OS Virtualized Machines, hereafter referred to as Zones, is a lightweight virtualization technology. Zones are fully isolated user-land environments, they do not possess their own kernel and therefore have effectively no performance overhead allowing for bare metal performance. Network and disk virtualization are provided by ZFS and the SmartOS networking stack ("Crossbow"). The result is a virtual environment that in every way acts like a complete environment.
The process of creating zones is simple:
- Download a Zone Image
- Create a Manifest describing the Zone
- Create the Zone using vmadm
- Use the Zone
Zone creation requires an image to use as a template.
To find a zone image, use the command imgadm avail. Images with the OS type "smartos" are zone images. The "base" and "base-64" images are minimal images with only a basic 32bit or 64bit pkgsrc installation and should be considered for building your own custom images.
Import an image by specifying its UUID:
You will reference this image's UUID when you create the zone manifest.
A manifest is a JSON object which describes your zone. There are many options which are fully described in the vmadm(1m) man page. The most important are:
- brand: This must be set to "joyent" for Zones
- image_uuid: The UUID of the image you are using as a template (images were previously called "datasets")
- alias: An arbitrary name displayed in vmadm list output in addition to the UUID
- hostname: Hostname that will be set within the zone
- max_physical_memory: Amount of RAM (RSS) available to the zone in MB
- quota: Amount of disk space in GB
- resolvers: DNS nameservers for this zone to use (placed in the zone's /etc/resolv.conf file)
- nics: One or more network interfaces attached to this zone
With some images you won't be able to log in to unless you pass an SSH public key to validate your connection with. Adjust your config to contain a customer_metadata block:
With your image imported and your manifest created, you can now create the zone. Do this by simply passing the manifest to vmadm create -f manifest.json:
Alternatively, you can pass the manifest via STDIN:
The zone is now created and running.
Once you have created a zone with vmadm create, you can log into your zone via ssh or connect to the console with one of two methods: