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OpenSolaris 2008.11 Managing Boot Environments
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Chapter 2

Using beadm Utility (Tasks)

You can use the beadm utility to create and manage snapshots and clones of your boot environments.

Note the following distinctions relevant to boot environment administration:

  • A snapshot is a read-only image of a dataset or boot environment at a given point in time. A snapshot is not bootable.

  • A boot environment is a bootable OpenSolaris environment, consisting of a root dataset and, optionally, other datasets mounted underneath it. Exactly one boot environment can be active at a time.

  • A clone of a boot environment is created by copying another boot environment. A clone is bootable.


    Note - A clone of the boot environment includes everything hierarchically under the main root dataset of the original boot environment. Shared datasets are not under the root dataset and are not cloned. Instead, the boot environment accesses the original, shared dataset.


  • A dataset is a generic name for ZFS entities such as clones, file systems, or snapshots. In the context of boot environment administration, the dataset more specifically refers to the file system specifications for a particular boot environment or snapshot.

  • Shared datasets are user-defined files, such as /export, that contain the same mount point in both the active and inactive boot environments. Shared datasets are located outside the root dataset area of each boot environment.

  • A boot environment's critical datasets are included within the root dataset area for that environment.


Note - You must be root on your system to use the beadm utility. Alternately, the beadm utility is part of the Software Installation profile. A user who is part of this profile can use the pfexec utility to execute beadm commands.


For detailed instructions about the beadm utility, see the beadm(1M) man page. See also Chapter 4, Appendix: beadm Reference.

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