System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

Types of Patches

A patch is an accumulation of fixes for a known or potential problem within the Oracle Solaris OS 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. Most patches are delivered as a set of sparse packages. For details about packages, see Chapter 20, Managing Software (Overview).

A software update is a change that you apply to software that corrects an existing problem or introduces a feature. To update is also the process of applying software updates to a system.

You can manage patches on your Oracle Solaris system by using the patchadd command.

Signed and Unsigned Patches

A signed patch is one that has a digital signature applied to it. A patch that has its digital signature verified has not been modified since the signature was applied. The digital signature of a signed patch is verified after the patch is downloaded to your system.

Patches for Oracle Solaris, starting with the 2.6 release, are available as signed patches and as unsigned patches. Unsigned patches do not have a digital signature.

Note –

The process of adding and removing signed patches by using the patchadd command includes obtaining and applying a trusted certificate by using the keytool utility. Procedures that associated with using the keytool utility in this Oracle Solaris release are not described in detail in this chapter. For complete instructions on using the keytool utility to import and export trusted certificates, go to

For information about applying patches to your system by using the patchadd command, see Managing Patches by Using the patchadd Command (Task Map).

For additional overview information about signed patches, see Signed Packages, Patches, and Software Updates.