System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System


System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System is part of a multivolume set that covers a significant part of the SolarisTM 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: UltraSPARC®, SPARC64, AMD64, Pentium, and Xeon EM64T. The supported systems appear in the Solaris 10 Hardware Compatibility List at This document cites any implementation differences between the platform types.

About the Sun xVM Hypervisor

The SunTM xVM Hypervisor is based on the work of the Xen community. The hypervisor supports multiple operating system instances simultaneously. In a running system, the hypervisor fits between the hardware and the operating system. The hypervisor virtualizes the system's hardware to transparently share and partition the system's resources, such as CPUs, memory, and network interface cards (NICs), among the user domains.

About Solaris Containers

A Solaris Container is a complete runtime environment for applications. Solaris Resource Manager and Solaris Zones software partitioning technology form the container. These components address different qualities the container can deliver and work together to create the container. The zones portion of the container 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 container 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 container.

See About Zones in the OpenSolaris 2009.06 Release to see the differences between zones in the OpenSolaris 2009.06 release and zones in Solaris Express (SX) releases.

About Solaris Containers for Linux Applications

Solaris Containers for Linux Applications use Sun'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, Linux Branded Zones.

About Using Solaris Zones on a Solaris Trusted Extensions System

For information on using zones on a Solaris Trusted Extensions system, see Chapter 16, Managing Zones in Trusted Extensions (Tasks), in Solaris Trusted Extensions Administrator’s Procedures. Note that only the labeled brand can be booted on an OpenSolaris system configuration.

Who Should Use This Book

This book is intended for anyone responsible for administering one or more systems that run the Solaris 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, Solaris 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: Network Interfaces and Network Virtualization

Networking stack, NIC driver property configuration, network interface configuration, administration of VLANs and link aggregations, configuring WiFi wireless networking 

System Administration Guide: Network Services

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

System Administration Guide: Solaris 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: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System

Resource management features, which enable you to control how applications use available system resources; zones software partitioning technology, which virtualizes operating system services to create an isolated environment for running applications; and virtualization using Sun xVM hypervisor technology, which supports multiple operation system instances simultaneously 

Solaris CIFS Administration Guide

Solaris CIFS service, which enables you to configure a Solaris system to make CIFS shares available to CIFS clients; and native identity mapping services, which enables you to map user and group identities between Solaris systems and Windows systems 

Solaris Trusted Extensions Administrator’s Procedures

System installation, configuration, and administration that is specific to Solaris Trusted Extensions 

Solaris ZFS Administration Guide

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

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 –

Sun is not responsible for the availability of third-party web sites mentioned in this document. Sun 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. Sun 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

The Sun web site provides information about the following additional resources:

Typographic Conventions

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

Table P–1 Typographic Conventions

Typeface or Symbol 




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 table in this section shows the default UNIX system prompt and superuser prompt for the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell.

Note that if you have the appropriate role account on the OpenSolaris system, you can type the pfexec command before the privileged command:

$ pfexec acctadm -x process

You can execute a privileged command in a profile shell by typing pfsh with a Return:

$ pfsh
zoneadm -z my-zone halt
Table P–2 Shell Prompts



C shell 


C shell for superuser 


Bourne shell and Korn shell 


Bourne shell and Korn shell for superuser