Sunday, February 7, 2010

Do a "pkg image-update" with multiple zones!!!

Hello you half-dozen readers!

Recently I reinstalled my home server to OpenSolaris, build 130. I used zfs send and zfs recv to recover my relevant bits of data. I also constructed new zones, this time using ipkg zones.

Using ipkg zones takes a bit of acclimation. The biggest thing to note is that if you need a specific software package, you have to use pkg install in the zone you wish to have the software. For example, I have three zones:

  • The Global, internal-only, server zone - My global zone spends most of its time without a default route, serving NFSv4 and anything else I can think of only to my local LAN. If I need a new service, I temporarily add a global route, and pkg install away.

  • The Webserver zone - Just like it says. I needed Apache here, and had to pkg install Apache here.

  • The Router/NAT/IPsec-remote-access/Firewall zone - If you're going to put potential targets on the Internet, why put the global zone there? Especially with Crossbow VNICs and IP Instances!

So I got all of these zones, and the global zone isn't even net-attached most of the time? More interesting still, I need to upgrade all of these zones.

I posed this problem to Right now, pkg image-update won't upgrade the non-global zones. Worse still, I need to upgrade a zone that's also acting as my NAT and router. Luckily for me, Ed Pilatowicz gave me some good advice:

i do have one other workaround/suggestion you could try. after you do
an image-update of your global zone. before rebooting, use beadm to
mount the new image on /a. then you can try doing "pkg -R
/a/path_to_your_zone/root image-update" for each of your zones. this
will probably work as long as your always image-update'ing to the latest
bits in the repository (and no new images get pushed to the repository
in between all the image-update opreations.)

So I took Ed at his word.

Even if you have an ultra-paranoid global zone, you need to get it talking to an IPS repository. Either temporarily add an off-link route like I do, or have a local repository handy. Proceed and pkg image-update your global zone. Make sure you use --be-name to pick a BE name that you'll remember.

Next, you literally beadm mount new-be-name /mnt and for each zone root directory (while still able to reach the repository from your global zone) do pkg -R zone-root-path image-update. For my own example, I did:

  • pkg image-update --be-name 132

  • beadm mount 132 /mnt

  • pkg -R /mnt/export/home/webserver/root image-update

  • pkg -R /mnt/export/home/router/root image-update

  • beadm umount 132

  • reboot

This worked quite well for me moving up from 130 to 132. Just make sure your global zone can reach the repository, and you should be golden.

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