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|System Administration Guide: Oracle Solaris Containers-Resource Management and Oracle Solaris Zones Oracle Solaris Legacy Containers|
In the event that the system state associated with the zone cannot be destroyed, the halt operation will fail halfway. This leaves the zone in an intermediate state, somewhere between running and installed. In this state there are no active user processes or kernel threads, and none can be created. When the halt operation fails, you must manually intervene to complete the process.
The most common cause of a failure is the inability of the system to unmount all file systems. Unlike a traditional Oracle Solaris system shutdown, which destroys the system state, zones must ensure that no mounts performed while booting the zone or during zone operation remain once the zone has been halted. Even though zoneadm makes sure that there are no processes executing in the zone, the unmount operation can fail if processes in the global zone have open files in the zone. Use the tools described in the proc(1) (see pfiles) and fuser(1M) man pages to find these processes and take appropriate action. After these processes have been dealt with, reinvoking zoneadm halt should completely halt of the zone.
For a zone that cannot be halted, as of the Oracle Solaris 10 10/09 release, you can migrate a zone that has not been detached by using the zoneadm attach -F option to force the attach without a validation. The target system must be properly configured to host the zone. An incorrect configuration could result in undefined behavior. Moreover, there is no way to know the state of the files within the zone.