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man pages section 5: File Formats

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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022



contents - list of files and associated packages




The file /var/sadm/install/contents is a source of information about the packages installed via the SVR4 package system. This file must never be edited directly.

Each entry in the contents file is a single line. Fields in each entry are separated by a single space character.

Two major styles of entries exist, old style and new style. The following is the format of an old-style entry:

ftype class path package(s)

The following is the general format of a new-style entry:

path[=rpath] ftype class [ftype-optional-fields] package(s)

New-style entries differ for each ftype. The ftype designates the entry type, as specified in pkgmap(5). The format for new-style entries, for each ftype, is as follows:

ftype s: path=rpath s class package
ftype l: path l class package
ftype d: path d class mode owner group package(s)
ftype b: path b class major minor mode owner group package
ftype c: path c class major minor mode owner group package
ftype f: path f class mode owner group size cksum modtime package
ftype x: path x class mode owner group package
ftype v: path v class mode owner group size cksum modtime package
ftype e: path e class mode owner group size cksum modtime package

A significant distinction between old- and new-style entries is that the former do not begin with a slash (/) character, while the latter (new-style) always do. For example, the following are old-style entries:

d none /dev SUNWcsd
e passwd /etc/passwd SUNWcsr

The following are new-style entries:

/dev d none 0755 root sys SUNWcsr SUNWcsd
/etc/passwd e passwd 0644 root sys 580 48299 1077177419 SUNWcsr

The following are the descriptions of the fields in both old- and new-style entries.


The absolute path of the node being described. For ftype s (indicating a symbolic link) this is the indirect pointer (link) name.


The relative path to the real file or linked-to directory name.


A one-character field that indicates the entry type (see pkgmap(5)).


The installation class to which the file belongs (see pkgmap(5)).


The package associated with this entry. For ftype d (directory) more than one package can be present.


The octal mode of the file (see pkgmap(5)).


The owner of the file (see pkgmap(5)).


The group to which the file belongs (see pkgmap(5)).


The major device number (see pkgmap(5)).


The minor device number (see pkgmap(5)).


The actual size of the file in bytes as reported by sum (see pkgmap(5)).


The checksum of the file contents (see pkgmap(5)).


The time of last modification (see pkgmap(5)).


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability

See Also

pkgmap(5), attributes(7), pkgadd(8), pkgadm(8), pkgchk(8)


As shown above, the interface stability of /var/sadm/install/contents is Uncommitted (see attributes(7)). It is common practice to use this file in a read-only manner to determine which files belong to which packages installed on a system. While this file has been present for many releases of the Solaris operating system, it might not be present in future releases. The fully supported way to obtain information from the installed package database is through pkgchk(8). It is highly recommended that you use pkgchk rather than relying on the contents file.

Note that only packages installed via SVR4 package commands are included in the contents file. While pkgchk(8) is the recommended way to query for packages, you need to use pkg(1) to query most of the packages on the system as they will be installed via IPS instead of SVR4.