System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

Managing the boot-archive Service

The boot-archive service is controlled by the Service Management Facility (SMF). The boot-archive service instance is svc:/system/boot-archive:default. The svcadm command is used to enable and disable services.

To verify whether the boot-archive service is running, use the svcs command.

For more information, see the svcadm(1M) and the svcs(1) man pages.

ProcedureHow to Enable or Disable the boot-archive Service

  1. Become superuser or assume an equivalent role.

  2. To enable or disable the boot-archive service, type:

    # svcadm enable | disable system/boot-archive
  3. To verify the state of the boot-archive service, type:

    % svcs boot-archive

    If the service is running, the output displays an online service state.

    STATE          STIME    FMRI
    online          9:02:38 svc:/system/boot-archive:default

    If the service is not running, the output indicates the service is offline.


For information about updating the boot archive by clearing the boot-archive service, see How to Update an Inconsistent Boot Archive by Clearing the boot-archive Service.

ProcedureHow to Update an Inconsistent Boot Archive by Clearing the boot-archive Service

The boot-archive service, svc:/system/boot-archive, is managed by SMF. This procedure shows how to update the boot archive when an inconsistent archive is detected during the boot process. Clearing the service works the same as running the boot -F failsafe command. Note that when you use this method to update the boot archives, there is no need to boot the failsafe archive or run the bootadm update-archive command. This command runs silently after the boot-archive service has been cleared.

Caution – Caution –

The preferred method for correcting an inconsistent boot archive is to boot the system in failsafe mode. See the following references for instructions on booting the failsafe archive:

For SPARC based systems, see Booting a SPARC Based System From the Network.

For x86 based systems, see Booting the Failsafe Archive on an x86 Based System.

  1. During the process of booting the system, if a warning similar to the following is displayed, ignore the warning.

    WARNING: The following files in / differ from the boot archive:
        changed file-name

    The system will enter system maintenance mode.

  2. Clear the boot-archive service by typing the following command:

    # svcadm clear system/boot-archive

    After this command is run, the bootadm update-archive command runs silently. If the boot archive is updated successfully, the system is rebooted.

  3. Verify the service is running.

    # svcs boot-archive
    STATE          STIME    FMRI
    online          9:02:38 svc:/system/boot-archive:default

Example 14–1 SPARC: Updating an inconsistent Boot Archive by Clearing the Boot-Archive Service

screen not found.
Can't open input device.
Keyboard not present.  Using ttya for input and output.

Sun Enterprise 220R (2 X UltraSPARC-II 450MHz), No Keyboard
OpenBoot 3.23, 1024 MB memory installed, Serial #13116682.
Ethernet address 8:0:20:c8:25:a, Host ID: 80c8250a.

Rebooting with command: boot                                          
Boot device: /pci@1f,4000/scsi@3/disk@1,0:a  File and args: 
SunOS Release 5.10 64-bit
Copyright 1983-2007 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Use is subject to license terms.
DEBUG enabled
misc/forthdebug (507204 bytes) loaded
Hostname: marnie

WARNING: The following files in / differ from the boot archive:

    changed /kernel/drv/sd.conf

The recommended action is to reboot to the failsafe archive to correct
the above inconsistency. To accomplish this, on a GRUB-based platform,
reboot and select the "Solaris failsafe" option from the boot menu.
On an OBP-based platform, reboot then type "boot -F failsafe". Then
follow the prompts to update the boot archive. Alternately, to continue
booting at your own risk, you may clear the service by running:
"svcadm clear system/boot-archive"

Nov 21 15:47:20 svc.startd[100004]: svc:/system/boot-archive:default: Method 
"/lib/svc/method/boot-archive" failed with exit status 95.
Nov 21 15:47:20 svc.startd[100004]: system/boot-archive:default failed fatally: 
transitioned to maintenance (see 'svcs -xv' for details)
Requesting System Maintenance Mode
(See /lib/svc/share/README for more information.)
Console login service(s) cannot run

Root password for system maintenance (control-d to bypass): 
single-user privilege assigned to /dev/console.
Entering System Maintenance Mode

Nov 21 15:48:36 su: 'su root' succeeded for root on /dev/console
Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.10, 
# svcadm clear system/boot-archive
# NIS domain name is
/dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s5 is clean
Reading ZFS config: done.
# bootadm update-archive
# svcs boot-archive
STATE          STIME    FMRI
online          9:02:38 svc:/system/boot-archive:default