Managing ZFS File Systems in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

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Updated: December 2014

Booting From a ZFS Root File System on a SPARC Based System

On a SPARC based system with multiple ZFS BEs, you can boot from any BE by using the beadm activate command.

During an installation and beadm activation process, the ZFS root file system is automatically designated with the bootfs property.

Multiple bootable file systems can exist within a pool. By default, the bootable file system entry in the /pool-name/boot/menu.lst file is identified by the pool's bootfs property. However, a menu.lst entry can contain a bootfs command, which specifies an alternate file system in the pool. In this way, the menu.lst file can contain entries for multiple root file systems within the pool.

When a system is installed with a ZFS root file system, an entry similar to the following is added to the menu.lst file:

title Oracle Solaris 11.2 SPARC
bootfs rpool/ROOT/solaris

When a new BE is created, the menu.lst file is updated automatically.

title Oracle Solaris 11.2 SPARC
bootfs rpool/ROOT/solaris
title solaris
bootfs rpool/ROOT/solaris2

On a SPARC based system, you can select the BE to boot from as follows:

  • After a ZFS BE is activated, you can use the boot –L command to display a list of bootable file systems within a ZFS pool. Then, you can select one of the bootable file systems in the list. Detailed instructions for booting that file system are displayed. You can boot the selected file system by following the instructions.

  • Use the boot –Z file system command to boot a specific ZFS file system.

This method of booting does not activate the BE automatically. After the BE is booted with the boot –L and –Z syntax, you would have to activate this BE to continue booting from it automatically.

Example 4-1  Booting From a Specific ZFS Boot Environment

If you have multiple ZFS BEs in a ZFS storage pool on your system's boot device, you can use the beadm activate command to specify a default BE.

For example, the following ZFS BEs are available as described by the beadm output:

# beadm list
BE        Active Mountpoint Space Policy Created
--        ------ ---------- ----- ------ -------
solaris   NR     /          3.80G static 2012-07-20 10:25
solaris-2 -      -          7.68M static 2012-07-19 13:44 

If you have multiple ZFS BEs on your SPARC based system, you can use the boot –L command. For example:

ok boot -L
Boot device: /pci@7c0/pci@0/pci@1/pci@0,2/LSILogic,sas@2/disk@0,0:a  File and args: -L
1 Oracle Solaris 11.2 SPARC
2 solaris
Select environment to boot: [ 1 - 2 ]: 1

To boot the selected entry, invoke:
boot [<root-device>] -Z rpool/ROOT/solaris-2

Program terminated
ok boot -Z rpool/ROOT/solaris-2

Keep in mind that the BE that is booted with the above command is not activated for the next reboot. If you want to continue to boot automatically from the BE that is selected during the boot –Z operation, you will need to activate it.