System Administration Guide: Oracle Solaris Containers-Resource Management and Oracle Solaris Zones

Zone Administrator Mounting Over File Systems Populated by the Global Zone

The presence of files within a file system hierarchy when a non-global zone is first booted indicates that the file system data is managed by the global zone. When the non-global zone was installed, a number of the packaging files in the global zone were duplicated inside the zone. These files must reside under the zonepath directly. If the files reside under a file system created by a zone administrator on disk devices or ZFS datasets added to the zone, packaging and patching problems could occur.

The issue with storing any of the file system data that is managed by the global zone in a zone-local file system can be described by using ZFS as an example. If a ZFS dataset has been delegated to a non-global zone, the zone administrator should not use that dataset to store any of the file system data that is managed by the global zone. The configuration could not be patched or upgraded correctly.

For example, a ZFS delegated dataset should not be used as a /var file system. The Solaris operating system delivers core packages that install components into /var. These packages have to access /var when they are upgraded or patched, which is not possible if /var is mounted on a delegated ZFS dataset.

File system mounts under parts of the hierarchy controlled by the global zone are supported. For example, if an empty /usr/local directory exists in the global zone, the zone administrator can mount other contents under that directory.

You can use a delegated ZFS dataset for file systems that do not need to be accessed during patching or upgrade, such as /export in the non-global zone.