Only a subset of the Solaris packages installed on the global zone are completely replicated when a non-global zone is installed. For example, many packages that contain the Solaris kernel are not needed in a non-global zone. All non-global zones implicitly share the same Solaris kernel from the global zone. However, even if a package's data is not required or is not of use in a non-global zone, the knowledge that a package is installed in the global zone might be required in a non-global zone. The information allows package dependencies from the non-global zones to be properly resolved with the global zone.
Packages have parameters that control how their content is distributed and made visible on a system with non-global zones installed. The SUNW_PKG_ALLZONES, SUNW_PKG_HOLLOW, and SUNW_PKG_THISZONE package parameters define the characteristics of packages on a system with zones installed. If desired, system administrators can check these package parameter settings to verify the package's applicability when applying or removing a package in a zone environment. The pkgparam command can be used to view the values for these parameters. For more information on parameters, see Package Parameter Information. See Checking Package Parameter Settings on a System with Zones Installed for usage instructions.
Any package that must be interactive, which means that it has a request script, is added to the current zone only. The package is not propagated to any other zone. If an interactive package is added to the global zone, the package is treated as though it is being added by using the pkgadd command with the -G option. For more information about this option, see About Adding Packages in Zones.