Free BSD Jail

Free BSD Jail

The FreeBSD jail mechanism is an implementation of operating system-level virtualization that allows administrators to partition a FreeBSD-based computer system into several independent mini-systems called jails.

The need for the FreeBSD jails came from a small shared-environment hosting provider's (R&D Associates, Inc.'s owner, Derrick Woolworth), desire to establish a clean, clear-cut separation between their own services and those of their customers, mainly for security and ease of administration (jail(8)). Instead of adding a new layer of fine-grained configuration options, the solution adopted by Poul-Henning Kamp was to compartmentalize the system -- both its files and its resources -- in such a way that only the right people are given access to the right compartments.

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