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The Oracle Live Upgrade document* states that these patches need to be done before doing the LiveUpgrade: *Document 1004881.1, "Solaris 10 5/08 (Update 5) or later:"

119254-LR  Install and Patch Utilities Patch
121430-LR  Live Upgrade patch
121428-LR  SUNWluzone required patches
138130-01  vold patch
146578-06  cpio patch (The most recent replacement for this patch is 148027-03)

Dependencies for the last patch:

Patch-ID# 142909-17 Synopsis: SunOS 5.10: kernel patch (needs reboot)
Patch-ID# 137137-09 Synopsis: SunOS 5.10: kernel patch (needs reboot)

Post-update packages:

146670-02 (SunOS 5.10: libproject patch, needs reboot)
147774-01 automountd patch

7 patches need to be done before Live Upgrading the server with lucreate, luupgrade and luuactivate.

I have been told that a Live Upgrade from update 8 to update 10 can be done with 5 minutes downtime on a ZFS server. With the reboot, it might take up to one hour and a half as the luupgrade process is time-consuming.

What is the truth? Should I do the Live Upgrade without the reboot for the pre-upgrade patches (142909-17, 137137-09) so I can do the lucreate/luupgrade/luactivate while the server is running and have 5 minutes downtime or do the reboot after the patches and accept that downtime might take up to 2 hours.

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You can do it with a single reboot but it is not advised. It is advised that you should reboot after installing the live upgrade pre-requisite patches.

I have on a few occasions gone ahead and performed the live upgrade without rebooting, it worked without problems, but this is not recommended.

Note that the system is live during the live-upgrade process. It can actually take a lot longer than 1.5 hours, depending on how many zones you have, but the only downtime it the reboot to activate the updated ABE.

If you want to do it the right way, then

  1. Install the pre-req patches.
  2. Reboot to properly initialize these patches.
  3. Perform the Lucreate/luupdate
  4. When convenient, perform luactivate and reboot again.

One thing to be aware of: Ensure that you have console access when rebooting after live upgrade. I have seen many times that systems fail to reboot on either file systems which are not handled by live-upgrade, or else because the new version of Solaris suddenly wants to prompt you for the keyboard type and waits for this sys-identification information in single-user mode before completing the boot-up process.

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