SmartOS is a version of Sun's Solaris/SunOS with support for the excellent dtrace tool. dtrace is starting to find its way into the Linux world and there is also support for OSX (which I'm running). But it would be nice to be able to use dtrace in production which means that I need to look at SmartOS for now. Joyent, which is behind SmartOS, has a cloud running on SmartOS to it is easy to get started with a production server. But I'd also like to develop and test on a similar setup. So here I am giving SmartOS a first spin.

Quick reference

Some commands:

  • List zones (containers): vmadm list
  • Show data links: dladm show-link
  • Show physical networks: dladm show-phys
  • Show NICs: dladm show-vnic
  • Show IP addresses: ipadm show-addr
  • Show network configuration of zone: vmadm get 2d688169-9bd1-4677-bb67-99b8740d70e0|json nics

This gist automates the install (after SmartOS has been installed): curl -k | bash


I'll setup SmartOS on VirtualBox in OSX. This is easy, just follow these instructions on the SmartOS wiki

Check what IP adress the machine received and login with ssh. This is much simpler than using the terminal in VirtualBox. I use bridged network to make this easy.

The network within zones were not reachable with this approach. Testing this instead:

  • Boot from the ISO as a LiveCD
  • use "bridge mode"
  • in the advanced settings, enable "promiscuous mode".

SmartOS first steps

I havent worked with zones, zfs etc. on Solaris so I needed to check otu the common commands:

Zones are created using images. This lists the availble images: imgadm avail

These are the basic images to build custom images from: imgadm avail|grep base64

Import the latest (at hthe time of writing) basic image: imgadm import 62f148f8-6e84-11e4-82c5-efca60348b9f

Put this into zone01.json:

  "brand": "joyent",
  "image_uuid": "62f148f8-6e84-11e4-82c5-efca60348b9f",
  "alias": "zone01",
  "hostname": "zone01",
  "max_physical_memory": 512,
  "quota": 10,
  "resolvers": ["", ""],
  "nics": [
    "nic_tag": "admin",
    "ip": "",
    "netmask": "",
    "gateway": ""

Create the zone:

vmadm create -f zone01.json
Successfully created VM 2d688169-9bd1-4677-bb67-99b8740d70e0


zlogin 2d688169-9bd1-4677-bb67-99b8740d70e0
# set password to make it possible to login with vmadm
passwd root

vmadm console 2d688169-9bd1-4677-bb67-99b8740d70e0

Now in the new zone, install some software:

[root@zone01 ~]# pkgin ls
reading local summary...
processing local summary...
updating database: 100%

Setup global zone

Make it possible to install packages in the global zone:

cd /
curl -k | gzcat | tar -xf -
pkg_admin rebuild
pkgin -y up

Install whatever you need: pkgin -y install nano ...


Networking with NIC, data links etc. connected to zones is a bit of a mystreri (at least for me). A found an introduction to data links that is good to check out.

  • Show links: dladm show-link
  • This shows the physical interfaces (NIC) when executed in the global zone: dladm show-phys
  • There is also virtual NICs: dladm show-vnic
  • Show bridges: dladm show-bridge

Create a NIC (not sure howto make this works):

dladm create-vnic -l e1000g0 zone0
ifconfig zone0 plumb
ifconfig zone0 dhcp
# dhcp timed out, tested thus instead (use inet of server+1)
ifconfig zone0 inet netmask up

Testing some more:

dladm show-phys
dladm show-link
ipadm show-addr
dladm create-vnic -l link vnic
ipadm create-ip vnic
ipadm create-addr -T static -a address addrobj
ipadm create-addr -T dhcp  e1000g0/zone0


Setup a firewall for zones using NAT

Followed this article NAT using Etherstubs

cat > /etc/ipf/ipnat.conf <<EOL
map net0 -> 0/32

routeadm -u -e ipv4-forwarding
svcadm enable ipfilter
ipnat -l


SmartOS is built around services using Service Management Framework (SMF). Some intro can be found here