Solaris Zone in “shutting_down” state

One of the most annoying situations when administering  Solaris zones is when you try to reboot / halt a zone , the zone goes into a “shutting_down” state which is kind of a hung state where it is neither down nor up.

The only solution to get the zone out of the “shutting_down” state was to reboot the global which is not really good  because it brings down all the other local zones on the global.

On Solaris 10 10/08 (update 6) have observed that there may be a workaround for this issue.

The following are the steps that I followed from the global

zoneadm list -cv — This shows the affected local zone in “shutting_down”

ps -ef | grep zoneadmd — Find the PID for the zoneadmd corresponding to the affected zone

kill -9 PID — Kill the PID which we get from the previous command

zoneadm -z <zone> halt — Run the command to halt a zone with <zone> being affected zone name

The above command should complain about the zoneadmd for the zone being down and being restarted or something like that.

Disclaimer : This worked for me a couple of times on Update 6 but did not work for me on update 5 and below.

Hope this helps.


3 Responses to “Solaris Zone in “shutting_down” state”

  1. Shimon Weinreich Says:


    I bumped into these problem. A minute before rebooting global zone,
    I did:

    1) pkill -9 -z zonename
    2) umount -f /zonename
    3) zoneadm -z zonename boot

    It worked.


  2. Michael Pluto Says:

    Hi Prakash,

    I’ve also run into this situation a few times. Something else worthwhile to check, for a zone running in zfs, is the state of any zpools in use by that zone. A zpool in faulted state, perhaps due to potential data corruption in one or more files in the local zone, can prevent local zone shutdown. Check pools with ‘zpool status -v’ from the global zone. Faulted pools can often be resolved with ‘zpool clear ‘. Suspended zoneadm commands then execute immediately.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Jonathan Smith Says:

    Hi, the guide here didn’t always work for me but there’s a slightly different method that’s worked for me whenever I’ve tried it. The reboot command hangs but if you run it in the background (with &) and then kill the zone process and reboot the zone it should come back up:

    # zoneadm -z zonename reboot &
    # pkill -9 -z zonename
    # zoneadm -z zonename reboot

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