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man pages section 7: Standards, Environments, Macros, Character Sets, and Miscellany

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Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

uar (7)


uar - Oracle Solaris Unified Archive


An Oracle Solaris Unified Archive is a multi-system archive image of a running Oracle Solaris system for the purposes of system cloning and recovery.

It is based upon Oracle Solaris Boot Environments and ZFS data streams. A Unified Archive contains one or more systems which are selected during archive creation. Each system may be encapsulated in its own archive within the overall Unified Archive, so that systems may later be selectively deployed. Alternatively, a single monolithic archive may be created which results in a singly-deployable archive with multiple embedded systems.

Once created, the archives may be deployed by the Oracle Solaris Automated Installer or by the Oracle Solaris Zones software utilities.

Unified Archive Format

Solaris Unified Archives are OVA (Open Virtual Appliance) files. An OVA file is defined by the DMTF's OVF (Open Virtualization Format), an industry-standard specification which is used to describe virtual systems. An OVA file is essentially a single USTAR file which contains an OVF layout consisting of an OVF descriptor, an optional manifest and one or more system image files.

Unified Archives contain only ZFS datasets which include file systems, volumes, and snapshots. All other file systems and volume types are excluded from Unified Archives. Any file system resources in a zone are also excluded from the zone's archived data. However, if the type property in an fs resource has either the value lofs or the value zfs, the data referenced by the special property may be included in an archive of the global zone if it refers to a ZFS file system.

A Unified Archive will also usually contain embedded copies of Solaris Automated Installation images that are necessary to deploy the systems contained in the archive as zones.

Creating Unified Archives

See archiveadm(8).

Deployment from Unified Archives

During deployment, archived systems may be selectively deployed from a clone Unified Archive. Systems may also be deployed as zones, which provides for a Global-to-Non-global (G2N) transform functionality. Note that single-system recovery archives are not selectable; an entire recovery archive is deployed as a single deployment.

During Oracle Solaris Automated Installer deployments, the archive file is set as an install service configuration parameter, similar to what is done with IPS publishers. When a client boots the service, the install software configures the system with the required ZFS pools, including any locally set ZFS pool properties from the origin system, and then the archived systems are received into the new pools.

During Oracle Solaris Zones deployments from a host system, the zonecfg(8) and zoneadm(8) utilities are used. New zones may be configured by using zonecfg(8) to extract configuration data from an archive. The zoneadm(8) utility may be used to install a zone directly from an archive. Zones may also be installed as part of an Oracle Solaris Automated Installer deployment along with the global zone.


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability

See Also

ai_manifest(5), archiveadm(8), attributes(7), zoneadm(8), zonecfg(8)

Portable archive interchange (pax) in IEEE Std 1003.1 defines the USTAR format.

Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), https://www.dmtf.org/

Open Virtualization Format (OVF), https://www.dmtf.org/standards/ovf