Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Problems encapsulating root on Solaris with Volume Manager 5.0 MP3

This post is as much for my own reference as for the world at large, but having spent entirely too much time working on this I just had to post it.

As part of a larger project we are installing Storage Foundation and using Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) to encapsulate and then mirror the root disks. It's a well-known process so it was particularly frustrating to find that the systems either would not complete the encapsulation or would come up referencing rootvol for the root device, but without the configuration daemon (vxconfigd) running.

We could force the configuration daemon to start but no matter what we tried the system just would not start vxconfigd at boot. Searches on SunSolve and Symantec's support site didn't turn anything up until we started digging through the startup scripts and found that one of them was running this:

vxdctl settz

Plugging that into google leads here, which basically says that they added this in MP3 and if the system's TZ environment variable isn't set then it dumps core and doesn't start vxconfigd.

Sure enough, there was no entry for TZ in /etc/TIMEZONE, and adding one fixed it.

And yes, I know that there's a much easier (and elegant) way to handle this with the combination of zfs and beadm, but maybe we'll talk about that later.



  1. VxVM root encapsulation??? WTH people still actually do that?

  2. On boxes without hardware RAID, yeah. Even if you didn't encapsulate root, though, this could still bite you when you apply MP3.