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OpenSolaris 2008.11 Image Packaging System Guide
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Why Should I Create an Image?

An image is a location on your system where packages and their associated files, directories, links, and dependencies can be installed.

After you have completed the installation of OpenSolaris 2008.11 on your system, an image is automatically made available to you. You can install packages without explicitly creating an image.

However, creating images are necessary to provide a logical separation for different software applications, and especially required if you are working with zones. The following figure shows the concept of an image.

Figure 2-1 Concept of an Image

See the Zones section in the Solaris Containers - Resource management and Solaris Zones guide to learn about zones.

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