SUMMARY: (update) Solaris 2.5.1 Y2K patchcluster install is very slow / hangs

From: Stefan Voss (
Date: Mon Nov 08 1999 - 07:31:40 CST


after sending my 1st SUMMARY, I got some more mails/suggestions/comments from
these people:

   Stacy Lindberg <>
   Mark Natoli <>
   Neil Brosnan <>
   David Foster <>
   A Burgess <>

Thanks to all of them.

This is, what they suggested/reported:

(1) I need not to write a script, to install only the patches that I need, I can
just change the patch_order file - that's true, thanks for reminding me.

(2) I could use "fastpatch " ( Its a
perl script - would require you feed the cluster list to it.

(3) Someone read (somewhere) a few week ago that there was a patch which greatly
speeded up all other patch installs - (did not mention clusters). Perhaps you
could search bugid's for "slow patch install" if you have not already done so.

(4) to do this:

   1. Full backup (online)
   2. Run patch installs online.
   3. Reboot to make them take effect.

   It is a bit risky, but it has worked for us, and downtime is reduced to
   a reboot.

Some others had apparently (cf. Point 4 above) the same problem, Mark Natoli

   The install of the Recommeded patch set took 3-4 hours on a SS10. Then the
   smaller Y2K cluster took at least that long if not longer. It appeared hung,
   but I couldn't log in to check (I was in single user mode). I called Sun
   service and they said I could break out of it, but I waited it out instead
   and it finally completed.

However, last weekend, I had a free machine to test the installation again - I
packed all patches on a CD-ROM (the machine had not enough free disk space to
hold all patches on a local disk) and then installed the recommended patches and
then the y2k patches - while the installation of the recommended patches went as
fast as expected, it took 5 hours (!) (OK, a CD-ROM is not as fast as a hard
disk, but...) to install the y2k patches (or better: to find out, that most of
them were already installed or not neccesary on this particular machine).

Conclusion: installing the 2.5.1 y2k patches is simply a very very time
consuming process and much slower than installing the recommended patches...



Just for completeness, I include the first SUMMARY as well as the original
question here again:


Hmmm, nothing, that I would call a "solution", only some suggestions...

1. I was asked, whther /opt was mounted. Yes, it was, it is on the same partion
as /

2. I was advised to put the machine in single user mode not using "init1", but
with "init 0" and then "boot -s" - this is exactly, what I did.

3. It was suggested, that there was not enough swap space - the machines have
1.2 GB and 500 MB swap respectively, that should be enough.

4. there was enough free space (i.e. more that 4 MB) in /, /var, /usr and /opt
(actually, these four file systems reside on to partitions: / and /usr). On the
machine, where the install hung immediately at the first patch, there was more
than 100 MB free:

machine1# df / /usr
Filesystem kbytes used avail capacity Mounted on
/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 96455 27558 59257 32% /
/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s5 394455 91398 263617 26% /usr

machine2# df / /usr
Filesystem kbytes used avail capacity Mounted on
/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 384012 214179 131433 62% /
/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s6 384012 195973 149639 57% /usr

It seems, that I have to run the install_cluster overnight (still a very long
time) or that I have to write a script, which installs exactly those patches
which are missing according to sunscan in order to keep the down time as short
as possible (the machines are running 25 hours a day and 8 days a week).


"Michael J. Connolly" <>
John D Groenveld <>
"Bill Carroll" <>
"Michael J. Connolly" <>


recently, I downloaded the the Solaris 2.5.1 recommended patch cluster and the
y2k patch cluster (as of Oct 21st/20th). Installation of the recommended patches
went fine and surprisingly fast !

However, installing the y2k patches failed: the install_cluster script hanged,
when it checked for the first patch to install ("Checking installed packages and
patches..."). On a second machine, the first 3 or 4 patches could be
installed/checked (but that took a very long time), and then the script hung
(i.e. did nothing for 15 or 30 minutes or so, until a did a Control-C -
obviously the only way to get out of that).

This is, what /var/sadm/install_data/Solaris_2.5.1_y2000_ALL_log contains:
*** Install Solaris 2.5.1 y2000_ALL begins Fri Oct 29 15:11:14 MET DST 1999 ***
*** PATCHDIR = /mnt/patches/2.5.1_y2000_ALL ***
Installing 103891-06...
Checking installed packages and patches...

BTW: I installed the patches, when the machine was in single user mode (as

Of course, I checked the archive, but found nothing appropriate.

Thanks again,

                                     (o o)

  Stefan Voss Phone: 0049 / (0)5130-9775-51
  System and Network Administration Fax: 0049 / (0)5130-9775-10
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