jailctl was originally written to overcome some of the apparent shortcomings of FreeBSD 4.x-series; the complete lack of utilities to create and manage jails. This situation has changed somewhat with FreeBSD 5.x, but instead of giving up on jailctl I have decided to upgrade it to support this new platform as well – and to reap the benefits of the new tools available in 5.x.
Although there are a few other packages out there that help doing this, I wasn’t really happy with any of them and – thinking I could do better – decided to write a jail management script myself.
Whether or not I have succeeded in creating something useful for anyone other than myself is yet to be determined.

jailctl is a /bin/sh script, which currently has the ability to:
 – Start and stop jails
 – Create jails (with installworld and subsequent cleaning up)
 – Upgrade jails (with installworld and mergemaster)
 – Deleting jails
 – Backing up jails
 – Restoring jails
 – Show jail status and process list per jail

jailctl can be downloaded here.

Consult the INSTALL file for installation instructions. If you don’t use the port (sysutils/jailctl) to install, make sure you consult the jailctl(1) man page, after copying the jailctl.1.gz file to /usr/local/man/man1 if necessary (as described in INSTALL).

 – More per-jail configuration
 – Support for file-based and remote filesystems for jails
 – Support for mounting host /usr, /bin, etc. in jails
 – Tool/option to generate jail configuration defaults from a series of questions, adduser style
 – Web-interface for jail control
 – Host-based firewalling on a per-jail basis
 – … and more …

The author can be contacted at ltning-jailctl at anduin dot net.

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