SUMMARY: upgrading OS on spare live disk

From: David Mitchell (
Date: Thu Nov 25 1999 - 05:55:15 CST

I asked:

> Is it possible to install a newer release of Solaris onto a spare
> disk on a live system without taking the system down and booting off CDROM.

The general concensus was that this is not supported, but may be a feature
in Solaris 8. A couple of people suggested doing an install on
an identical machine then moving the disk across, but I havent
got a spare machine of the same architecture :-(

Cyril Godon says he managed to a similar thing moving from 2.3 to 2.5.1
- I've included his email below. Unfortunately I havent got the time
or the nerve to experiment with this on my big shiny server!

Thanks to:

Mark Natoli <> (Brian Scanlan )
Alan Orndorff <>
"Godon, Cyril" <>

* Dave Mitchell, Operations Manager,
* Fretwell-Downing Facilities Ltd, UK.
* Tel: +44 114 281 6113. The usual disclaimers....
* Standards (n). Battle insignia or tribal totems


From: "Godon, Cyril" <>
To: "'David Mitchell'" <>
Subject: RE: upgrading OS on spare live disk
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:29:28 +0100
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by id

Hi David,

I did it from 2.3 to 2.5.1 some years ago (I had to upgrade 150 remote
solaris servers, and it was the only way I found to do it fastly).
I don't remember all the steps but the main command is pfinstall.
You must give it a jumpstart profile.
If you configure properly the environment before you call it, it was (in
2.3) able to install a 2.5.1 solaris image while solaris 2.3 was running.

You should look at the startup scripts and commands from the cdrom to
identify all the steps needed.

I remember the only problem encountered was something about swap. 2.5.1
pfinstall removed the swap slices before adding the new ones. It was why I
used the 2.3 pfinstall instead.

Building such an install procedure is very long since there is no
documentation about the different install commands and scripts...
This is also not a very supported way to install solaris.

I hope this will help you and I would be very interested in knowing the
results of your tests (if any),


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:13:33 CDT