Zones on the OpenSolaris release are a work in progress; they are evolving as development continues. The software management aspect of zones is changing because OpenSolaris uses IPS instead of SVr4 packaging and patching. Thus, work in still being done where zones are impacted by software management, such as installation and migration.
The Image Packaging System (IPS) is a new model for software management in the OpenSolaris 2009.06 Release, and zones are changing to utilize this model. The following differences should be noted:
The ipkg brand is the default instead of the native brand, which is the default on SX systems.
ipkg branded zones are whole-root type only; inherit-pkg-dir should not be used.
The sparse root type of zone describes a fundamental interaction between zones and the package management system, and IPS doesn't support this concept. Sun is working on providing the positive attributes of sparse root zones in other ways.
Zones have different software management related functionality in these areas:
IPS versus SVR4 packaging
Install, detach/attach, "physical to virtual" (P2V) capability
Zones have different global zone software operations; they employ manual syncing, not patching. Currently, the zones don't automatically update when you pkg image-update the system. You must manually update the zones after rebooting to keep them in sync with the global zone. In a future release, this update should happen automatically.
Until pkg_image-update is fully supported, you can use zoneadmdetach and attach -u as a workaround. Detach the zone before running pkg_image-update, then use attach -u after running pkg_image-update. See About Migrating a Zone for more information on these commands.
Global zones are integrated with beadm and use boot environments as described in beadm Zones Support. In a future release, support for beadm inside zones is planned.
The zone root is a ZFSTM dataset. In a future release, this feature will enable support for beadm inside zones for pkg_image-update, just as you can do in the global zone. To accomplish this, the zone's root dataset must be controlled inside the zone.
Zone software is minimized to start; any additional packages the zone requires must be added. See OpenSolaris Package Repositories for more information.
You must be on the network to install a zone. Installation is from the OpenSolaris Packaging Repository. See OpenSolaris 2009.06 Image Packaging System Guide for more information.
To control the software installed in the ipkg brand zone, use the -e option to the zoneadm install command.
# zoneadm -z zonename install -e pkgA -e pkgB ...
For information on zones in the OpenSolaris release, visit the Zones OpenSolaris Community. This site will be updated to address the latest issues.