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

Chapter 34 About Installing, Booting, Halting, Cloning, and Uninstalling lx Branded Zones (Overview)

This chapter discusses the following topics:

Branded Zone Installation and Administration Concepts

The zoneadm command described in the zoneadm(1M) man page is the primary tool used to install and administer non-global zones. Operations using the zoneadm command must be run from the global zone. The following tasks can be performed using the zoneadm command:

For zone installation and verification procedures, see Chapter 35, Installing, Booting, Halting, Uninstalling and Cloning lx Branded Zones (Tasks) and the zoneadm(1M) man page. Also refer to the zoneadm(1M) man page for supported options to the zoneadm list command. For zone configuration procedures, see Chapter 33, Configuring the lx Branded Zone (Tasks), and the zonecfg(1M) man page. Zone states are described in Non-Global Zone State Model.

If you plan to produce Solaris auditing records for zones, read Using Solaris Auditing in Zones before you install non-global zones.

Note –

Once the zone is installed, all software configuration and management has to be done by the zone administrator using Linux tools from inside the zone.

lx Branded Zone Installation Methods

You can install an lx branded zone by using a tarball, CD-ROM or DVD discs, or an ISO image. If you install from discs or from an ISO image, you can specify Sun package cluster categories. The categories are cumulative. If you do not specify a cluster, the default is desktop.

Table 34–1 Package Cluster Categories

Sun Category 



The minimum set of packages needed to construct a zone. 


core plus server-oriented packages, such as httpd, mailman, imapd, and spam-assassin.


server plus user-oriented packages, such as evolution, gimp, mozilla, and openoffice.


desktop plus developer packages, such as bison, emacs, gcc, vim-X11, and many library development packages.


Everything on the install media that is known not to interfere with the zone's operation. Certain packages might not function in a Linux zone. 

To install configured lx branded zones, see How to Install an lx Branded Zone.

lx Branded Zone Construction

This section applies to only to initial zone construction, and not to the cloning of existing zones.

After you have configured a non-global zone, you should verify that the zone can be installed safely on your system's configuration. You can then install the zone. The files needed for the zone's root file system are installed by the system under the zone's root path. The Linux zone will be populated from CD, ISO images, or a tarball, as described in How to Install an lx Branded Zone.

The resources specified in the configuration file are added when the zone transitions from installed to ready. A unique zone ID is assigned by the system. File systems are mounted, network interfaces are set up, and devices are configured. Transitioning into the ready state prepares the virtual platform to begin running user processes.

A zone in the ready state does not have any user processes executing in it. The primary difference between a ready zone and a running zone is that at least one process is executing in a running zone. See the init(1M) man page for more information.

In the ready state, the zsched and zoneadmd processes are started to manage the virtual platform.

zoneadmd Zones Administration Daemon

The zones administration daemon, zoneadmd, is the primary process for managing the zone's virtual platform. For more information, see The zoneadmd Daemon.

zsched Zone Scheduling Process

The process that manages the application environment, zsched, is described in The zsched Zone Scheduler.

Branded Zone Application Environment

The zoneadm command is used to create the zone application environment.

All additional configuration is done by the zone administrator using Linux tools from within the zone.


Note that the root (superuser) password will be root when the zone is installed from the Sun tarball. The root (superuser) password will be unset (blank) when the zone is installed from ISO images or a CD.

About Halting, Rebooting, Uninstalling, and Cloning lx Branded Zones

This section provides an overview of the procedures for halting, rebooting, uninstalling, and cloning zones.

Halting a Branded Zone

The zoneadm halt command is used to remove both the application environment and the virtual platform for a zone. The zone is then brought back to the installed state. All processes are killed, devices are unconfigured, network interfaces are destroyed, file systems are unmounted, and the kernel data structures are destroyed.

The halt command does not run any shutdown scripts within the zone. To shut down a zone, see How to Use zlogin to Shut Down a Zone.

If the halt operation fails, see Zone Does not Halt.

Rebooting a Branded Zone

The zoneadm reboot command is used to reboot a zone. The zone is halted and then booted again. The zone ID will change when the zone is rebooted.

Branded Zone Boot Arguments

Zones support the following boot arguments used with the zoneadm boot and reboot commands:

The following definitions apply:

-i altinit

Selects an alternative executable to be the first process. altinit must be a valid path to an executable. The default first process is described in init(1M).


Boots the zone to init level s.

For usage examples, see How to Boot an lx Branded Zone and How to Boot an lx Branded Zone in Single-User Mode.

For information on the init command, see init(1M).

Branded Zone autoboot

If you set the autoboot resource property in a zone's configuration to true, that zone is automatically booted when the global zone is booted. The default setting is false.

Note that for zones to autoboot, the zones service svc:/system/zones:default must also be enabled.

Uninstalling the Branded Zone

The zoneadm uninstall command removes all of the files under the zone's root file system. Before proceeding, the command prompts you to confirm the action, unless the -F (force) option is also used. Use the uninstall command with caution, because the action is irreversible.

About Cloning an lx Branded Zone

Cloning allows you to copy an existing configured and installed zone on your system to rapidly provision a new zone on the same system. For more information about the clone process, see Cloning an lx Branded Zone on the Same System.

Booting and Rebooting lx Branded Zones

For procedures to boot and reboot zones, see How to Boot an lx Branded Zone and How to Reboot an lx Branded Zone.