ZFSBootMenu: a bootloader for booting Linux on ZFS

ZFSBootMenu is a bootloader that provides a powerful and flexible discovery, manipulation and booting of Linux on ZFS. Originally inspired by the FreeBSD bootloader, ZFSBootMenu leverages the features of modern OpenZFS to allow users to choose among multiple “boot environments” (which may represent different versions of a Linux distribution, earlier snapshots of a common root, or entirely different distributions), manipulate snapshots in a pre-boot environment and, for the adventurous user, even bootstrap a system installation via zfs recv.

In essence, ZFSBootMenu is a small, self-contained Linux system that knows how to find other Linux kernels and initramfs images within ZFS filesystems. When a suitable kernel and initramfs are identified (either through an automatic process or direct user selection), ZFSBootMenu launches that kernel using the kexec command.

Interesting bootloader, for sure, but I am curious to know how many people use ZFS on Linux. Are there any distributions that use ZFS by default?


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