On systems that are running an Oracle Solaris release that is not zones aware, using the patchadd command, or any command that accepts the -R option to specify an alternate root path for a global zone that has non-global zones installed, does not work.
You can use of the -R option to add and remove software packages and patches, if the alternate boot environment has configured non-global zones, but no installed non-global zones.
To avoid a potential problem, restrict the use of the -R option for the creation of an alternate root path.
If you are running Oracle Solaris 10, you can alternately choose one of the following methods:
Upgrade any systems that are not running at least the Solaris 10 1/06 OS.
If you are running the Oracle Solaris 10 initial 3/05 release, you can install the following patch to enable the use of commands that accept the -R option for creation of an alternate root path.
For SPARC based systems – Install at least revision 19 of patch 119254.
For x86 based systems – Install at least revision 19 patch 119255.
Boot an alternate root, for example the Oracle Solaris OS, as the active OS. You can then install and uninstall packages and patches without using the -R option.