Using the HP-UX Software Assistant (swa)

The HP-UX Software Assistant (or swa) is a tool that makes it much easier to keep your HP-UX systems up-to-date. The tool is included for free with HP-UX (or can be downloaded for free) and is very useful; it beats having to go to the ITRC every time you want updates. There is also a very nice manual available online.

There are basically two steps: creating the report (which details what is needed) with the command swa report, and getting the patches to install with the command swa get.

I’ve found that this command is the most useful form to get the report done:

swa report -x crl_check=false -r html > somepath.html

This creates a report and saves it to the path you name (instead of somepath.html of course). The crl_check option turns off the Certification Revocation List (CRL) checking done by swa.

Then, once this is done, you can get the patches with this command:

swa get -x crl_check=false -t /var/tmp/depot

This will put a copy of the patches into a depot at the directory you name. Probably best that that directory be empty to start with. In this case, the depot is to be created in /var/tmp/depot; you could create it somewhere else. However, don’t use a networked drive: that is asking for trouble.

When the patches are downloaded and the depot created, use something like this to install the patches:

swinstall -i -s /var/tmp/depot @ /

This will start an interactive swinstall session with the depot as the source and the local machine as the target. The program swinstall is the standard method of installing depots onto an HP-UX system.

More information can be had from the main swa man page, or from swa-get and swa-report man pages. There is also a command to clean out the caches used by swa (swa clean), as well as a command (swa step) that allows you to perform any solitary step by itself (rather than doing it all at once with get and report). More about these commands are available from the man pages for swa-step and swa-clean.

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