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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  EZJAIL-ADMIN (8)


ezjail-admin - Administrate ezjail environment


     Nm Cm install
     Nm Cm create
     Nm Cm console
     Nm Cm list
     Nm Cm start | restart | stop | startcrypto | stopcrypto Op Ar jailname ...
     Nm Cm config Ar jailname
     Nm Cm delete Ar jailname
     Nm Cm archive Op jailname
     Nm Cm restore
     Nm Cm snapshot [jailname...]
     Nm Cm update
See Also


install [-mMpPsS] [-h host] [-r release] ezjail-admin create [-bx] [-f flavour] [-r jailroot] [-a archive] [-c jailtype-s imagesize [-C attachargs]] [-z parentzfs]
.Bk -words jailname ipaddress [,ipaddress2,...]
.Ek ezjail-admin console [-f] [-e command] jailname ezjail-admin list ezjail-admin start | stop | restart | startcrypto | stopcrypto jailname... ezjail-admin config [-r run | norun | test] [-n newname] [-i attach | detach | fsck] [-z newdataset] [-c newcpuset] [-f newfib] jailname ezjail-admin delete [-wf] jailname ezjail-admin archive [-Af] [-a archive] [-d archivedir] jailname... ezjail-admin restore [-f] [-d archivedir] archive | jailname... ezjail-admin snapshot [jailname...] ezjail-admin update [-s sourcetree | sourceosversion] [-p] -b -| -i -| -P -| -u -| -U


The ezjail-admin utility is used to manage the ezjail environment and all the jails inside the ezjail scope. This man page describes the invocation of ezjail-admin. Refer to ezjail(7) in order to get an introduction to the usage of ezjail, as well as usage examples.

The description of some options ends with 'Variable:"$ezjail_abcd"'. This means that the default value of the option may be overridden by setting this variable in ezjail.conf(5).

    Nm Cm install

This function sub-command is normally run once in the life of the ezjail environment. It allocates the directory structure used by ezjail and populates the base jail using the minimal distribution set from a FreeBSD FTP server.

The default location for ezjail’s basejail is in /usr/jails, so be sure you have enough space there (a FreeBSD base release without man pages, sources and ports is around 120MB). This location may be modified in ezjail.conf(5).

See also ezjail-admin update to install the base jail from source, as well as a method to update the base jail using freebsd-update(8).

The following options are available:
-m Fetch and install man pages (ca. 10MB).
-M Fetch and install man pages, without (re)installing the base jail. May be used to add the man pages to the base jail after the initial installation.
-s Fetch and install sources (ca. 450MB).
-S Fetch and install sources, without (re)installing the base jail.
-p Invoke the portsnap(8) utility to fetch and extract a FreeBSD ports tree from (ca. 475MB). When a ports tree is added to the base jail, a modified make.conf containing reasonable values to function in the jailed environment is added to the new jail template so all jails created from the new jail template will have a working ports environment. See the appendix in the for details or portsnap(8).
-P Fetch and extract a ports tree, without (re)installing the base jail.
-h host
  Set the remote host to fetch FreeBSD distribution sets from. If absent the default host is used. Variable: "$ezjail_ftphost".

It is possible to install from the disc1 CD-ROM, or an extracted -RELEASE directory, by specifying the host argument as file://path/to/source.

-r release
  Install this release of FreeBSD in the base jail, instead of the version returned by "uname -r" on the host system. Note that the FreeBSD FTP servers usually provide only -RELEASE versions, not -STABLE nor -CURRENT versions; you will be prompted for confirmation when trying to install a non -RELEASE version. If you want to install a -CURRENT version, you may have to compile from source the base jail; see the update sub-command for this.

    Nm Cm create

Create a new jail inside ezjail’s scope. It either copies the new jail directory tree template or an ezjail archive directory tree to new jail root directory, /usr/jails/ jailname by default. Jailname and IP address are mandatory parameters.

When a new jail is created, a corresponding new /etc/fstab. jailname file is also created, with a nullfs(5) mount giving access to the base jail from the new jail.

The following operands are mandatory:
  The name of the jail. It is customary to use the network name of the jail, such as "" (or maybe simply "jail1"), but really any name may be used.

It is an error to have several jails of the same name, note that due to ezjail’s internal jailname sanitation, "" and "sand_box_com" are considered identical. Some names such as "basejail" and "flavours" are reserved for ezjails internal administrative purposes.

ipaddress [,ipaddress2,...]
  The IP address or addresses of the jail. Since FreeBSD 7.2, it is possible to assign several several IPv4 or IPv6 addresses to a jail, by separating them with commas. Previous versions of FreeBSD allowed only a single IPv4 address per jail.

From FreeBSD 9.0 the ipaddresses may be prefixed with an interface name, followed by the pipe symbol. It will then automatically be configured as an alias on that interface when the jail starts. Else ezjail-admin will display a warning if the requested address is not found on any interface, and the jail will probably not start.

It is common to bind jails to loopback addresses, so they provide services visible to other jails only.

The following options are available:
-r jailroot
  Use this name as the directory name of the new jail. Without this option, it is derived from the jail’s name. If this option is given and does not start with a ’/’, it is interpreted as relative to ezjail’s root directory (/usr/jails by default). If a specified jailroot path lies outside the ezjail root directory, a soft link is created inside /usr/jails/ pointing to the location of the newly created jail.
-a archive
  Restore a jail from an archive created with archive. The archive files are kept in /usr/jails/ezjail_archives by default. Use - to restore an archive from the standard input.

You will probably need to tidy up things inside an ezjail if you migrate it between different ezjail environments. This may include (but is not limited to) reinstalling ports or packages for different CPUs or library versions. You may also need to copy some libraries from the source host’s base jail.

See also restore, if you only want to revert to an old jail’s state from an archive on the same release version.

-x This flag indicates that a jail root directory for that jail already exists. In this case, ezjail will only import the jail to its control directory. Sanity checks are performed.
-f flavour
  Install the requested flavour in the new jail. Refer to ezjail(7) for more details on flavours.

This option may not be used with the -a option.

-c simple | bde | eli | zfs
  Create an image jail of the given type.

simple, bde and eli image jails are file backed memory discs attached as md(4) devices, so the jail can never grow beyond its allocated size and can even be mounted read only. The jail will be stored in a file named jailname .img, unless -r jailroot is given, in which case the jail is stored in jailroot .img.

Both bde and eli jails use the geom(4) framework to encrypt all data written to the image file using gbde(4) (for bde) or geli(8) (for eli).

Unless you pass some options to the encryption geom commands using the -C parameter, you will be prompted for a passphrase to protect the crypto image. Note that, since starting normal encrypted image jails requires user interaction to enter the passphrase, they will NOT automatically be started at boot time. Use ezjail-admin startcrypto to manually start all crypto image jails.

A zfs jail is backed with a zfs(8) filesystem, whose initial quota is given with the -s option. The filesystem by default (see the -z option) is created in the "$ezjail_jailzfs" parent filesystem and compressed using the lzjb method, as set in the "ezjail_zfs_jail_properies" variable, both values configured in ezjail.conf(5).

In each case, the -s flag is mandatory when creating a file backed jail (i.e. any image that is not zfs backed). An empty directory (without the .img suffix in the case of file-based jails) will be created and used as a mount point when running the jail.

-z parentzfs
  Normally zfs jails are created in a child of the same zfs, ezjail keeps its working directories in, as configured in the "ezjail_jailzfs" variable set in ezjail.conf(5). Use this option to override this default.

This option implies -c zfs.

-s imagesize
  Allocate this size to the jail. Without an unit, the size is in bytes. The valid suffix values are b/B for blocks (i. e. 512 bytes), k/K for kilobytes, m/M for megabytes, and g/G for gigabytes. As a reference point, a newly created jail requires 2 MB.

It is not possible to increase the size of file-based jails after their creation, short of creating a new image jail with a larger size.

-C imageopt
  Pass this argument to gbde(8) or geli(8) when initialising crypto image jails. The -P and-K (and -L for gbde(4)) options will be translated and passed to the respective attach command when starting the jail. You will have to escape parameters with single ticks to protect them from shell expansion.
-i Synonym of -c simple.
-b Tell ezjail that starting this jail would block unattended reboots. This may happen when certain services need private SSL keys that require the user to interactively enter a passphrase. The jail is then not automatically started at boot time.

    Nm Cm console

Attach your console to the selected jail. You are logged in as root by default.

The following options are available:
-f Start the jail if it is not running yet.
-e command
  Use command instead of the default "/usr/bin/login -f root". login command. A one time change to use a different user can be accomplished by using -e "/usr/bin/login -f user". Variable: "$ezjail_default_execute".

    Nm Cm list

List all jails inside ezjail’s scope. They are sorted by the order they start up, as defined by rcorder(1).

The first column is the status flag consisting of 2 or 3 letters. The first letter is the type of jail:
D Directory tree based jail.
I File-based jail.
E Geli encrypted file-based jail.
B Bde encrypted file-based jail.
Z ZFS filesystem-based jail.

The second letter is the status of the jail:
R The jail is running.
A The image of the jail is mounted, but the jail is not running.
S The jail is stopped.

If present, the third letter, N, means that the jail is not automatically started.

The following columns are the JID (when it is running), the IP addresses, the name and the full path directory name of the jail.

    Nm Cm start | restart | stop | startcrypto | stopcrypto Op Ar jailname ...

This is a shortcut to the rc(8) ezjail script. Refer to ezjail(7) section Starting jails for details.

Note that, if ezjail is not enabled in rc.conf(5) with "ezjail_enable="YES"", nothing happens.

Since starting crypto image jails requires interaction with the administrator, they are not run at boot time. Use startcrypto to run them all at once.

    Nm Cm config Ar jailname

Manage parameters of specific ezjails. For running jails, most of the configuration changes described below will not be applied until the next time the jail is restarted.

The following options are available:
-r run | norun | test
  Set the jail to be automatically started or not on boot.

Note that the test parameter can be used to check if an ezjail exists, in this case the script will return with an exit code of zero and the runnable state on standard out. A non-zero exit code will be returned if the jail does not exist.

-n newname
  Rename the jail. Unless a custom root directory was given with the -r flag when creating the jail, the root directory will be renamed as well. A running jail may not be renamed.
-i attach | detach | fsck
  Only valid for stopped image jails. Attaching a jail means making the content of the root of the jail accessible from the host. No other sub-commands will function on an jail while its image is attached. With fsck, the image jail is attached, fsck(8) is run, then the image jail is detached. You can only fsck image based jails.
-z newdataset
  Set the given ZFS dataset to be mounted inside the jail file system when it is started.
-f newfib
  Change the FIB of the jail (see setfib(2)).
-c newcpuset
  Change the CPU affinity set of the jail (see cpuset(2)).

    Nm Cm delete Ar jailname

Delete a jail. By default, this command only deletes ezjail’s control file for the selected jail as well as /etc/fstab. jailname. The /usr/jails/ jailname directory is not deleted.

-f Stop the jail before deleting it.
-w Delete the directory or the file backing the jail.

    Nm Cm archive Op jailname

Create a backup of one or all jails. The jail’s root directory tree is backed up as a pax(1) archive. By default, the jail needs to be stopped.
-A Archive all jails. You must neither specify an archivename nor a jailname in this case.
-a archivename
  Use this name for the archive file. If absent, the archive file name is derived from the jail name, with the current date and time appended to the archive’s file name. Use - to write to stdout.
-d directory
  Save the archive in this directory. If this option is not given and "$ezjail_archivedir" is not set, the archive is saved in the default directory. Variable: "$ezjail_archivedir".
-f Archive the jail even when it is running.

Use restore or create-a archive to restore an archive.

    Nm Cm restore

Create new ezjails from archived versions. It tries to collect all information necessary to do that without user interaction from the user.

The following operand is mandatory:
archive | jailname
  Restore this jail. If only the jail name is given, ezjail-admin will use the most recent archive file matching the name you specified. To restore an older version, specify the complete archive file name (file name with the date and time of the archive appended to it).

The following options are available:
-d archivedir
  Search the archive file in this directory. If this option is not given, the archive is searched in "$ezjail_archivedir".
-f Restore the archive even if running on a host different from where it was archived. Be default, ezjail-admin will refuse to restore an archive if the archived host system’s hostname, its FreeBSD version or CPU architecture do not match the current host.

    Nm Cm snapshot [jailname...]

Takes zfs snapshots of some or all (zfs) ezjails and their zfs datasets and optionally destroys older snapshots according to a configured retention policy.

The zfs snapshots will be named @ez-autosnap- with the date appended in format “%Y%m%d%H%M”. List all auto snapshots with "/sbin/zfs list -H -t snapshot | grep @ez-autosnap-".

You can set (and override in that order) the retention policy globally in your "$ezjail_default_retention_policy" ezjail.conf(5) variable, set them per jail in its config file with their "$ezjail_retention_policy" variable or set a User property with the name "ezjail:autosnap_retention" on the respective file systems.

The policy is described by a pattern of space separated "repeat x window" entries with the algorithm guaranteeing at least one and at most two snapshots in each of the windows, if mathematically possible. See ezjail(7) for details.

    Nm Cm update

Updates ezjail’s basejail, or in the -b or -i case, install a FreeBSD world from source to be used as basejail.

Exactly one of the following operand must be specified:
-b Build a world from source and install it as the (updated) basejail. "make buildworld; make installworld" by default using the sources located at /usr/src (but see the -s option).

As the old basejail is not deleted, but merely overwritten, this usually leaves all jails in a state where they still find older versions of libraries they were linked against.

-i As above but only perform a "make installworld", assuming the world has already been built. That is highly likely since it is recommended to update the basejail along with the host system.
-u Use freebsd-update(8) to update the basejail. Note that as freebsd-update(8) uses "uname -r" to determine the currently running system, the base jail and the host need to be updated at the same time, without rebooting on the new kernel in the meantime.
-U Use freebsd-update(8) to upgrade the basejail to the hosts operating system version, or a version you may pass freebsd-update’s call to "uname -r" via the UNAME_r environment variable. Since there currently is no way of inferring the osversion currently installed in the basejail, you need to remember the original osversion and pass it to this script using the -s option.
-P Install only the ports tree, assuming the basejail has already been created. This can be done while jails are running. The portsnap(8) utility is invoked to do the actual work.

The following options are available:
-p Give the new basejail a copy of FreeBSD’s ports tree. The portsnap(8) utility is invoked to do the actual work.
-s sourcedir | sourceosversion
  In the -b and-i case: Use the sources in sourcedir instead of /usr/src. Variable: "$ezjail_sourcetree".

In the -U case: Pass this release tag to freebsd-update(8) as the source OS version of the basejail.

See the install sub command to install the basejail from binary packages.

If the basejail is managed in its own ZFS filesystem, a snapshot of that filesystem is taken first.




ezjail(7), ezjail.conf(8), jail(8), devfs(5), fdescfs(5), procfs(5), portsnap(8).


.An Dirk Engling <>.

The man page is based on a draft by
.An JoeB <> and was rewritten by
.An Frederic Perrin <>.

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