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Introduction to Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: August 2019

Guidelines for Oracle Solaris Zones in the Oracle Solaris 11.4 Release

This section provides guidelines and support information for Oracle Solaris Zones features, including Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones, in the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release.

    Default zones brand – The default non-global zone in this release is solaris, described in this guide and in the solaris(7) man page.

  • To verify the Oracle Solaris release and the physical machine architecture, type the following command:

    $ uname -r -m
  • The virtinfo command described in the virtinfo(8) man page is used to obtain the following information:

    • Determine system support for Oracle Solaris virtualization technologies

    • Detect the type of virtual environment Oracle Solaris is running in, such as Oracle VM Server for SPARC

  • The solaris zone uses the branded zones framework described in the brands(7) man page to run zones installed with the same software that is installed in the global zone. The system software must always be in sync with the global zone when using a solaris zone. The system software packages within the zone are managed using the Image Packaging System (IPS). IPS is the packaging system used beginning in the Oracle Solaris 11 release, and solaris zones use this model.

  • Each non-global zone specified in the Automated Install (AI) manifest is installed and configured as part of a client installation. Non-global zones are installed and configured on the first reboot after the global zone is installed. When the system first boots, the zones self-assembly SMF service, svc:/system/zones-install:default, configures and installs each non-global zone defined in the global zone AI manifest. See Updating Systems and Adding Software in Oracle Solaris 11.4 for more information. It is also possible to manually configure and install zones on an installed Oracle Solaris system.

  • For package updates, persistent proxies should be set in an image by using the –-proxy option. If a persistent image proxy configuration is not used, http_proxy and https_proxy environment variables can be set.

  • Zones can be configured to be updated in parallel instead of serially. The parallel update provides a significant improvement in the time required to update all the zones on a system.

  • By default, zones are created with the exclusive-IP type. Through the anet resource, a VNIC is automatically included in the zone configuration if networking configuration is not specified. For more information, see About Zone Network Interfaces in Oracle Solaris Zones Configuration Resources.

  • For information about the auto-mac-address used to obtain a mac-address for a zone, see the entry anet in Zone Resource Types and Their Properties in Oracle Solaris Zones Configuration Resources.

  • A solaris zone on shared storage (ZOSS) has a zonecfg rootzpool resource. A zone is encapsulated into a dedicated zpool. Zones on shared storage access and manage shared storage resources for zones. Kernel zones do not have zpool or rootzpool resources. A solaris brand zone can use the following shared storage for zone device resources, and for zpool and rootzpool resources.

    • DAS

    • FC LUNs

    • iSCSI

  • Properties used to specify IP over InfiniBand (IPoIB) data-links are available for the zonecfg anet resource. IPoIB is supported for solaris and solaris10 brand zones.

  • The Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) IPC protocol is supported in both exclusive-IP and shared-IP non-global zones.

  • The fsstat utility has been extended to support zones. The fsstat utility provides per-zone and aggregate statistics.

  • A solaris zone can be an NFS server. For more information, see Running an NFS Server in a Zone in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Zones.

  • The dry-run form of the zone attach command, zoneadm attach -n, provides zonecfg validation, but does not perform package contents validation.

  • All zoneadm options that take files as arguments require absolute paths.

  • Oracle Solaris 10 Zones provide an Oracle Solaris 10 environment on Oracle Solaris 11. You can transform an Oracle Solaris 10 system or zone into a solaris10 zone on an Oracle Solaris 11 system. See Creating and Using Oracle Solaris 10 Zones.

  • The zonep2vchk tool identifies issues, including networking issues, that might affect the migration of an Oracle Solaris 11 system or an Oracle Solaris 10 system into a zone on a system running the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release. The zonep2vchk tool is executed on the source system before migration begins. The tool also outputs a zonecfg script for use on the target system. The script creates a zone that matches the source system's configuration. For more information, see Chapter 9, Transforming Systems to Oracle Solaris Zones in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Zones and the zonep2vchk(8) man page.

    native zones from the Oracle Solaris 10 release are solaris zones on the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release, and differ in several ways:

  • The solaris brand is created on Oracle Solaris 11 systems instead of the native brand, which is the default on Oracle Solaris 10 systems.

  • Oracle Solaris 11.4 solaris zones are whole-root type only.

    The sparse-root type of native zone that is available on Oracle Solaris 10 used the SVR4 package management system. IPS does not use this system. A read-only root zone configuration that is similar to the sparse-root type is available in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

  • Zones in the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release have software management-related functionality that is different from the Oracle Solaris 10 release in the following areas:

    • IPS rather than SVR4 packaging.

    • Install, detach, attach, and physical-to-virtual conversion capability.

    • The non-global zone root is a ZFS dataset.

    • A package installed in the global zone is no longer installed into all current and future zones. In general, the global zone's package contents no longer dictate each zone's package contents, for both IPS and SVR4 packaging.

  • Oracle Solaris 11.4 non-global zones use boot environments. Zones are integrated with beadm, the user interface command for managing ZFS Boot Environments (BEs).

    The beadm command is supported inside zones for pkg update, just as in the global zone. The beadm command can delete any inactive zones BE associated with the zone. See the beadm(8) man page.

  • All enabled IPS package repositories must be accessible while installing a zone. See Installing a Non-Global Zone in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Zones for more information.

  • Zone software is minimized to start. Any additional packages the zone requires must be added. See Updating Systems and Adding Software in Oracle Solaris 11.4 for more information.

    Zones in the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release can use Oracle Solaris products and features such as the following:

  • Oracle Solaris ZFS encryption

  • Network virtualization and Quality of Service (QoS)

  • CIFS and NFS

    The following functions cannot be configured in a solaris branded zone in the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release:

  • DHCP address assignment in a shared-IP zone

  • ndmpd

  • SMB server

  • SSL proxy server

  • FC services

  • FCoE services

  • iSCSI services

  • zpool commands for administering ZFS pools cannot be used

    The following functions cannot be configured in a solaris-kz brand zone in the Oracle Solaris 11.4:release.

  • FC services

  • FCoE services

Zones Support in This Release

Non-global solaris zone and solaris-kz zones running within a single host global zone are supported on all architectures that are defined as supported platforms for the Oracle Solaris 11.4 release. See the Oracle Solaris Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).

For information about Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones physical machine support and system requirements, see Software and Hardware Requirements for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones.

About Converting ipkg Zones to solaris Zones

Any zone configured as an ipkg zone is converted to a solaris zone and reported as solaris upon pkg update or zoneadm attach to Oracle Solaris 11.4. The ipkg name will be mapped to the solaris name if used when configuring zones. Import of a zonecfg file exported from an Oracle Solaris 11 Express system will be supported.

The output of commands such as zonecfg info or zoneadm list -v displays a brand of solaris for default native zones on an Oracle Solaris 11.4 system.