A ``software package'' is a separately installable software component that provides one or more capabilities or services to users. The package can contain compiled programs, files, and installation scripts.
A ``set'' is a special-purpose package, referred to as a Set Installation Package (SIP), and a collection of one or more packages that are members of the set. The SIP controls the installation of the set.
Both packages and sets are delivered on an ``installation medium''. An installation medium is any physical storage device, such as a disk or tape, on which packages can be stored.
A ``network installation'' is a process to install software that resides on one system in a network onto another system on the network.
Packages are delivered on a medium in one of two formats: ``filesystem format'' or ``datastream format''. The datastream format consists of a header and a series of cpio archives, and can be read from any raw device. pkgadd(1M) automatically determines the format of the medium when it reads the first volume. The format of a package can be translated (either from filesystem to datastream or vice-versa) by running the pkgtrans(1) command.
Software packages or sets can be installed from a directory.
This is useful in remote filesharing environments
where a directory containing packages or sets is exported
from a server computer to a large network.
You can also ``spool'' a package for later installation. Spooling causes the contents of the package to be copied from the installation medium to a spool directory. No other installation action, such as executing installation scripts, is taken.
You cannot spool a set directly. Use pkginfo(1) to determine which packages are members of the set, and then spool the package(s).