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Zones and ZFS Integration, and New Features in OpenSolaris

Apr 26, 2007 | 5 minutes read
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Tags: ZFS, Zone

The aim of this little test case is to present new features of zones, and its tightly integration with the ZFS powerful file system. In order to do so, we will:

  1. Create a specific ZFS namespace for non-global zone(s).
  2. Create a new zone.
  3. Move it to a new zonepath.
  4. Configure it automatically, using a sysidcfg file.
  5. Clone it.
  6. Duplicate the first zone using the clone.

Be sure to have a valid hostname and IP address for the two non-global zones:

# getent hosts | egrep 'beastie|watchie'
192.168.1.1   beastie.thilelli.net beastie
192.168.1.2   watchie.thilelli.net watchie

Create a valid ZFS dedicated namespace:

# zfs create -o compression=on \
   -o mountpoint=/export/zone \
   -o canmount=off pool0/zone
# zfs list -r pool0/zone
NAME         USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
pool0/zone  24.5K   228G  24.5K  /export/zone
# zfs get compression,mountpoint,canmount pool0/zone
NAME        PROPERTY     VALUE         SOURCE
pool0/zone  compression  on            local
pool0/zone  mountpoint   /export/zone  local
pool0/zone  canmount     off           local
# zfs mount | grep zone
#

Note: Since build 48 of Nevada, some new ZFS features were added. Create time properties and canmount property are two of them. Please refer to this excellent blog entry from Eric Schrock's weblog for more information on these putbacks.

Configure the different zone's informations:

# zonecfg -z beastie 'create; set autoboot=true; \
   set zonepath=/export/zone/badbeastie; add net; \
   set address=192.168.1.1/24; set physical=nge0; \
   end; verify; commit; exit'
# zonecfg -z watchie 'create; set autoboot=true; \
   set zonepath=/export/zone/watchie; add net; \
   set address=192.168.1.2/24; set physical=nge0; \
   end; verify; commit; exit'
# zoneadm list -vc
  ID NAME             STATUS         PATH
   0 global           running        /
   - beastie          configured     /export/zone/badbeastie
   - watchie          configured     /export/zone/watchie

Then, fire the zoneadm command:

# zoneadm -z beastie install
A ZFS file system has been created for this zone.
Preparing to install zone <beastie>.
Creating list of files to copy from the global zone.
[...]

Instead of configure it manually at first boot, create a configuration file which will do this task automatically for you, and start the zone:

# cat << EOF > /export/zone/badbeastie/root/etc/sysidcfg
system_locale=C
timezone=Europe/Paris
terminal=vt100
security_policy=NONE
root_password=xxxxxxxxxxxxx
timeserver=localhost
name_service=NONE
nfs4_domain=dynamic
network_interface=primary {
  hostname=beastie.thilelli.net
  ip_address=192.168.1.1
  netmask=255.255.255.0
  protocol_ipv6=no
  default_route=192.168.1.254
}
EOF
#
# zoneadm -z beastie boot && zlogin -C beastie
[Connected to zone 'beastie' console]
SunOS Release 5.11 Version snv_48 64-bit
Copyright 1983-2006 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Use is subject to license terms.
Hostname: beastie
Loading smf(5) service descriptions: 119/119
Oct  4 04:30:22 svc.startd[3003]: svc:/system/dbus:default:
 Method "/lib/svc/method/svc-dbus start" failed with exit status 95.
Oct  4 04:30:22 svc.startd[3003]: system/dbus:default failed fatally:
 transitioned to maintenance (see 'svcs -xv' for details)
Creating new rsa public/private host key pair
Creating new dsa public/private host key pair
rebooting system due to change(s) in /etc/default/init

[NOTICE: Zone rebooting]
SunOS Release 5.11 Version snv_48 64-bit
Copyright 1983-2006 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Use is subject to license terms.
Hostname: beastie.thilelli.net
Oct  4 13:30:40 svc.startd[3757]: svc:/system/dbus:default:
 Method "/lib/svc/method/svc-dbus start" failed with exit status 95.
Oct  4 13:30:40 svc.startd[3757]: system/dbus:default failed fatally:
 transitioned to maintenance (see 'svcs -xv' for details)

beastie.thilelli.net console login: ~.
[Connection to zone 'beastie' console closed]

Well done. Now, change the zone path to something more appropriate. Eventually, adapt the ZFS name accordingly:

# zoneadm -z beastie halt
# zoneadm -z beastie move /export/zone/beastie
# zoneadm list -vc
  ID NAME             STATUS         PATH
   0 global           running        /
   - beastie          installed      /export/zone/beastie
   - watchie          configured     /export/zone/watchie
#
# zfs list -r pool0/zone
NAME                    USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
pool0/zone              248M   227G  24.5K  /export/zone
pool0/zone/badbeastie   248M   227G   248M  /export/zone/beastie
# zfs rename pool0/zone/badbeastie pool0/zone/beastie
# zfs list -r pool0/zone
NAME                 USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
pool0/zone           248M   227G  24.5K  /export/zone
pool0/zone/beastie   248M   227G   248M  /export/zone/beastie
#
# zoneadm -z beastie boot

Wow... Very interesting feature, isn't it?!

Now, lets try the cloning feature bundle with the new zoneadm command. Do some specific non-global zone tuning before; then do:

# zlogin beastie svcadm disable system/dbus
# zoneadm -z beastie halt
# zoneadm -z watchie clone beastie
Cloning snapshot pool0/zone/beastie@SUNWzone1
Instead of copying, a ZFS clone has been created for this zone.
# zoneadm list -vc
  ID NAME             STATUS         PATH
   0 global           running        /
   - beastie          installed      /export/zone/beastie
   - watchie          installed      /export/zone/watchie
#
# zfs list -r pool0/zone/beastie
NAME                           USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
pool0/zone/beastie             251M   227G   248M  /export/zone/beastie
pool0/zone/beastie@SUNWzone1  3.77M      -   248M  -
#
# sed -e 's/beastie/watchie/' \
   -e 's/ip_address=192.168.1.1/ip_address=192.168.1.2/'
   /export/zone/beastie/root/etc/sysidcfg > \
   /export/zone/watchie/root/etc/sysidcfg

You can now enjoy the first boot of the newly created zone:

# zoneadm -z watchie boot && zlogin -C watchie 
[Connected to zone 'watchie' console]
Hostname: watchie
Creating new rsa public/private host key pair
Creating new dsa public/private host key pair

watchie.thilelli.net console login: ~.
[Connection to zone 'watchie' console closed]

Awesome features and technologies i think! Really.

Last, note that Ben Rockwood already has a well written blog entry on this very same subject... he was the first to publish it though ;)

Note: It seems there is a little bug in the snv_48 SX:CR release which prevents the expected automatically ZFS file system creation or cloning from happening properly; the action fails with an error similar to this one:

cannot create ZFS dataset <zfs_name>: 'sharenfs' must be a string

This bug is already closed and fixed, and will be available in the next Solaris Express, see Bug ID: 6468554 for more information on this one.