Basic usage

This section is about basic use and is a suitable quick howto for newcomers.

Fetch a release

The very first step with iocell is to fetch a RELEASE. By default iocell will attempt to fetch the host’s current RELEASE from the servers. Once the RELEASE bits are downloaded, the most recent patches are applied too.

Simply run:

iocell fetch

If a specific RELEASE is required run:

iocell fetch release=9.3-RELEASE

In case a specific download mirror (FTP or HTTP) is required simply run:

iocell fetch

You can also specify a directory to fetch the base files from:

iocell fetch ftpdir=/dir/

Create a jail

There are three supported basic jail types: full, clone and base jail. In addition to these three there are two more which are discussed later (empty and templates). Depending on requirements the create subcommand can be tweaked to create any of the three types. By default iocell will create a fully independent jail of the current host’s RELEASE and set the TAG property to todays date.

Creating a jail is real simple, just run:

iocell create

This will create a fully independent jail.

To create a lightweight jail (clone) run:

iocell create -c

To create a base jail:

iocell create -b

To create a jail and set its IP address and tag property run:

iocell create -c tag=myjail ip4_addr="em0|"

For more information please read iocell(8).

Listing jails

To list all jails run:

iocell list

To see all downloaded RELEASEs run:

iocell list -r

To see available templates run:

iocell list -t

Start, stop or restart a jail

To start or stop any jail on the system both the UUID or TAG can be used interchangeably. To simplify UUID handling iocell accepts a partial UUID too with any subcommand.


To start a jail tagged www01 simply run:

iocell start www01

To start a jail with a full UUID run:

iocell start 26e8e027-f00c-11e4-8f7f-3c970e80eb61

Or to start the jail only with a partial UUID enter the first few characters only:

iocell start 26e8


To stop a jail just use the stop subcommand instead of start:

iocell stop www01


To restart a jail run:

iocell restart www01

Note: Short UUIDs are supported with all operations and subcommands within iocell.

Configure a jail

Any property can be reconfigured with the set subcommand.

Set property

To set the jail’s TAG property run:

iocell set tag=www02 26e8e027

Get property

To verify any property simply run the get subcommand:

iocell get tag 26e8e027

Get all properties:

Or to display all supported properties run:

iocell get all 26e8e027

System wide defaults

Starting with version 1.6.0 system wide defaults can be set. These defaults will be re-applied for all newly created jails. To create a system wide default override for a property simply specify the default keyword instead of a jail UUID or TAG.

Example, to turn off VNET capability for all newly created jails run:

iocell set vnet=off default

Destroy a jail

To destroy a jail, simply run:

iocell destroy www02

Warning: this will irreversibly destroy the jail!