The Image Packaging System (IPS) is a framework that provides the capability for software lifecycle management, which includes installation, upgrade, and the removal of packages. IPS uses packaging mechanisms that are significantly different than the legacy SVR4 packaging mechanism that is used in Oracle Solaris 10.
An IPS package is a collection of directories, files, links, drivers, dependencies, groups, users, and license information in a defined format. This collection represents the installable objects of a package. Packages have attributes, such as package name and description. IPS packages are stored in IPS package repositories that are populated by IPS publishers. See Chapter 1, Introduction to the Image Packaging System in Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
IPS includes a suite of pkg commands that enable you to list, search, install, update, and remove software packages. See Chapters 2-4 in Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.3. IPS commands also enable you to manage package publishers, copy or create package repositories, configure the default path for an application that has multiple installed versions, and set image properties. See Chapter 4, Maintaining Your Local IPS Package Repository in Copying and Creating Package Repositories in Oracle Solaris 11.3 and Chapter 5, Configuring Installed Images in Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.3 for more information.