SMF service wrapper for Sun/Oracle VirtualBox under Sun/Oracle Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris builds (including OpenIndiana and illumos).

Detailed project description is available in the README file:

Discuss and get help in VirtualBox Forum thread "[Free as in beer] SMF service for VirtualBox VM's":


  • Control VirtualBox VMs as Solaris SMF service instances, including VMs owned by unprivileged users and VMs running in Solaris local zones for extra resource control by the host OS
  • Bring up a VBoxHeadless VM to manage it via X11 GUI console, then resume it as Solaris SMF service instance. Connect to VM serial consoles without service interruptions.
  • You can set up SMF dependencies between VM instances and system resources (as other SMF services) to ensure orderly startup and shutdown with the Solaris-based OS
  • "Hooks" to set up an external script to monitor that the VM is actually alive inside and does something useful. VM can be rebooted or placed into SMF maintenance if it is not really working. Since release 0.16 the monitoring script can be used to delay completion of the VM's SMF start method to better ensure proper startup of SMF dependencies.
  • Main new feature of release 0.15 is the ability of to create snapshots of ZFS datasets backing the VM and/or its data after shutdown, before startup, or on command-line request. Datasets containing the VM config files, VirtualBox snapshot files, and HDD image files, can be found automatically. Since release 0.17, local ZVOLs dedicated to a VM as a virtual HDD (via VirtualBox internalcommands) can also be detected. Other datasets (such as raw ZVOLs passed with other methods - i.e. iSCSI) can be listed in a special SMF attribute
  • Different "VM hardware clock" timezones can be configured for each VM ("UTC" is recommended)
  • Some other command-line features available (graceful poweroff, soft ACPI reboot, hard reset, rude poweroff, status check, take ZFS snapshots of backing storage, etc.)
  • Recently tested with current VirtualBox 4.2.0 release and OpenIndiana OI_151a5 host system, most things just work ;) (NOTE: For VirtualBox 4.x the 0.17 dev SVN version of the script is needed, or a manual site-local tweak, to account for change in VBox command-line parameters -- vrdp vs. vrde, if you use NICE)
  • Interactive and "dual-boot" VMs are also supported since release 0.17, so that the user manually starts up the interactive VM when needed, and SMF shuts it down properly when needed. A new "startgui -fg" mode and its symlink-based shortcuts allow the controlling script to remain in the terminal shell (or spawn a dedicated xterm) and when this shell is interrupted - the VM gets properly shut down, savestated or how ever you configure it.
  • For non-root users running VirtualBox with delegated local ZFS Volumes, a new service script was added in release 0.17 to save and restore via ZFS properties the customized (non-default) ZVOL device node ownership and access-rights attributes. Solaris and illumos currently lack a kernel-based capability to do this automatically :(
  • Version 0.18 is currently in development - grab a tarball from SVN to see the bleeding-edge new features! URL:

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Intended Audience

System Administrators, End Users/Desktop

User Interface


Programming Language

Unix Shell