Posted on May 20, 2010

For those of you who may be unclear on what BFU is, it has become short for Blazing Fast Upgrades. The Solaris (“Nevada OS/Network Consolidation”, to be specific) source traditionally had the ability to output BFU images, which are really just cpio archives that can be overlaid on an installed system. The idea was to allow developers to quickly and painlessly (as possible) update to the new builds without the usual patch hassles or doing a full re-install.

For some time now you’ve had the option to download CD/DVD images of OpenSolaris (or SX:CE, or whatever), the source and tools themselves, or BFU images. When you combine BFU with the ACR (Automatic Conflict Resolution) tool, you could keep ugprading from build to build for a while before the works got so gummed up that you needed to reinstall.

You’ll notice that snv_139 and snv_140 didn’t include BFU’s, making me wonder if this was a temporary problem or a permanent change.

Turns out BFU’s are, essentially, gone for good. The source, supposedly, can still produce them, but they will no longer be provided with the source releases and very soon they won’t be possible at all.

In March, Liane Praza announced in a Flag Day report, among other things, that:

“BFU is still available (though ACR is not), but pkg image-update is the preferred testing method. Support for BFU is expected to be removed in a few builds.”

That was March, “in a few builds” is now.

I’m informed by James McPherson that following the integration of the IPS packaging changes, the onu (“Os/Net Update”) tool will be replacing BFU, preforming essentially the same function.

If you want to keep up on all the deep changes that are happening to ON because of IPS, please subscribe to the on-ips-dev mailing list.

I hope you can start to understand just how major a change IPS really is… its not a topical cream for Solaris… its a heart transplant.