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


This book is part of a multivolume set that covers a significant part of the Solaris Operating System administration information. This book assumes that you have already installed the operating system and set up any networking software that you plan to use.

Note –

This Solaris release supports systems that use the SPARC and x86 families of processor architectures. The supported systems appear in the Solaris OS: Hardware Compatibility Lists at This document cites any implementation differences between the platform types.

In this document, these x86 related terms mean the following:

For supported systems, see the Solaris 10 Hardware Compatibility List.

About Solaris Containers

A Solaris Container, also known as a Solaris Zone, is a complete runtime environment for applications. Solaris 10 Resource Manager and Solaris Zones software partitioning technology are both parts of the container. The zone provides a virtual mapping from the application to the platform resources. Zones allow application components to be isolated from one another even though the zones share a single instance of the Solaris Operating System. Resource management features permit you to allocate the quantity of resources that a workload receives.

The zone establishes boundaries for resource consumption, such as CPU. These boundaries can be expanded to adapt to changing processing requirements of the application running in the zone.

Solaris 10 8/07: About Solaris Containers for Linux Applications

Solaris Containers for Linux Applications use Oracle's BrandZ technology to run Linux applications on the Solaris Operating System. Linux applications run unmodified in the secure environment provided by the non-global zone feature. This enables you to use the Solaris system to develop, test, and deploy Linux applications.

To use this feature, see Part III, lx Branded Zones.

Solaris 10 11/06 and Later: About Using Solaris Zones on a Solaris Trusted Extensions System

For information on using zones on a Solaris Trusted Extensions system, see Chapter 10, Managing Zones in Trusted Extensions (Tasks), in Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions Administrator’s Procedures.

Who Should Use This Book

This book is intended for anyone responsible for administering one or more systems that run the Solaris 10 release. To use this book, you should have at least one to two years of UNIX system administration experience.

How the System Administration Guides Are Organized

Here is a list of the topics that are covered by the System Administration Guides.

Book Title 


System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

User accounts and groups, server and client support, shutting down and booting a system, managing services, and managing software (packages and patches) 

System Administration Guide: Advanced Administration

Terminals and modems, system resources (disk quotas, accounting, and crontabs), system processes, and troubleshooting Solaris software problems 

System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

Removable media, disks and devices, file systems, and backing up and restoring data 

System Administration Guide: IP Services

TCP/IP network administration, IPv4 and IPv6 address administration, DHCP, IPsec, IKE, IP filter, Mobile IP, IP network multipathing (IPMP), and IPQoS 

System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP)

DNS, NIS, and LDAP naming and directory services, including transitioning from NIS to LDAP and transitioning from NIS+ to LDAP 

System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)

NIS+ naming and directory services 

System Administration Guide: Network Services

Web cache servers, time-related services, network file systems (NFS and Autofs), mail, SLP, and PPP 

System Administration Guide: Printing

Solaris printing topics and tasks, using services, tools, protocols, and technologies to set up and administer printing services and printers 

System Administration Guide: Security Services

Auditing, device management, file security, BART, Kerberos services, PAM, Solaris cryptographic framework, privileges, RBAC, SASL, and Solaris Secure Shell 

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

Resource management topics projects and tasks, extended accounting, resource controls, fair share scheduler (FSS), physical memory control using the resource capping daemon (rcapd), and resource pools; virtualization using Solaris Zones software partitioning technology

Oracle Solaris ZFS Administration Guide

ZFS storage pool and file system creation and management, snapshots, clones, backups, using access control lists (ACLs) to protect ZFS files, using Solaris ZFS on a Solaris system with zones installed, emulated volumes, and troubleshooting and data recovery 

Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions Administrator’s Procedures

System administration that is specific to a Solaris Trusted Extensions system 

Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions Configuration Guide

Starting with the Solaris 10 5/08 release, describes how to plan for, enable, and initially configure Solaris Trusted Extensions 

Related Book

Solaris Containers: Resource Management and Solaris Zones Developer’s Guide describes how to write applications that partition and manage system resources and discusses which APIs to use. Programming examples and a discussion of programming issues to consider when writing an application are also provided.

Related Third-Party Web Site References

Third-party URLs are referenced in this document and provide additional, related information.

Note –

Oracle is not responsible for the availability of third-party web sites mentioned in this document. Oracle does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials that are available on or through such sites or resources. Oracle will not be responsible or liable for any actual or alleged damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services that are available on or through such sites or resources.

Documentation, Support, and Training

See the following web sites for additional resources:

Oracle Welcomes Your Comments

Oracle welcomes your comments and suggestions on the quality and usefulness of its documentation. If you find any errors or have any other suggestions for improvement, go to and click Feedback. Indicate the title and part number of the documentation along with the chapter, section, and page number, if available. Please let us know if you want a reply.

Oracle Technology Network offers a range of resources related to Oracle software:

Typographic Conventions

The following table describes the typographic conventions that are used in this book.

Table P–1 Typographic Conventions





The names of commands, files, and directories, and onscreen computer output 

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% you have mail.


What you type, contrasted with onscreen computer output 

machine_name% su



Placeholder: replace with a real name or value 

The command to remove a file is rm filename.


Book titles, new terms, and terms to be emphasized 

Read Chapter 6 in the User's Guide.

A cache is a copy that is stored locally.

Do not save the file.

Note: Some emphasized items appear bold online.

Shell Prompts in Command Examples

The following table shows the default UNIX system prompt and superuser prompt for shells that are included in the Oracle Solaris OS. Note that the default system prompt that is displayed in command examples varies, depending on the Oracle Solaris release.

Table P–2 Shell Prompts



Bash shell, Korn shell, and Bourne shell 


Bash shell, Korn shell, and Bourne shell for superuser 


C shell 


C shell for superuser 


About Virtualization

The goal of virtualization is to move from managing individual datacenter components to managing pools of resources. Successful server virtualization can lead to improved server utilization and more efficient use of server assets. Virtualization reduces costs through the sharing of hardware, infrastructure, and administration. Server virtualization is also important for successful server consolidation projects that maintain the isolation of separate systems.

For an index of Sun's virtualization products, with links to additional documentation and information, see Oracle Virtualization Technologies on the home page.