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Install ZFS on Debian GNU/Linux (or Ubuntu as the case may be)

Author's closing remarks:

"It is stable enough to run a ZFS root filesystem on a GNU/Linux installation for your workstation as something to play around with. It is copy-on-write, supports compression, deduplication, file atomicity, off-disk caching, encryption, and much more. At this point, unfortunately, I’m convinced that ZFS as a Linux kernel module will become “stable” long before Btrfs will be stable in the mainline kernel. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me. Both are Free Software, and both provide the long needed features we’ve needed with today’s storage needs. Competition is healthy, and I love having choice. Right now, that choice might just be ZFS."
Quick post on installing ZFS as a kernel module, not FUSE, on Debian GNU/Linux. The documents already exist for getting this going, I'm just hoping to spread this to a larger audience, in case you...
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Darik Horn's profile photoDietrich Schmitz's profile photoJohn Lewis's profile photohaosdent huang (haosong)'s profile photo
12 comments
 
I'm seriously tempted to give it a try. BTRFS progress is sooooooo slow. How long does it take to get a filesystem repair tool out!
 
I think so, yeah, Dietrich. Not sure when I will have time but I always enjoy trying out these things. It sounds as though it's reasonably stable.
 
+John Lewis My friend +Darik Horn can give you feedback. He is the maintainer of the Ubuntu package:

$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zfs-native/daily
$sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-zfs -y

should do it. Brilliant Man!

P.S.
Making your root file system zfs is still not ready for prime time.
 
Yeah I want to use it as my rootfs so it's not going to be straight forward.
 
+John Lewis The good news is, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming Train! Sundry issues including upstream grub(2) fixes are pending. But the roadmap looks nearly done.
 
+Dietrich Schmitz I don't mind having a little ext4 boot partition for the moment. I'm more bothered about getting the system back on there. I would actually prefer to do a fresh install, but the installer isn't going to allow me to do that with ZFS.
 
+John Lewis Looks like Illumos (OpenSolaris fork) maintainers have had their hand in making recent updates as well.
 
ZoL is using Illumos as its upstream. Many of the fixes published to the illumos-gate repo are now in the code for Linux.

If you're willing to tweak the GRUB configuration files, then you can also run a pure ZFS system without a separate /boot filesystem. This should improve further with the grub-2.00 release.
 
Well +Darik Horn and +Dietrich Schmitz, I went for a ext4 boot partition and zfs root. After inadvertently trying to do it with a 32-bit live CD, and making a hames of it. It worked with the 64-bit live cd. Seems to work pretty well. Running a phoronix benchmark now for the craic.