Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Avoiding confusion about Solaris 10 patches and updates

Copy of an email sent to

Folks, the following sentence on serves only to confuse the issue.

As of November 29, 2005, the following options will be available for accessing Solaris 10 software updates:

Right from the start we have been pointing out that the Solaris 10 updates (eg s10u1, s10u2, …) will remain free for download. *I* understand that this is to remain the case. Many people are likely to be confused over over this now because of the phrase “software updates” in the above sentence.

Even though it *is* the case that the Solaris 10 updates will remain free, we *are* going to cop some confusion and the resulting bad feeling in the public forums through the use of these words.

Is it possible to choose a name less confusing? What was wrong with calling patches “patches”?


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Update – Nov 21

I’ve received an response from the patch policy folks along the lines of they’ll look at incorporating my comments for their next update before the end of November. Let’s wait and see.

I really don’t think we should be in the business of trying to confuse our customers. If this naming goes ahead we will have:

  • Solaris 10 Hardware Updates (adding New hardware support)
  • Solaris 10 Software Updates (patches)
  • Solaris 10 Updates (new functionality. eg zfs)

It’s starting to get silly.


Written by Alan

November 17, 2005 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Solaris

One Response

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  1. Yeah, I was a bit perplexed over the Hardware Updates vs. Updates. The differences are obvious, but the question is why? In the past, MUs have traditionally been the way that both hardware and software features had been introduced. You got a new server model, and you knew you needed to run Solaris 8 10/02 (aka MUx or later on it. If you wanted blah software feature, you know that was introduced with Solaris 9 2/04, etc etc. Keeping a mental matrix of hardware and software feature support was simple.

    Now we have Hardware Updates and plain Updates. HW1 has been released. Is it safe to assume that Update 1 will also contain the additions introduced in HW1? How about when HW2 is released (assuming prior to Update 2) will that be based off of FCS or Update 1?
    I guess their decision to break out the updates to hardware and software components is to accomodate the recent flurry of platform introductions (galaxy, sun4v) but I as a customer would really prefer the “traditional” release feature bundling and naming that we had up until Solaris 9 with the MUs.

    Dale Ghent

    December 6, 2005 at 9:51 pm

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