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How to use PCA (Patch check Advanced) on Solaris 10

Patch Check Advanced, PCA , is a free tool that can be used to patch solaris systems. The cool thing about this tool is that it actually resolves the dependencies between patches. The tool can be downloaded here. PCA is very configurable, you can even get the results in html form. Be sure to read the usage section before doing anything.

I wanted to use PCA because I needed to do a live upgrade on one of my systems. The best practice for doing a Live Upgrade is to patch the system with some of the listed patches from the doc that sun provides before attempting to do the LU. In a way, this patching business of the system(s) before doing the LU defeats the purpose of using LU, because I realized when migrating from Solarisu3 to Solarisu7, one of the patches required a reboot!!

Here is how I used PCA.

I got the list of patches from the doc and put them in a file called patches_needed.
So, the file contains the list of patches in the following manner:

# cat /root/Downloads/patches_needed
118815-05
120900-04
121133-02
119254-64
119317-01
…………..

You can tell pca to read the patches from this file. But before doing this, you need to create a pca.conf file where pca is installed. The file pca.conf contains information regarding to your sun online account, so that pca can go and fetch these patches from sun using your sun online username and password. Here is an example of pca.conf:

# cat pca.conf

###Sun Online Account
user=<your sun online username>
passwd=<your sun online password>
###Other
syslog=user
safe=1

Now, you are ready to use pca to get all the patches and install them:

# for i in `cat /root/Download/patches_needed`; do ./pca -i $i;done;

This short bash for loop will read the file line by line and execute pca for each line to get that specific patch #. I don’t have the output but make sure to check the list that pca outputs to the screen.