Go to main content

Booting and Shutting Down Oracle® Solaris 11.3 Systems

Exit Print View

Updated: October 2017

Booting From an Alternate Operating System or Boot Environment

A boot environment (BE) is a ZFS file system that is designated for booting. A boot environment is essentially a bootable instance of the Oracle Solaris OS image, plus any other software packages that are installed into that image. You can maintain multiple boot environments on a single system. Each boot environment can have different OS versions installed. When you install Oracle Solaris, a new boot environment is automatically created during the installation. For more information about the beadm utility, see the beadm(1M) man page. For more information about managing boot environments, including using the utility in a global or non-global zone, see Creating and Administering Oracle Solaris 11.3 Boot Environments.

x86 only: If the device that is identified by GRUB as the boot device contains a ZFS storage pool, the grub.cfg file that is used to create the GRUB menu can be found in the pool's top level dataset. This is the dataset that has the same name as the pool. There is always exactly one such dataset in a pool. This dataset is well-suited for pool-wide data, such as the GRUB configuration files and data. After the system is booted, this dataset is mounted at /pool-name in the root file system.

x86 only: There can be multiple bootable datasets (that is, root file systems) within a pool. The default root file system in a pool is identified by the pool' s bootfs property. If a specific bootfs is not specified with the zfs-bootfs command in a GRUB menu entry located in the grub.cfg file, the default bootfs root file system is used. Each GRUB menu entry can specify a different zfs-bootfs command to use, which enables you to choose any bootable Oracle Solaris instance within a pool. For more information, see the boot(1M) man page.