Introduction to Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: December 2014


auxiliary zone state

Used to communicate additional state information to the global zone. See also zone state.


An instance of the BrandZ functionality, which provides non-global zones that contain non-native operating environments used for running applications.

branded zone

An isolated environment in which to run non-native applications in non-global zones.


A limit that is placed on system resource usage.


The process of placing a limit on system resource usage.

CMT resources

CPUS, cores, and sockets.


In the zones context, refers to a hardware thread.


An interface at Layer 2 of the OSI protocol stack, which is represented in a system as a STREAMS DLPI (v2) interface. This interface can be plumbed under protocol stacks such as TCP/IP. In the context of Oracle Solaris 10 zones, data-links are physical interfaces, aggregations, or VLAN-tagged interfaces . A data-link can also be referred to as a physical interface, for example, when referring to a NIC or a VNIC.

default pool

The pool created by the system when pools are enabled.

See also resource pool.

default processor set

The processor set created by the system when pools are enabled.

See also processor set.


A type of set in which the members of the set do not overlap and are not duplicated.

dynamic configuration

Information about the disposition of resources within the resource pools framework for a given system at a point in time.

dynamic reconfiguration

On SPARC based systems, the ability to reconfigure hardware while the system is running. Also known as DR.

extended accounting

A flexible way to record resource consumption on a task basis or process basis in the Solaris operating system.

fair share scheduler

A scheduling class, also known as FSS, that allows you to allocate CPU time that is based on shares. Shares define the portion of the system's CPU resources allocated to a project.


See fair share scheduler.

global administrator

The root user or an administrator with the root role. When logged in to the global zone, the global administrator or a user granted the appropriate authorizations can monitor and control the system as a whole.

See also zone administrator.

global scope

Actions that apply to resource control values for every resource control on the system.

global zone

The zone contained on every Oracle Solaris system. When non-global zones are in use, the global zone is both the default zone for the system and the zone used for system-wide administrative control.

See also non-global zone.


Process-allocated scratch memory.

local scope

Local actions taken on a process that attempts to exceed the control value.

locked memory

Memory that cannot be paged.

memory cap enforcement threshold

The percentage of physical memory utilization on the system that will trigger cap enforcement by the resource capping daemon.

naming service database

In the Projects and Tasks (Overview) chapter of this document, a reference to both LDAP containers and NIS maps.

non-global zone

A virtualized operating system environment created within a single instance of the Oracle Solaris operating system. The Oracle Solaris Zones software partitioning technology is used to virtualize operating system services.

non-global zone administrator

See zone administrator.

Oracle Solaris 10 Zones

A software partitioning technology that provides a complete runtime environment for Solaris 10 applications executing in a solaris10 branded zone on a system running the Oracle Solaris 11 release.

Oracle Solaris Zones

A software partitioning technology used to virtualize operating system services and provide an isolated, secure environment in which to run applications.

Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones

A software partitioning technology that provides a full kernel and user environment within a zone, and also increases kernel separation between the host and the zone.


See resource pool.

pool daemon

The poold system daemon that is active when dynamic resource allocation is required.


A network-wide administrative identifier for related work.

processor set

A disjoint grouping of CPUs. Each processor set can contain zero or more processors. A processor set is represented in the resource pools configuration as a resource element. Also referred to as a pset.

See also disjoint.

read-only zone

An Immutable Zone configured with a read-only root.

resident set size

The size of the resident set. The resident set is the set of pages that are resident in physical memory.


An aspect of the computing system that can be manipulated with the intent to change application behavior.

resource capping daemon

A daemon that regulates the consumption of physical memory by processes running in projects that have resource caps defined.

resource consumer

Fundamentally, a Solaris process. Process model entities such as the project and the task provide ways of discussing resource consumption in terms of aggregated resource consumption.

resource control

A per-process, per-task, or per-project limit on the consumption of a resource.

resource management

A functionality that enables you to control how applications use available system resources.

resource partition

An exclusive subset of a resource. All of the partitions of a resource sum to represent the total amount of the resource available in a single executing Solaris instance.

resource pool

A configuration mechanism that is used to partition machine resources. A resource pool represents an association between groups of resources that can be partitioned.

resource set

A process-bindable resource. Most often used to refer to the objects constructed by a kernel subsystem offering some form of partitioning. Examples of resource sets include scheduling classes and processor sets.


See resident set size.


A kernel thread that identifies infrequently used pages. During low memory conditions, the scanner reclaims pages that have not been recently used.

static pools configuration

A representation of the way in which an administrator would like a system to be configured with respect to resource pools functionality.


In resource management, a process collective that represents a set of work over time. Each task is associated with one project.

whole root zone

A type of non-global zone in which all of the required system software and any additional packages are installed into the private file systems of the zone.

working set size

The size of the working set. The working set is the set of pages that the project workload actively uses during its processing cycle.


An aggregation of all processes of an application or group of applications.


See also working set size.

zone administrator

The privileges of a zone administrator are confined to a non-global zone.

See also global administrator.

zone state

The status of a non-global zone. The zone state is one of configured, incomplete, installed, ready, unavailable, running, or shutting down.