SUMMARY: problem installing patches

From: Rich Casto (
Date: Wed Nov 27 1996 - 09:25:23 CST

I posted the following problem:

> I'm trying to install a patch to Solaris 2.5 and get an
> error from pkgadd when running the "installpatch" script
> that came with the package. I added an "echo" statement to
> the script so I could see what the pkgadd command looked
> like:
> # ./installpatch -B /opt1/patches.backout .
> Generating list of files to be patched...
> Verifying sufficient filesystem capacity (exhaustive method) ...
> Installing patch packages...
> pkgadd -S -n -a /tmp/admin.tmp.6411 -r /tmp/response.6411.1 -R / -d . SUNWcsr 1>/tmp/pkgaddlog.6411 2>&1
> pkgadd: ERROR: checkinstall script did not complete successfully
> The installation of patch 103169-06 was interrupted.
> Installpatch needs to be re-invoked to ensure proper installation of the patch.
> Backoutpatch is terminating.
> Installpatch is terminating.
> What is the '-S' option to pkgadd? It's not documented in
> the manpage. Is this install script incorrect?

Most people either pointed me to the Solaris FAQ or summarized what it
said regarding the pkgadd error. Here's the relevant portion:

5.53) Patch installation often fails with "checkinstall" errors.

    When installing a patch, the Solaris 2.5+ patch installation
    procedure will execute the script "checkinstall" with uid nobody.

    If any of the patch files cannot be read by nobody or if any part
    of the path leading up to the patch directory an error similar to
    the following will appear:

    ./installpatch .
    Generating list of files to be patched...
    Verifying sufficient filesystem capacity (exhaustive method) ...
    Installing patch packages...
    pkgadd: ERROR: checkinstall script did not complete successfully

    You can workaround this in two ways, one is to make sure that
    nobody can read all patch files and execute a "pwd" in the patch
    directory or add an account "install" to /etc/passwd:

        install:x:0:1:installpatch braindamage:/:/bin/true

    Installpatch uses "nobody" as a fallback if it cannot find the "install"

    --- end of excerpt from the FAQ

Questions marked with a * or + have been changed or added since
the FAQ was last posted

The most recently posted version of the FAQ is available from

Only 1 person told me what the '-S' option to pkgadd is:

  The "S"-Option is not documented. It stands for "Silent".
  Do a pkgadd without it, and it will drown you in messages!

Thanks to the following people (sorry if I missed anyone):

Kent R Arnott <>
Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
Rachel Polanskis <>
Ian MacPhedran <Ian_MacPhedran@engr.USask.Ca>
Ric Anderson <>
Todd Pfaff <>
Jens Fischer <>
Herbert Wengatz <>


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