Solaris Kernel Zones

One of the shiniest new features in Oracle Solaris 11.2 is <<<Kernel Zones>>>.  Kernel Zones provide the familiarity of zones while providing independent kernels.  This means that it’s now possible to have zones that run different patch levels, act as CIFS servers, load kernel modules, etc.  So, let’s get to installing a kernel zone.

If you have installed any other zone on Solaris before, this will look quite familiar.  After all, it is  just another zone, right?

For this procedure to work, there are some prerequisites that shouldn’t be much of a problem in a production environment, but are a bit of a problem if your normal playground is VirtualBox or the 6 year old server you found on the loading dock.

Step 1: Configure

root@vzl-212:~# zonecfg -z myfirstkz create -t SYSsolaris-kz

Step 2: Install

root@vzl-212:~# zoneadm -z myfirstkz install
Progress being logged to /var/log/zones/zoneadm.20140419T032707Z.myfirstkz.install
pkg cache: Using /var/pkg/publisher.
 Install Log: /system/volatile/install.5368/install_log
 AI Manifest: /tmp/zoneadm4798.dAaO7j/devel-ai-manifest.xml
  SC Profile: /usr/share/auto_install/sc_profiles/enable_sci.xml
Installation: Starting ...
        Creating IPS image
        Installing packages from:
                origin:  http://ipkg/solaris11/dev/
        The following licenses have been accepted and not displayed.
        Please review the licenses for the following packages post-install:
        Package licenses may be viewed using the command:
          pkg info --license <pkg_fmri>
DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
Completed                            549/549   76929/76929  680.9/680.9  8.4M/s
PHASE                                          ITEMS
Installing new actions                   104278/104278
Updating package state database                 Done 
Updating package cache                           0/0 
Updating image state                            Done 
Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
Installation: Succeeded
        Done: Installation completed in 438.132 seconds.

Step 3: Celebrate!

At this point the kernel zone is installed and ready for boot.

root@vzl-212:~# zoneadm -z myfirstkz boot
root@vzl-212:~# zlogin -C myfirstkz
[Connected to zone 'myfirstkz' console]
Loading smf(5) service descriptions: 220/220

Because a sysconfig profile was not provided during installation, sysconfig(1M) will ask a few things on first boot.

                           System Configuration Tool
     System Configuration Tool enables you to specify the following            
     configuration parameters for your newly-installed Oracle Solaris 11       
     - system hostname, network, time zone and locale, date and time, user     
       and root accounts, name services, keyboard layout, support
     System Configuration Tool produces an SMF profile file in
     How to navigate through this tool:
     - Use the function keys listed at the bottom of each screen to move       
       from screen to screen and to perform other operations.
     - Use the up/down arrow keys to change the selection or to move           
       between input fields.
     - If your keyboard does not have function keys, or they do not            
       respond, press ESC; the legend at the bottom of the screen will         
       change to show the ESC keys for navigation and other functions.         
  F2_Continue  F6_Help  F9_Quit