System Administration Guide, Volume 1

SPARC: Disk Slices

On SPARC based systems, Solaris defines eight disk slices and assigns to each a conventional use. These slices are numbered 0 through 7. The table below summarizes the contents of the eight Solaris slices on a SPARC based system.

Table 28-2 SPARC: Customary Disk Slices


File System 

Usually Found on Client or Server Systems? 




Holds files and directories that make up the operating system. 



Provides virtual memory, or swap space. Swap space is used when running programs are too large to fit in a computer's memory. The Solaris operating environment then "swaps" programs from memory to the disk and back as needed.



Refers to the entire disk, by convention. It is defined automatically by the format and the Solaris installation programs. The size of this slice should not be changed.


Server only 

Holds alternative versions of the operating system. These alternative versions are required by client systems whose architectures differ from that of the server. Clients with the same architecture type as the server obtain executables from the /usr file system, usually slice 6.


Server only 

Provides virtual memory space for client systems. 



Holds application software added to a system. If a slice is not allocated for this file system during installation, the /opt directory is put in slice 0.



Holds operating system commands--also known as executables-- designed to be run by users. This slice also holds documentation, system programs (init and syslogd, for example) and library routines.

/home or



Holds files created by users.