System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System

Install the Zone

The zoneadm command described earlier in this guide and in the zoneadm(1M) man page is the primary tool used to install and administer non-global zones. Operations using the zoneadm command must be run from the global zone on the target system.

In addition to unpacking files from the archive, the install process performs checks, required postprocessing, and other functions to ensure that the zone is optimized to run on the host.

You can use an image of a Solaris system that has been fully configured with all of the software that will be run in the zone. See Creating the Image for Directly Migrating A Solaris System Into a Zone.

If you created a Solaris system archive from an existing system and use the -p (preserve sysidcfg) option when you install the zone, then the zone will have the same identity as the system used to create the image.

If you use the -u (sys-unconfig) option when you install the target zone, the zone produced will not have a hostname or name service configured.

Caution – Caution –

You must use either the -p option or the -u option. If you do not specify one of these two options, an error results.

Installer Options




Location of archive from which to copy system image. Full flash archive and cpio, gzip compressed cpio, bzip compressed cpio, and level 0 ufsdump are supported. Refer to the gzip man page available in the SUNWsfman package.

-d path

Location of directory from which to copy system image. 


Use the -d option with the dash parameter to direct that the existing directory layout be used in the zonepath. Thus, if the administrator manually sets up the zonepath directory before the installation, the -d option can be used to indicate that the directory already exists.


Preserve system identity. 


Install silently. 


sys-unconfig the zone.


Verbose output. 

The -a and -d options are mutually exclusive. The -p, -s, -u and -v options are only allowed when either -a or -d is provided.

ProcedureHow to Install the Zone

  1. Become superuser, or assume the Primary Administrator role.

  2. Install the configured zone s-zone by using the zoneadm command with the install -a option and the path to the archive.

    global# zoneadm -z s-zone install -u -a /net/machine_name/s-system.flar

    You will see various messages as the installation completes. This can take some time.

    When the installation completes, use the list subcommand with the -i and -v options to list the installed zones and verify the status.


If an installation fails, review the log file. On success, the log file is in two places: /var/tmp in the global zone, and /var/log inside the zone. On failure, the log file is in /var/tmp.

If a zone installation is interrupted or fails, the zone is left in the incomplete state. Use uninstall -F to reset the zone to the configured state.