Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mangling the contents file for fun and profit

I was recently using Live Upgrade to update a Solaris 10 system, when it went and chucked the following error at me and refused to go any further:

WARNING: Directory </usr/openv> zone <global> lies on a filesystem shared between BEs, remapping path to </usr/openv-S10U10>.
WARNING: Device <storage/backup> is shared between BEs, remapping to <storage/backup-S10U10>.
Mounting ABE <S10U10>.
ERROR: error retrieving mountpoint source for dataset <storage/backup-S10U10>
ERROR: failed to mount file system <storage/backup-S10U10> on </.alt.tmp.b-yPg.mnt/usr/openv-S10U10>

What I have is Netbackup installed in /usr/openv, and this is a separate filesystem (in fact, it's on a completely separate pool on completely separate drives).

The underlying problem here is that Solaris thinks there's part of the OS installed in /usr/openv, so it gets included in the scope of the upgrade. I've seen this in other cases where someone has stuck Netbackup off to the side, and it drags way too much stuff into scope.

On backup clients, the simplest thing to do is remove the client and reinstall it when you're done. You might get a free upgrade of the backup client along the way.

In this case I was working on the master backup server and didn't want to touch the installation at all.

One advantage of SVR4 packaging is that the package "database" is just a bunch of text files. If anything gets messed up you can open them up in your favourite editor and fix things up. (In one case, I remember simply copying /var/sadm off a similar system and nothing noticed the difference.)

The list of what files are installed is the contents file (found at /var/sadm/install/contents). The Live Upgrade process looks at this file to work out where software is installed. So all I had to do here was

grep /usr/openv contents > contents.openv

to save the entries for later, and

grep -v /usr/openv contents > contents.new
mv  contents.new contents

to create a contents file without any references to /usr/openv.

After this, Live Upgrade worked a treat and didn't try and stick its nose where it wasn't wanted.

Then, after the upgrade, I just had to merge the saved contents.openv I saved above into the new contents file. There's a bit of a trick here - the contents file is sorted on filename, so you can't just cat them together. I opened up the new contents file, went to the right place, inserted the saved entries, and was good to go.


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