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Tools for Managing Software

After installing the Solaris operating environment, you'll find it necessary to install additional software packages, or perhaps remove software from the system. In addition, you'll most likely need to install operating system patches on an on-going basis. Solaris provides the tools for adding and removing software from a system. These are described in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3. Tools for Managing Software



Managing Software from the Command Line


Adds software packages to the system.


Removes software packages from the system.


Checks the accuracy of a software package installation.


Displays software package information.


Stores answers in a response file so that they can be supplied automatically during an installation.


Displays package parameter values.


Translates an installable package from one format to another.

Managing Software from the Graphical User Interface

Solaris Product Registry

Manages all of your Solaris software.

Web Start installer

Installs or removes a software package with a GUI or text-based installer wizard.

Sun and its third-party vendors deliver software products in a form called a software package. As I described earlier, a package is a collection of files and directories in a defined format that conforms to the Application Binary Interface (ABI), a supplement to the System V Interface Definition. The Solaris operating environment provides a set of utilities that interpret the ABI format and provides the means to install or remove a package or to verify its installation.

Use the pkgadd or pkgrm commands directly from the command line to load or remove software packages. The pkgadd and pkgrm commands can be incorporated into scripts to automate the software-installation process. Many third-party vendors use pkgadd in scripts as a means of installing their software.

The Solaris Product Registry, also a front-end GUI for the software package commands described in Table 2.5, is a system for maintaining records of the software products installed on a Solaris system. The Product Registry includes a GUI tool to make managing your Solaris software easier. The Product Registry enables you to install, list, or uninstall Solaris software packages or clusters.

Also included on many CD-ROMs that ship with Solaris is the installer utility, which invokes a Web Start install wizard sequence that leads the user through a sequence of installation windows. This installer utility is found in the top-level directory on many CD-ROMs that ship with Solaris. When the installer is on a CD-ROM being accessed from a desktop file manager, double-click the installer to start the installation sequence. If the user is not currently the system's root user, the system will request the root user password.

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