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Introduction to Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: August 2019
 
 

Comparison of Global Zones, Non-Global Zones, and Kernel Zones

The following table summarizes the operating system characteristics of global and non-global zones along with the differences in the non-global zones that are kernel zones.

Table 1  Comparison of Zone Characteristics
Characteristic
Global Zone
Non-Global Zone
Kernel Zone
ID
Assigned ID 0 by the system
Assigned a zone ID by the host system when the zone is booted
Assigned a zone ID by the host system when the zone is booted, but from inside the kernel zone its ID is 0
Kernel status
Provides the main instance of the Oracle Solaris kernel that is bootable and running on the system
Shares operation under the Oracle Solaris kernel booted from the global zone
Provides its own Oracle Solaris kernel
Oracle Solaris operating system packages
Contains a complete installation of the Oracle Solaris operating system software packages
Contains an installed subset of the complete Oracle Solaris operating system software packages
Contains a complete installation of the Oracle Solaris operating system software packages
Additional software permitted
Can contain additional software packages or additional software, directories, files, and other data that is not installed through packages
Can contain additional software, directories, files, and other data created on the non-global zone that are not installed through packages
Can contain additional installed software packages
Might require software to be installed in the global zone in order to provide some functionality
Can contain additional software, directories, files, and other data created on the non-global zone that are not installed through packages
Can contain additional installed software packages
Product database
Provides a complete and consistent product database that contains information about all software components installed in the global zone
Has a complete and consistent product database that contains information about all software components installed on the non-global zone
Has a complete and consistent product database that contains information about all software components installed on the kernel zone
Configuration information access
Holds configuration information specific to the global zone only, such as the global zone host name and file system table
Has configuration information specific to that non-global zone only, such as the non-global zone host name and file system table
Has configuration information specific to that kernel zone only, such as the kernel zone host name and file system table
Awareness of devices and file systems
Is the only zone that is aware of all devices and all file systems
Is aware of its own file systems only
Is aware of some devices but not file systems of the global zone
Awareness of other zones on system
Is the only zone with knowledge of non-global zone existence and configuration
Is not aware of the existence of any other zones on its hosting global zone
Is not aware of the existence of any other zones on its hosting global zone
Zone installation and management capabilities
Is the only zone from which a non-global zone can be configured, installed, managed, or uninstalled
Cannot install, manage, or uninstall zones on its hosting global zone
Cannot install, manage, or uninstall zones on its hosting global zone.
Can act as a global zone to contain non-global zones that are not kernel zones
Time zone information
Has its own time zone that does not need to be used by non-global zones
Can have its own time zone setting that is different from the global zone
Can have its own time zone setting that is different from the global zone
Immutable read-only capability
Can be configured as an immutable zone with read-only access to the root
Can be configured as an immutable zone with read-only access to the root
Can be configured as an immutable zone with read-only access to the root