Christine Tran wrote:
On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 9:59 AM, Jerry Jelinek <> wrote:

Thanks for the write-up.  It is helpful for us to
know what peoples concerns are for the sparse vs. whole
root configurations.

Our application make and destroy zones as needed.  We've built up a
set of tools to create, clone, and tear down zones.  We're concerned
more with how fast we can build one and move one, than in how much
memory we're saving by sharing in-memory footprints. (At one time this
was a point to be made but I don't think anyone ever made any
measurement, I could be wrong.)  To make ipkg zones, we'd have to have
access to a repository or maintain a local one (to date I don't think
anyone's done this yet, right?  The default repo is still at a space.)   Machines behind air gaps may never be able
to run OS, and if they do, we'd have a harder time making zones on the
fly for them.

1. ipkg zones take longer to build
2. and require an internet connection

Installing from a repo is orthogonal to the sparse
vs. whole root discussion.  That is tracked as:

1947 Offline zone creation is impossible

If you want to install zones quickly you should be
using cloning.  That would also solve the offline issue.
I don't think anyone ever thought installing a zone with
SVr4 pkging was fast.

It is important to remember that zones on OpenSolaris are
a work in progress.  What we have now is not what the final
implementation will look like.  For sparse zones, that is
totally up to IPS.  If IPS doesn't support sparse zones, then
we won't be able to do that on OpenSolaris.  However, there
are many different reasons to use sparse zones, memory, disk
space, security, etc., and we can probably solve all of those
needs using other techniques.  For example ZFS deduplication
will bring a lot to whole-root zones on OpenSolaris.  So, it
is important for us to know what the real need is, and not
simply fixate on sparse zones as the only solution.

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