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|Booting and Shutting Down Oracle Solaris on x86 Platforms Oracle Solaris 11 Information Library|
The Oracle Solaris boot architecture includes the following fundamental characteristics:
Use of a boot archive
The boot archive is a ramdisk image that contains all of the files that are required for booting a system. For more information, see Description of the Oracle Solaris Boot Archives.
Use of a boot administration interface to maintain the integrity of the Oracle Solaris boot archives
The bootadm command handles the details of boot archive update and verification. During an installation or upgrade, the bootadm command creates an initial boot archive. During the process of a normal system shutdown, the shutdown process compares the boot archive's contents with the root file system. If there have been updates to the system such as drivers or configuration files, the boot archive is rebuilt to include these changes so that upon reboot, the boot archive and root file system are synchronized. You can use the bootadm command to manually update the boot archive. For instructions, see Maintaining the Integrity of the Boot Archives.
Use of a ramdisk image as the root file system during installation
The ramdisk image is derived from the boot archive and then transferred to the system from the boot device.
In the case of a software installation, the ramdisk image is the root file system that is used for the entire installation process. Using the ramdisk image for this purpose eliminates the need to boot the system from removable media. The ramdisk file system type can be a High Sierra File System (HSFS).
This section describes the basic boot process on Oracle Solaris x86 platforms. For more information about boot processes on specific hardware types, including systems that have service processors and systems that have multiple physical domains, see the product documentation for your specific hardware at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/indexes/documentation/index.html.
When an x86 based system is powered on, the BIOS initializes the CPU, the memory, and the platform hardware. When the BIOS phase completes, the boot loader is loaded from the configured boot device and control of the system is transferred to the boot loader, which in turn starts the boot process. The boot loader is the first software program that runs after you turn on a system. This program starts the boot process. In Oracle Solaris the GRand Unified Bootloader, otherwise known as "GRUB", is the default boot loader on x86 based systems.