How to Configure an Alternate Boot Device for Solaris 11 Kernel Zones

In this demonstration, Certified Solaris System Administrator Mick Hosegood will demonstrate how to configure an alternate boot device for Solaris 11 Kernel Zones.

Be sure to see Mick’s 1st two Solaris 11 Kernel Zone tutorials at !!

This free Solaris 11 training is segmented into two separate lessons:

  1. Demonstration – Create the Boot Disk, Boot the Zone   (5:19)
  2. Demonstration – Adding a 2nd Disk to the Zone   (4:44) (click on video below)


Date: Jul 22, 2016

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Demonstration – Adding a 2nd Disk to the Zone

>> Mick: Okay, here’s the system configuration tool that was entered during the first boot with the Kernel zone. And I will just proceed through this hitting F2 and entering things like the host name, IP address, etc. I’ll complete all these and then I’ll come back to the rest of the presentation.




All right, I finished the configuration of the zone and I’ve logged into it as a root.




Now we’re going to run format and you can see the disk that has come up. One disk is [00:39 inaudible] and it’s 150 gigabytes rather than the default 16 gig. So that’s been successful.


If I come out of format and run df-h, there you can see the file systems with the root pool, again, all of 150 gigabytes disk.




Now what I’m going to do is exit from the zone, come out from the console, and I’m going to add another disk device. Again, I’m going to create an emulated volume, 50 gigs this time. I’ll use the -s flag to just use sparse allocation so I don’t use any actual storage until it’s called upon.




I’ll call the device kzone2store. And then I can go into zonecfg-z kzone2. Add a device. Set id=1. Set match=/dev/zvol/rdsk/rpool/kzones/kzone2store. No bootpri needed this time.




End, verify, commit, and exit.


Now, that hasn’t changed the running zone. But it has committed the information to the zone static storage and [2:37 inaudible] zones.




If I want the zone to see the disks straight away, I can then do zoneadm – z kzone2 apply. And there is adding the device.


If I then go back in, log into the zone and then do format, there’s my second disk. I can select it. Because it’s on an Intel platform, I have to run the fdisk command within format. Just press “y” and now I’ve created a normal a normal zone disk label on that new disk drive.


That concludes the tutorial. Just a quick note to remind you that you need to obey. When you’re dealing with the zones, you need to obey the Oracle licensing conditions. There’s a pdf that Oracle provide called hard partitioning with Oracle Solaris Zones that will guide you. You can easily do a Google search of that.




Then lastly, there’s a little tweak to the Global zone that you might need to do when building Kernel zones because the ZFS ARC cache may use a lot of the memory for buffering purposes and it might not be quick enough to release it and you may get a few error messages when you try and use Kernel zones. What that involves is creating a file, etc. system .d called something, whatever you like, and you have to put the set user_reserve_hint=pct option in. Here I’ve set it to a value of 60 which basically assures that I’ll always have 60% of my memory free when I run applications and that this ZFS ARC cache won’t use above 40%.


That’s the end of that. Thank you very much indeed.

Copyright 2017

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