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While the described patches (see fs-root-zfs.patch for the new solution, or reference fs-splitroot-fix.patch for the earlier solution) are not strictly required (i.e. things can work if you are super-careful about empty mountpoint directories and proper mountpoint attribute values, and the system does not unexpectedly or by your mistake reboot while you are in mid-procedure, or if you use legacy mountpoints and fix up /etc/vfstab in each new BE), they do greatly increase the chances of successful and correct boot-ups in the general case with dynamically-used boot environments, shared datasets and occasional untimely reboots. Also, some networking initialization scripts (notably NWAM) do expect /usr and maybe even /var to be mounted before they run, and the existing filesystem methods (which would mount /usr) happen to depend on them, However, physical:default does run successfully (most of the time, missing just the cut command which can be replaced by a ksh93 builtin implementation).

Examples?

The examples below assume that your currently installed and configured OS resides in rpool/ROOT/openindiana and you want to relocate it into rpool/ROOT/oi_151a8 with a hierarchy of compressed sub-datasets for system files (examples below use variables to allow easy upgrades of the procedure to different realities), and shared files like logs and crash dumps will reside in a hierarchy under rpool/SHARED.

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