Solaris 10 Installation Guide: Network-Based Installations


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

Table 3–7 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



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. 

Starting with the Solaris 10 1/06 release: Upgrading when non-global zones are installed

When you are upgrading the Solaris OS, you can upgrade a system that has non-global zones installed. The Solaris interactive installation program and custom JumpStart programs enable an upgrade. For limitations when upgrading, see Upgrading When Non-Global Zones Are Installed.

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 10 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 10 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 – 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:

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

Solaris Live Upgrade 

Installing Solaris Flash Archives on a Boot Environment in Solaris 10 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 10 Installation Guide: Custom JumpStart and Advanced Installations

Solaris interactive installation 

Chapter 4, Installing and Administering Solaris Flash Archives (Tasks), in Solaris 10 Installation Guide: Solaris Flash Archives (Creation and Installation)

WAN boot installation method 

Chapter 14, SPARC: Installing With WAN Boot (Tasks)

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 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.

Backing Up Systems Before Upgrading

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. For detailed instructions to back up your system, refer to Chapter 24, Backing Up and Restoring File Systems (Overview), in System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems.