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Creating and Using Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: August 2019

Zone Installation and Configuration Concepts

This section provides an overview of the installation process to ease the task of creating and deploying non-global zones.

About Zone Properties

Multiple zone properties can be configured for a zone. Together, these properties characterize the zone as a virtual machine that is distinct from other zones on the host.

    When you create a non-global zone without specifying additional options other than the zone name, the zone is created with the following set properties:

  • The zone is a solaris branded zone.

  • The zonepath, which identifies the zone's dataset, is set to /system/zones/zonename.

  • The datalink name of an automatic network interface (anet) resource is set to net0

  • The zone's IP type is exclusive.

Some zone properties are grouped into a resource. For example, aside from linkname, the anet resource also consists of properties such as allowed-address, auto-mac-address, mtu, and so on.

You can install the zone with just the default property settings. However, you can configure additional resources and properties to make the zone more efficient.

Setting zone properties can be performed before or after the zone installation. However, the typical approach is to set basic zone properties before installing the zone, then configure additional properties after installation is completed and the zone is booted and running.

You can set zone properties through a single command line. However, using the interactive method can prevent errors in property configuration. The rest of the documentation uses the interactive method to illustrate zone configuration procedures.

For a list of zone resources and properties, see the zonecfg(8) man page or Oracle Solaris Zones Configuration Resources.

About Zone Commands for Configuration and Installation

You use two main commands for installing and configuring zones. Each command has its respective subcommands and options. You issue these commands from the global zone.

zonecfg Command

In zone deployment, the zonecfg command is used to create a zone and set its properties and resources. Through its multiple subcommands and options, you can also use this command for later administrative tasks such as modifying or removing property configuration as well as verifying the validity of zone settings. For details on the use of the command for zone property configuration, see Managing Zone Resources and Properties

zoneadm Command

This command is used to start the installation process as well as to boot the zone after the installation is completed. Use the command also to display information about zones on the system, their respective status, and so on.

Using Manifests and Configuration Profiles

You can use a manifest to install a non-global zone just as you can use one to install a global zone. To see how a manifest or a system configuration profile is used during a zone installation, see How to Create and Deploy a Non-Global Zone.

Creating a Manifest for Zone Installation

During a zone installation, a default zone manifest is automatically used that installs the solaris-small-server package. If you want to install additional packages, then you would need to create a customized zone manifest to instruct the install program accordingly. For more information, see Chapter 7, Installing and Configuring Zones in Automatically Installing Oracle Solaris 11.4 Systems.

Note -  The configurable parameters in a zone manifest are restricted compared to the manifest for an Oracle Solaris system installation.

    To create a manifest, do the following:

  1. On the host system, create a copy of the /usr/share/auto_install/manifest/zone_default.xml file.

  2. Edit the copy by specifying packages to install in addition to the solaris-small-server package.

    For guidance, refer to Non-Global Zone AI Manifest in Automatically Installing Oracle Solaris 11.4 Systems and Working with Non-Global Zones in Updating Systems and Adding Software in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

Creating a System Configuration Profile for Zone Installation

Any Oracle Solaris installation, whether on a physical system or on a zone, involves system configuration to set the system's computer or host name, the time and date format to use, time zone, default language, and so on. You manually specify these parameters in the System Configuration Interaction (SCI) tool that opens at the end of the installation.

As an option, you can skip the manual step and automate the system configuration process by creating a system configuration profile. The install program applies the profile's contents as part of the installation process.

Essentially, with a configuration profile, you are performing the manual steps ahead of time so you would not need to perform them later.

    To prepare a configuration file, follow these steps:

  1. Run the SCI tool to create a profile.

    global$ sysconfig create-profile -o directory

    The directory serves as the storage location of the profile.

  2. Go through each screen of the SCI tool and provide the information as prompted.

    After you save and exit the tool, the settings are stored in a profile called sc_profile.xml.

    Note -  All profiles you create with the SCI tool are named sc_profile.xml. Thus, as best practice, rename the profiles later for easier identification, especially if you create multiple profiles for different zones.

For more information about system configuration profiles, see Chapter 3, Working With System Configuration Profiles in Customizing Automated Installations With Manifests and Profiles.