Usually we install local zones for our customer as sparse root. That is /lib,
/platform, /sbin and /usr as inherit-pkg-dir.
Now suppose our customer requires a software to be installed in a single zone
below /usr. In the first step this is not possible since /usr is read-only.
I already know about several workaround for this like:
- using pkgadd with different BASEDIR (if it's a relocatable package)
- using symlinks below /usr (created in global zone) pointing to some zone
With all these workarounds (if they work at all) we have a big problem.
Software to be installed is mostly commercial software for which our customer
pays for support. And in a support case vendor might find the software is
installed in some "unsupported" way (from the software vendors point of view).
Therefore we can't use any workaround for installing software in "unsupported"
Sure, we should make these software vendors fix their software being fully
compatible with standard zone configurations. Another point is to reject
installation of this kind of software or do a complete reinstall of the local
zone. But you cannot do this to a VIC (very important customer). Don't ask.
But hey, I've got another Idea and want to ask you if that might be possible.
Let's talk about a zone configured with /usr as inherit-pkg-dir.
We want to convert /usr from inherit-pkg-dir to a copied filesystem like in a
full root zone.
How can we do this? Imagine:
1. doing "zoneadm -z myzone halt"
2. change zone config with
$ zonecfg -z myzone
zonecfg:myzone> remove inherit-pkg-dir dir=/usr
3. copy /usr from global zone to myzone
$ cp -R -p@ /usr/. /zones/myzone/root/usr/.
Maybe I should use other copy tools to get a clean copy. But that's not the
4. Boot the zone "zoneadm -z myzone boot"
I did not test this, yet.
I suspect some pitfalls with packaging tools. Maybe somewhere inside /var/pkg
What else might go wrong?
NB: I've sent this question to our sun support center. They told me that this
type of request is not covert by our support contract.
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