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Booting and Shutting Down Oracle® Solaris 11.3 Systems

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Updated: October 2017

Guidelines for Booting a System

Bootstrapping is the process of loading and executing the bootable operating system. Typically, the stand-alone program is the operating system kernel, but any stand-alone program can be booted. After the kernel is loaded, it starts the UNIX system, mounts the necessary file systems, and runs /usr/sbin/init to bring the system to the initdefault state that is specified in the /etc/inittab file.

    Keep the following guidelines in mind when booting a system:

  • After a SPARC basedsystem is shut down, it is booted by using the boot command at the PROM level. After a SPARC based system is turned on, the system firmware (in PROM) executes a power-on self-test (POST). The form and scope of these tests depends on the version of firmware in your system. After the tests have successfully completed, the firmware attempts to auto boot, if the appropriate flag has been set in the non-volatile storage area that is used by the firmware. The name of the file to load, and the device to load it from, can also be manipulated.

  • An x86 based system is booted by selecting an operating system in the GRUB menu that is displayed at boot time. If no operating system is selected, the system boots the default operating system that is specified in the grub.cfg file.

  • A system can also be rebooted by turning the power off and then back on.

The following table lists reasons that you might need to boot a system. The system administration tasks and the corresponding boot option that is used to complete the task is also described.

Table 1  Booting a System
Reason for System Reboot
Appropriate Boot Option
For More Information
Turn off system power due to anticipated power outage.
Turn system power back on
Change kernel parameters in the /etc/system file.
Reboot the system to a multiuser state (run level 3 with NFS resources shared)
Perform file system maintenance, such as backing up or restoring system data.
Press Control-D from a single-user state (run level S) to bring the system back to a multiuser state (run level 3)
Repair a system configuration file such as /etc/system.
Interactive boot
Add or remove hardware from the system.
Reconfiguration boot (turn on system power after adding or removing devices, if devices are not hot-pluggable)
Boot a system for recovery purposes due to a lost root password, or to fix a file system or a similar problem.
Depending on the error condition or problem, you might need to boot the system from media, mount the boot environment, or both.
x86 only: Recover from a problem with the GRUB configuration.
Recovery boot from media.
Recover from a hung system by forcing a crash dump.
Recovery boot
Boot the system by using the kernel debugger (kmdb) to track down a system problem.
Booting kmdb