• February 28, 2015

One image for native zones, kernel zones, ldoms, metal, ...

Mike Gerdts
Principal Software Engineer

In my previous post, I described how to convert a global zone to a non-global zone using a unified archive.  Since then, I've fielded a few questions about whether this same approach can be used to create a master image that is used to install Solaris regardless of virtualization type (including no virtualization).  The answer is: of course!  That was one of the key goals of the project that invented unified archives.

In my earlier example, I was focused on preserving the identity and other aspects of the global zone and knew I had only one place that I planned to deploy it.  Hence, I chose to skip media creation (--exclude-media) and used a recovery archive (-r).  To generate a unified archive of a global zone that is ideal for use as an image for installing to another global zone or native zone, just use a simpler command line.

root@global# archiveadm create /path/to/golden-image.uar

Notice that by using fewer options we get something that is more usable.

What's different about this image compared to the one created in the previous post?

  • This archive as an embedded AI iso that will be used if you install a kernel zone from it.  That is, zoneadm -z kzname install -a /path/to/golden-image.uar will boot from that embedded AI image and perform an automated install from that archive.
  • This archive only contains the active boot environment and other ZFS snapshots are not archived.
  • This archive has been stripped of its identity.  When installing, you either need to provide a sysconfig profile or interactively configure the system or zone on the console or zone console on the first post-installation boot.

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