[rescue] OS for ZFS?

Jonathan Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Mon Mar 25 16:36:05 CDT 2013

On Mon, 25 Mar 2013, Zachary Giles wrote:

> Honestly, I still dont trust ZFS on anything but Solaris /
> OpenSolaris. Maybe I need to get over that, but I don't like to lose
> data :)
> Others thoughts on that?

I've been using ZFS on FreeBSD both at home since it was almost completely
unsupported in FreeBSD 7.2, and I've been using at work in production
since 8.0.  It works well, but there caveats.

The most recent problem that bit me is that there is a kernel bug that
stalls all ZFS administration if you try to recursively-rename a snapshot
in a dataset hierarchy wherein there are volumes.  If I had a little more
time, I'd help bughunt this, since I'd really like it fixed.

The installer still doesn't support installing to ZFS, even though there's
been ZFS-aware bootloader for quite a long time.  So, be prepared to
install the system by hand (not hard, and there's a step-by-step howto) if
you want ZFS on root.

Don't put your swap on ZFS.  Solaris can cope with this, but FreeBSD will
(or used to, at least as of version 7.3) die horribly if you get into a
low-memory and high-writes situation.  Use a geom mirror for swap.

Performance is pretty good, and the management tools are very close to
what ships with Solaris.  I've yet to lose data, and I appreciate the
reassurance of a nightly pool scrub without having to put up with the
direction that Solaris has taken.

Jonathan Patschke  |  "For a successful technology, reality must take
Elgin, TX          %   precedence over public relations, for nature
USA                |   cannot be fooled."           --Richard Feynman

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