Patch management involves applying patches and software updates to a system. Patch management might also involve removing unwanted or faulty patches. Removing patches is also called backing out patches.
This chapter describes the following information:
A patch is an accumulation of fixes for a known or potential problem within the Oracle Solaris operating system or other supported software. A patch can also provide a new feature or an enhancement to a particular software release. A patch consists of files and directories that replace or update existing files and directories. Therefore, patches are used for the following purposes:
Delivering bug fixes
Delivering new functionality
Delivering new hardware support
Delivering performance enhancements or only enhancements to existing utilities
Patches are identified by unique patch IDs. A patch ID is an alphanumeric string that is a patch base code and a number that represents the patch revision number joined with a hyphen. For example, patch 118833-10 is the patch ID for the SunOS 5.10 kernel update patch, 10th revision.