[rescue] Flash archive stupidity (and a warning)

Patrick Giagnocavo patrick at zill.net
Fri Jun 25 20:25:36 CDT 2010

I have been pulling my hair out with the new Solaris Flash Archive
(flar) problems I am having (now solved after a laborious setup of
jumpstart, DHCP,  etc.). 

The "old" UFS flars were a single large archive containing some files
describing the contents, then a large cpio archive, from which you could
extract individual files and directories as needed.

The "new" ZFS flars, have some files describing the contents, then a ZFS
datastream, which CANNOT be loaded into an existing ZFS filesystem, not
even into a completely blank one (like a separate zpool  on a separate
disk with a single unused zfs filesystem) you have just created - the
only accepted solution is to use a custom Jumpstart profile to load the
ZFS flar onto a fresh, bare system or VM.  You can't even use
liveupgrade - it will barf.

Oh, and you can't boot off the CD/DVD either, then choose "Flash
Archive" and load the flar ... only Jumpstart.

Of course, this greatly reduces the utility of flars for making backups,
or for any other purpose.  Silly me for thinking that the added
flexibility of ZFS would be, you know, respected and utilized.  If you
do in fact, attempt to use zfs recv to get the files, it will happily
load everything but not actually let you get to the stuff you need to
get to.

I ended up having 2 VMs, configured for a completely isolated network
seeing only each other, with no physically attached network; one VM to
serve as DHCP server, PXE boot server, Jumpstart server etc. (btw the
Sun DHCP server seems rather odd); then the second VM to serve as a mule
upon which to get the files.  This also meant using the crappy VMware
Vsphere client.

Whatta pain ... and of course, there is now no chance that Snoracle will
solve it, it sounds like a "feature" which will require you to buy a
support contract...


More information about the rescue mailing list