ok - i re-created the s10.flar:

# flar create -L cpio -n myflash /export/home/s10.cpio
Archive format requested is cpio
This archiver format is NOT VALID for flash installation of ZFS root pool.
This format is useful for installing the system image into a zone.
Reissue command without -L option to produce an archive for root pool install.
Full Flash
Checking integrity...
Integrity OK.
Running precreation scripts...
Precreation scripts done.
Determining the size of the archive...
The archive will be approximately 3.21GB.
6746651 blocks
Creating the archive...
6746653 blocks
Archive creation complete.
Running postcreation scripts...
Postcreation scripts done.

Running pre-exit scripts...
Pre-exit scripts done.

i copied it to the global zone:

init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# scp r...@192.168.11.4:/export/home/s10.cpio .
Password: 
s10.cpio             100% |*************************************************|  
3294 MB    07:30    
init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# ls -l
total 20440460
-rw-r--r--   1 65535    other        151 Oct  2 02:28 autoresponse
-rw-r--r--   1 65535    other       2314 Oct  2 02:28 ReadMe.txt
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root     3454295946 Dec  9 09:10 s10.cpio
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root     4039699747 Dec  8 16:09 s10.flar
-rw-r--r--   1 initial  staff    2563440640 Oct 17 13:35 
sol-10-u8-ga-x86-dvd.iso
-rw-r--r--   1 initial  staff    4208274 Oct 17 11:19 UserManual.pdf
-rw-r--r--   1 initial  staff    197888000 Oct 17 11:19 
VirtualBox-3.0.8-53138-SunOS.tar
-rw-r--r--   1 65535    other    197806592 Oct  2 02:28 
VirtualBox-3.0.8-SunOS-r53138.pkg
-rw-r--r--   1 65535    other      67072 Oct  2 02:28 
VirtualBoxKern-3.0.8-SunOS-r53138.pkg
init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# rm s10.flar

then i tried to install it:

init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# zoneadm -z csuite install -a ./s10.cpio
WARNING: skipping network interface 'vnic0_3' which may not be present/plumbed 
in the global zone.
A ZFS file system has been created for this zone.
ERROR: you must specify -u (sys-unconfig) or -p (preserve identity).
solaris10 brand usage:
        install -u | -p [-v | -s] -a archive | -d directory.
        The -a archive option specifies an archive name which can be a flar,
        tar, pax or cpio archive.
        The -d directory option specifies an existing directory.
        The -u option unconfigures the zone, -p preserves the configuration.
usage:  install [-x nodataset] [brand-specific args]
        Install the configuration on to the system.  The -x nodataset option
        can be used to prevent the creation of a new ZFS file system for the
        zone (assuming the zonepath is within a ZFS file system).
        All other arguments are passed to the brand installation function;
        see brands(5) for more information.
init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# zoneadm -z csuite install -a ./s10.cpio -u
zoneadm: zone 'csuite': zone is incomplete; uninstall required.
init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# zoneadm -z csuite uninstall
Are you sure you want to uninstall zone csuite (y/[n])? y
init...@dogpatch:/virtualbox# zoneadm -z csuite install -a ./s10.cpio -u
WARNING: skipping network interface 'vnic0_3' which may not be present/plumbed 
in the global zone.
A ZFS file system has been created for this zone.
      Log File: /var/tmp/csuite.install_log.79aGOA
Error: Unknown archive format. Must be a flash archive, a cpio archive (can 
also be gzipped or bzipped), a pax XUSTAR archive, or a level 0 ufsdump archive.
ERROR: Installation aborted.

do i need to label it as a cpio archive somehow?
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