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  • February 3, 2012

Changes to svccfg import and delete

The behavior of svccfg import and svccfg delete fmri
has changed in S11 if the manifests are in SMF's standard locations.

standard locations

are /lib/svc/manifest and
/var/svc/manifest with /lib/svc/manifest being the preferred
If your manifest is stored under one of these two directories, you
shouldn't be using svccfg import at all.
You should only use svccfg delete fmri when you are prohibited
from removing the manifest for some reason and still want to remove
the service from the system.
Instead, the preferred action is:

        # svcadm restart manifest-import

The reason is that in S11, SMF keeps the repository in sync with the files
in the standard locations, and the manifest-import service is the
mechanism for maintaining this synchronization.
So instead of using svccfg import copy your manifest to a
standard location and type:

        # svcadm restart manifest-import

Instead of using svccfg delete remove your manifest from its
location and restart manifest-import.

In each case manifest-import will detect any changes in the
standard directories and update the repository accordingly.
Note that the manifest-import service runs asynchronously from
the svcadm command, so it may take a short amount of time for
the changes to take effect.

Also the manifest-import service not only detects file additions
and removals.
It also detects changes to manifests and profiles.
If you are a service provider, this gives you an upgrade path if your
manifest changes.
Simply deposit your new manifest over the old one and make sure that
manifest-import is restarted.
Restarting of manifest-import is usually handled by the packaging service.

Let's look at some examples.
First, let's get the manifest for our new service imported.

# cp mysvc.xml /lib/svc/manifest/site
# svcadm restart manifest-import
# svcs mysvc
online 15:19:41 svc:/mysvc:default

Now delete the service:
# rm /lib/svc/manifest/site/mysvc.xml 
# svcadm restart manifest-import
# svcs mysvc
svcs: Pattern 'mysvc' doesn't match any instances

Now let's look at what happens if you stray from this advice and use
svccfg delete.
First, reinstall the manifest just as we did before.

# cp mysvc.xml /lib/svc/manifest/site
# svcadm restart manifest-import
# svcs mysvc
online 15:34:41 svc:/mysvc:default

Now the fun begins.
# svccfg delete -f svc:/mysvc
# svcs mysvc
svcs: Pattern 'mysvc' doesn't match any instances

It looks as if the service has been removed from the repository, but it
really hasn't been.
Since the manifest file is still on the file system, the service is merely
masked in the repository.
This can lead to confusion.
Even if you modify the manifest and restart manifest-import, svcs will not
find the service.
This is because the masking is done at the administrative layer (see
Sean Wilcox's

discussion of layers
The masking is not removed by changing the manifest, although
manifest-import will record the changes in the repository.

How can we find a masked service.

# svccfg listcust -M | grep svc:/mysvc
svc:/mysvc manifest MASKED
svc:/mysvc:default manifest MASKED

The first line of output shows that the service is masked.
Masking a service also masks it instances which is why we see the second line.

So if you accidentally mask a service, how can you unmask it?
We enter svccfg interactive mode, select the service and then use the
delcust command.

# svccfg
svc:> select mysvc
svc:/mysvc> delcust
Deleting customizations for service: mysvc
svc:/mysvc> quit
# svcs mysvc
online 15:50:46 svc:/mysvc:default

The svcs command shows that the service is unmasked.

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