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ZFS storage Software

by lmarzke last modified Apr 27, 2014 11:03 PM



Creating boot media

As mentioned previously SMARTOS boots from USB flash so we first need to download the latest media:

To burn this to your USB media from Linux:

  1. Use mount or fdisk to confirm the USB device name (such as /dev/sdc )
  2. bunzip2  smartos-DATE-USB.img.bz2
  3. dd if=smartos-DATE-USB.img  of=/dev/sdc  bs=1024   (note sdc overwritten, be careful )
    This may take a while
  4. Use fdisk comand 'a' to mark the new partition sdc1 as bootable

Plug in the Flash media to a USB port on the server.    The 2950 has an internal USB flash port on a daughter card along the side of the unit.  (See here) Setup your BIOS to boot from the USB media first.

For further info see here .

SmartOS Setup

The hard disks in the unit will be erased,  so verify that no data is on them.   When booting SmartOS if no ZFS pools are detected you will be given a list of disk ID's that may be used to create your 1st pool.

For instance with 6 disks,   the following drives are listed on first boot as available.

c0t0d0, c0t1d0, c0t2d0, c0t3d0, c0t4d0, c0t5d0

You will then be asked to type in the disks desired,  so type in the complete line shown above.


My network storage uses VLAN 25.   I created a new storage virtual NIC as follows:

# ifconfig storage0 plumb
# ifconfig storage0 inet up

To view the NIC settings:
# dladm show-phys -m
To make these permanent I edited /usbkey/config and added the following commands:


About SmartOS

SmartOS is different from most normal OS disks installations:

  • The OS runs from RAM disk.
  • Most RAM disks mounts are read-only ( including /etc,  /usr )
    for security , and to avoid writing to flash
  • Only a few mounts are writable and persistent ( /opt,  /var , /zones )
  • You can not add users,  add cron jobs,  or change any config files.

Setting up persistent NFS shares is not difficult,  however as that configuration info is stored in the persistent zpool itself and not in config files.


Since SmartOS is not actually installed but running from flash media the upgrade involves just replacing the media.

To upgrade your SmartOS:

  1. Download and burn new OS to a new USB flash media.
  2. Shutdown SmartOS,  remove flash media.
  3. Startup Server,   Enter BIOS and ensure that new USB Flash
    is still listed as 1st bootable partition
  4. Startup SmartOS,  all parameters are retrieved from zpool.



Goto:  Part I



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