Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones

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Updated: December 2014

Hardware and Software Requirements for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones

To use kernel zones, you must be running Oracle Solaris 11.2 on your host operating system.

The physical host system must have the following components:

  • SPARC systems:

    • A SPARC T4 system with at least System Firmware 8.5.1.

    • A SPARC T5, SPARC M5, or SPARC M6 system with at least System Firmware 9.2.1.

    • A Fujitsu M10/SPARC M10 system with at least XCP Firmware 2230.

  • You can download the latest system firmware by logging in to My Oracle Support and clicking the Patches & Updates link. Use Search to locate the firmware download for your system type.

  • x86 systems:

    • Nehalem+ (Intel) or Barcelona+ (AMD) based x86 machines with CPU virtualization (for example, VT-x) enabled in the BIOS.  Specifically, kernel zones on x86 require Extended/Nested Page Table support, also referred to as EPT, NPT, or RVI (Rapid Virtualization Indexing).

In addition, both SPARC and x86 systems require the following:

Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones can run in guests on Oracle VM Server for SPARC. Each Oracle VM Server for SPARC domain has an independent limit for the number of kernel zones that you can run. The limit is 768 for SPARC T4 or SPARC T5 systems, and 512 for SPARC M5 or SPARC M6 systems.

Kernel zones cannot run in Oracle VM Server for x86 guests or on Oracle VM VirtualBox.