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Creating and Administering Oracle® Solaris 11.4 Boot Environments

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Updated: November 2019

Listing Existing Boot Environments and Snapshots

To display information about snapshots, BEs, and datasets, use the beadm list command. The command also displays BEs that are created by the pkg command.

To view information for a specific BE, specify its name. By default all BEs are listed without additional information.

    The following options are available:

  • –a – Lists all available information about the BE. This information includes subordinate datasets and snapshots.

  • –d – Lists information about all subordinate datasets that belong to the BE.

  • –s – Lists information about the snapshots of the BE.

  • –H – Lists information in machine-parsable format. Each field in the output is separated by a semicolon.

  • –o attributes – Lists only the attributes that you specify.

  • –Z and –z – lists all the zone BEs that are associated with a specific global zone BE (–Z), or lists all the BEs that are associated with a specific zone (–z).

Viewing Information About Boot Environments

The –a option shows full information for one or all BEs, including all dataset and snapshot information. This information includes flags to indicate whether the boot environment is active or not, the mountpoint for the dataset, the amount of space used by the dataset, the policy and the date the dataset was created.

    The values for the Flags column are as follows:

  • R – Active on reboot

  • N – Active now

  • NR – Active now and active on reboot

  • O – Orphaned non-global zone BE, only visible inside a non-global zone

  • - – Inactive

  • ! – Unbootable BEs in a non-global zone

The following example displays full information for BE5.

$ beadm list -a BE5
BE Name Flags Mountpoint Space  Policy Created
------- ----- ---------- ------ ------ ----------------
BE5     -     -          80.76M static 2016-12-19 16:28

    Zpool.......... rpool
    UUID........... 67cda37d-c1a2-4ccf-9415-06ed96b79244
    FMRI........... be://rpool/BE5
    Root Dataset... rpool/ROOT/BE5

    In-BE Datasets     Mountpoint Space  Created
    ------------------ ---------- ------ ----------------
    rpool/ROOT/BE5     -          80.76M 2016-12-19 16:28
    rpool/ROOT/BE5/var -          85.00K 2016-12-19 16:28

    Snapshots             Space  Created
    --------------------- ------ ----------------
    be://rpool/BE2@backup 67.00K 2016-12-19 16:32

For more information about orphaned BEs see About Orphaned Zone Boot Environments and Clones in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Zones.

Viewing Information About Boot Environments in Machine-Parsable Output

The –H option suppresses header titles and displays results separated by semicolons. The following example shows information for all BEs.

$ beadm list -H

Each field in the output is separated by a semicolon. The output fields display as follows.

Field 1

BE name

Field 2


Field 3


Field 4


Field 5

Space; size in bytes

Field 6


Field 7

Creation time (in seconds since 00:00:00 UTC, Jan 1, 1970)

In this example, the universally unique identifier (UUID) for the BE is provided in the second field. The UUID for BE5 is 215b8387-4968-627c-d2d0-f4a011414bab. For a BE in a non-global zone, the UUID field represents the parent ID with which that BE is associated.

Viewing Snapshot Specifications

The –s option displays information about existing snapshots including the time these were created.

$ beadm list -s BE2
BE Name Flags Mountpoint Space  Policy Created
------- ----- ---------- ------ ------ ----------------
BE2     -     -          80.83M static 2016-12-19 16:28

    Snapshots              Space  Created
    ---------------------- ------ ----------------
    be://rpool/BE2@backup  67.00K 2016-12-19 16:32
    be://rpool/BE2@backup2 1.00K  2016-12-19 16:57

Viewing Information About Specific Boot Environment Attributes

Instead of displaying a predefined list of BE information, you can filter specific attributes or properties to be displayed by using the –o in combination with a list of properties.

Filtering is helpful especially in a system with a big number of zones. In a system with multiple zone configurations, listing the BEs would take a long time to process depending on the number of zones on the system. Or, the command would generate information beyond what you need or want. The –o option enables you to directly retrieve only the information you need in a shorter time.

In the following example, the command displays only the information about the name, date and time created, and the root dataset of all BEs:

$ beadm list -o name,created,root_dataset
BE Name        Created          Root Dataset
-------------- ---------------- --------------
BE1            2015-10-16 10:45 rpool/ROOT/BE1
BE2            2015-10-19 07:04 rpool/ROOT/BE2
BE3            2015-10-20 05:59 rpool/ROOT/BE3
solaris        2015-10-16 08:34 rpool/ROOT/solaris

The following example lists only the BE name, subordinate file systems, and creation date for all BEs that match the BeFmri pattern in the command.

$ beadm list -o name,datasets,created be://rpool/BE*
BE Name        Datasets                 Created         
-------------- ----------------         ----------------
BE1            rpool/ROOT/BE1           2015-10-16 10:45
BE2            rpool/ROOT/BE2           2015-10-19 07:04
BE3            rpool/ROOT/BE3           2015-10-20 05:59

Viewing Zone BEs Associated with a Specific Global Zone

Use the –Z to view information about zone BEs that are associated with a specific global zone. This option is available only from the global zone.

global$ beadm list -Z BE2
BE Name Flags Mountpoint Space Policy Created          
------- ----- ---------- ----- ------ ---------------- 
BE2     NR    /          4.37G static 2015-10-19 07:04 

        Non-global Zone BE Names  Flags Mountpoint               Space   
        ------------------------- ----- ------------------------ ------- 
        zbe://zone1/solaris       N     /system/zones/zone1/root 1.04M   
        zbe://zone1/zbe2          -     -                        2.00K   
        zbe://zone1/zbe1          R     -                        17.10M  
        zbe://zone2/solaris       NR    /system/zones/zone2/root 803.80M 
        zbe://zone4/solaris       NR    /system/zones/zone4/root 803.87M 
        zbe://zone3/solaris       NR    /system/zones/zone3/root 803.84M 

Viewing the BEs of a Specific Zone

Use the –z to view information about a zone's BEs. This option is also available only from the global zone.

global$ beadm list -z zone1
Non-global Zone BE Names  Parent BE      Flags Mountpoint               Space   
------------------------- -------------- ----- ------------------------ ------- 
zbe://zone1/BE10          -              RO    -                        705.10M
zbe://zone1/BE3           be://rpool/BE3 R     -                        803.73M 
zbe://zone1/solaris       be://rpool/BE2 N     /system/zones/zone1/root 1.04M   
zbe://zone1/zbe1          be://rpool/BE2 R     -                        17.10M  
zbe://zone1/zbe2          be://rpool/BE2 -     -                        2.00K