The software installed in solaris branded zones, as described in brands(5), must be compatible with the software that is installed in the global zone. The pkg command automatically enforces this compatibility. If the pkg update command is run in the global zone to update software, zones are also updated, to keep the zones in sync with the global zone. The non-global zone and global zone can have different software installed. The pkg command can also be used in a zone to manage software within that zone.
If the pkg update command (with no FMRIs specified) is run in the global zone, pkg will update all the software in both the global zone and any non-global zones on the system.
You can use the trial-run, also called dry-run, installation capability of pkg install in Oracle Solaris Zones. To perform a trial run installation, use the pkg-install -n command syntax. If the system generates reject messages during the trial run installation, see Package Cannot Be Installed in Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.3 for possible resolutions to the issues.
Using a zone package variant, the various components within a package are specifically tagged to only be installed in either a global zone (global) or a non-global zone (nonglobal). A given package can contain a file that is tagged so that it will not be installed into a non-global zone.
Only a subset of the Oracle Solaris packages installed in the global zone are completely replicated when a non-global zone is installed. For example, many packages that contain the Oracle Solaris kernel are not needed in a non-global zone. All non-global zones implicitly share the same kernel from the global zone.
For more information, see Working with Non-Global Zones in Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.3 and Installing Oracle Solaris 11.3 Systems.