgrade programs might require extensive upgrade time, because the time required to complete the upgrade increases linearly with the number of installed non-global zones. If you are patching a system with Solaris Live Upgrade, you do not have to take the system to single-user mode and you can maximize your system's uptime.

  • When you use a Solaris Flash archive to install, an archive that contains non-global zones is not properly installed on your system.

Upgrading with Veritas file systems

The Solaris interactive installation and custom JumpStart programs do not present you with the opportunity to upgrade a system when you are using Veritas VxVM file systems under these conditions:

  • If the root file system to be upgraded is under Veritas control. For example, if the root (/) file system is mounted on a /dev/vx/... device.

  • If any Solaris software is installed on any file system that is under Veritas control. For example, if the /usr file system is mounted on a /dev/vx/... device.

To upgrade when Veritas VxVM is configured, use one of the following methods:

Upgrade Programs

You can perform a standard interactive upgrade with the Solaris installation program or an unattended upgrade with the custom JumpStart installation method. Solaris Live Upgrade enables you to upgrade a running system.

Upgrade Program


For More Information

Solaris Live Upgrade

Enables you to create a copy of the currently running system. The copy can be upgraded and then a reboot switches the upgraded copy to become the currently running system. Using Solaris Live Upgrade reduces the downtime that is required to upgrade the Solaris OS. Also, Solaris Live Upgrade can prevent problems with upgrading. An example is the ability to recover from an upgrade if the power fails, because the copy being upgraded is not the currently running system.

To plan for disk space allocation when using Solaris Live Upgrade, see Solaris Live Upgrade Requirements in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Solaris Live Upgrade and Upgrade Planning.

The Solaris installation program

Guides you through an upgrade with an interactive GUI.

Chapter 2, Installing With the Solaris Installation Program (Tasks), in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Basic Installations.

Custom JumpStart program

Provides an automated upgrade. A profile file and optional preinstallation and postinstallation scripts provide the information required. When creating a custom JumpStart profile for an upgrade, specify install_type upgrade. You must test the custom JumpStart profile against the system's disk configuration and currently installed software before you upgrade. Use the pfinstall -D command on the system that you are upgrading to test the profile. You cannot test an upgrade profile by using a disk configuration file.

Installing a Solaris Flash Archive Instead of Upgrading

The Solaris Flash installation feature provides a method of creating a copy of the whole installation from a master system that can be replicated on many clone systems. This copy is called a Solaris Flash archive. You can install an archive by using any installation program.

Caution - A Solaris Flash archive cannot be properly created when a non-global zone is installed. The Solaris Flash feature is not compatible with Solaris Zones partitioning technology. If you create a Solaris Flash archive, the resulting archive is not installed properly when the archive is deployed under these conditions:

  • The archive is created in a non-global zone

  • The archive is created in a global zone that has non-global zones installed

Creating an Archive That Contains Large Files

The default copy method that is used when you create a Solaris Flash archive is the pax utility. The flarcreate command uses the pax utility to create an archive without size limitations on individual files. Individual file sizes can be greater than 4 Gbytes. The flarcreate command with the -L cpio option creates a cpio archive. This option is useful for backward compatibility.

For information about installing an archive, see the following table.

Solaris Live Upgrade

Installing Solaris Flash Archives on a Boot Environment in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Solaris Live Upgrade and Upgrade Planning

Custom JumpStart

To Prepare to Install a Solaris Flash Archive With a Custom JumpStart Installation in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Custom JumpStart and Advanced Installations

Solaris interactive installation

Chapter 4, Installing and Administering Solaris Flash Archives (Tasks), in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Solaris Flash Archives (Creation and Installation)


Chapter 12, Installing With WAN Boot (Tasks), in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Network-Based Installations

Upgrading With Disk Space Reallocation

The upgrade option in the Solaris installation program and the upgrade keyword in the custom JumpStart program provide the ability to reallocate disk space. This reallocation automatically changes the sizes of the disk slices. You can reallocate disk space if the current file systems do not have enough space for the upgrade. For example, file systems might need more space for the upgrade for the following reasons:

  • The Solaris software group that is currently installed on the system contains new software in the new release. Any new software that is included in a software group is automatically selected to be installed during the upgrade.

  • The size of the existing software on the system has increased in the new release.

The auto-layout feature attempts to reallocate the disk space to accommodate the new size requirements of the file system. Initially, auto-layout attempts to reallocate space, based on a set of default constraints. If auto-layout cannot reallocate space, you must change the constraints on the file systems.

Note - Auto-layout does not have the ability to “grow” file systems. Auto-layout reallocates space by the following process:

  1. Backing up required files on the file systems that need to change.

  2. Repartitioning the disks on the basis of the file system changes.

  3. Restoring the backup files before the upgrade happens.

  • If you are using the Solaris installation program, and auto-layout cannot determine how to reallocate the disk space, you must use the custom JumpStart program to upgrade.

  • If you are using the custom JumpStart method to upgrade and you create an upgrade profile, disk space might be a concern. If the current file systems do not contain enough disk space for the upgrade, you can use the backup_media and layout_constraint keywords to reallocate disk space. For an example of how to use the backup_media and layout_constraint keywords in a profile, refer to Profile Examples in Solaris Express Installation Guide: Custom JumpStart and Advanced Installations.

Backing Up And Restarting Systems For an Upgrade

Backing up your existing file systems before you upgrade to the Solaris OS is highly recommended. If you copy file systems to removable media, such as tape, you can safeguard against data loss, damage, or corruption.

In previous releases, the restart mechanism enabled you to continue an upgrade after a loss of power or other similar problem. Starting with the Solaris Express 2/07 release, the restart mechanism is unreliable. If you have a problem, your upgrade might not restart.

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  Published under the terms fo the Public Documentation License Version 1.01. Design by Interspire