Patch Check Advanced

Patch Check Advanced

Post by Martin Pau » Wed, 10 Sep 2003 21:21:56

After living with the deficiencies of Sun's patchdiag and patchcheck
for a long time, I developed an advanced version of Patch Check (PCA),
which I'm now making available for download on:

PCA basically does the same as patchcheck - generate lists of
installed and uninstalled patches. It has a lot of advantages,
though, like:

  - Same, easily understandable format for the reports of installed and
    uninstalled patches.
  - Shows Recommended/Security status for installed patches.
  - Shows all uninstalled Recommended/Security patches in one concise
    list. A patch is defined uninstalled if it either isn't installed
    at all, or if it is isn't installed in its most recent revision.
  - Doesn't show false positives in the list of uninstalled patches.
    Only patches for packages which are actually installed are listed.
  - Doesn't show uninstalled patches which are marked Obsolete/Bad.
  - Easy to see if the revision of an installed patch is older, equal to
    or newer than the most recent patch revision.
  - Easy to see if installed patches are not listed in the cross reference
    file, or if the installed revision is newer than the one listed in
    the cross reference file.
  - It's faster (pca -a is about 50% faster than patchk -l) and
    smaller (and therefore, easier to understand).

I'm using pca on a daily basis for some time now, and hope it proves
to be useful for others, too.

                         Martin Paul | Systems Administrator

       University of Vienna, Austria |


1. PCA (Patch Check Advanced) 2.0

Some of you might know pca already - it's a tool for patch analysis,
download and installation for Solaris. Unlike Sun's various tools,
it runs on any version of Solaris, is easy to install (just one perl
script), and is very fast. It's available for free from:

I recently completed a testing marathon, installing Solaris 2.5.1, 2.6,
7, 8, 9, and 10 (SPARC, unpatched FCS versions, entire distribution)
and running "pca -xup" on all of them, which downloads and installs all
available patches. At the end, a total of 1953 patches were installed
successfully, covering the last 10 years of Solaris development.

The result is the most recent version of the pca script (2.0), and an
updated list of all problematic patches - which might be useful even
if you use some other method of installing patches. See:

Hope it's useful for other Solaris users or admins.

Systems Administrator | Institute of Scientific Computing | Univ. of Vienna

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