Home > FreeBSD > FreeBSD Project Integrates ZFS FreeBSD Project Integrates ZFS Submitted by binarycrusader 2007-04-06 FreeBSD 33 Comments Pawel Dawidek announced today that the ZFS filesystem is now part of the FreeBSD operating system. iSCSI, booting, ICLs, and extended attributes are not supported yet. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 33 Comments 2007-04-06 6:08 am MrEcho woot! 2007-04-06 6:11 am silicon w00t! w00t! 2007-04-06 6:34 am vermaden The WOW Starts Now! :p 2007-04-06 6:43 am Cagliostro Are there any users who have tested it or already use it in production environment ? If so please give us your feedback. 2007-04-06 7:18 am lopisaur The ZFS support is only available for the -CURRENT branch at the moment, which is unstable, state of the art and NOT recommended for production use. I don’t think ZFS will be backported to the 6.x branch, so we’ll have to wait for the 7.0 release. 2007-04-06 9:14 am Oliver Nobody with a sane mind would be using a new ported filesystem in a production environment. 2007-04-06 7:11 am Jondice I know Sun has been working on making ZFS bootable for 2 years, and I’m sure Apple has been interested in this for some time as well. What makes ZFS so much more difficult to boot from than other filesystems? 2007-04-06 7:48 am zdzichu Support for reading it must be done in bootloader (GRUB for Solaris x86). So one have reimplement part of filesystem, in pretty hostile environment (bootloader is simple compared with fullblown OS with memory management and stuff). Also volume management part of ZFS makes it harder — you can’t just read some sectors of hard drive, you have to recreate stripes, mirrors, raids first. But it’s doable. Solaris people were working on it ( http://opensolaris.org/os/project/zfsboot/ ) and it’s now possible to boot Solaris from ZFS on x86 ( http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/on/flag-days/pages/20070328… ). 2007-04-06 10:39 am SReilly ZFS is one of the most interesting things to come out of Sun recently and is a much needed tune up to the Solaris filesystem. Journaling UFS, although not bad, is not my first choice as when the power goes down, you might still end up losing data or making the system unstable. Also, considering ZFS’s scalability, I think they are on too a winner here. I’m glad FreeBSD has been able to incorporate dtrace as well. It seems to be making a great OS even better. Kinda got me thinking about using it for a home server. 2007-04-06 1:22 pm Doc Pain “ZFS is one of the most interesting things to come out of Sun recently and is a much needed tune up to the Solaris filesystem.” I like the idea of soon having the great things from Solaris to be used in BSD as well. FreeBSD will surely become a concentrate of the best aspects of itself and other OSes (Solaris, OpenBSD etc.). I can’t wait to see version 7 available for download. “Journaling UFS, although not bad, is not my first choice as when the power goes down, you might still end up losing data or making the system unstable.” Just as I sidenote, I’d like to say that I did not encounter such problems, allthough my boss is one who likes to flip the main power switch of his FreeBSD (UFS2) workstation without shutting it down properly. The fsck works without user interaction, repairing minor problems by itself, but data loss? No. UFS / UFS2 is quite safe because the on disk status is always in a consistent state between the writing operations. It uses soft updates instead of journaling. Metadata is written asynchronously in a definite order. In journaling, as you surely know it from EXT3FS, metadata is written twice, once into the journal, once to the file system, asynchronously. After writing operation to the file system is finished, the information is deleted from the journal. An interruption within this process may lead files to disappear without any warning. “I’m glad FreeBSD has been able to incorporate dtrace as well. It seems to be making a great OS even better.” I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. 🙂 2007-04-06 11:15 pm Luminair I like the idea of soon having the great things from Solaris to be used in BSD as well. FreeBSD will surely become a concentrate of the best aspects of itself and other OSes (Solaris, OpenBSD etc.). If Sun and the OpenSolaris community have their way, Solaris will become the best of other operating systems too Lets see who gets there first 2007-04-06 12:16 pm Chuck Norris The only problem I see with ZFS is that you’re limited with 16 exbibyte in space. Which can be filled pretty quickly if you store Chuck Norris movies. ZFS is a 128-bit file system, which means it can store 18 billion billion (18.4 × 1018) times more data than current 64-bit systems. The limitations of ZFS are designed to be so large that they will never be encountered in practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems 2007-04-06 1:06 pm binarycrusader I think this is a better one-line summary from the ZFS FAQ on OpenSolaris.org: “ZFS can store 16 Exabytes in each storage pool, file system, file, or file attribute. ZFS can store billions of names: files or directories in a directory, file systems in a file system, or snapshots of a file system. ZFS can store trillions of items: files in a file system, file systems, volumes, or snapshots in a pool.” Edited 2007-04-06 13:07 2007-04-06 2:22 pm dswain But also the distros that are derived from it such as Dragonfly BSD and DesktopBSD. Though I guess it won’t be a major effect initially obviously, these teams (once a final release is out) might be able to produce an easy system for even the end user to take advantage of. Though I wonder what they would come up with to do with such a powerful file system. I’d imagine some type of backup system for starters. It could be very interesting to see where this could go with it. In the meantime, I’m hopeful for FreeBSD 7. 2007-04-06 2:46 pm antik But also the distros that are derived from it such as Dragonfly BSD and DesktopBSD. IIRC then DragonflyBSD is fork from FreeBSD and DesktopBSD *is* FreeBSD just like PC-BSD. Journaling filesystems like Gjournal and ZFS is godsent for desktop users because usually desktop computers have no UPS and in case of power failure they are first victims with messed filesystems and lost files. 2007-04-06 2:51 pm dswain Oh okay good call. I was trying to find the other name (PC-BSD) but I couldn’t recall it so I thought it was Dragonfly BSD. Either way, I agree. I also see this being really great for a fast recovery system along with a backup system. Also with the ability to write those add ons so easily with the API they provide, we could see some really neat other tools blossom it seems like. 2007-04-06 3:48 pm kamiko there’s no plan to port ZFS to DragonflyBSD in the future. the kernels are too much different by now and Matt’s going on with his own implementation of a ‘cluster filesystem’… 2007-04-06 3:52 pm Anonymous Penguin I wish that the Linux developers considered it as well, especially now that the Reiser4 future is totally unknown. 2007-04-06 6:38 pm fepede I wish that the Linux developers considered it as well, especially now that the Reiser4 future is totally unknown. I wish it too, but if something has not changed since the last time i checked, there were licensing problem in including ZFS code within the Linux kernel. However, there is a good working implementation of ZFS for FUSE to be used with Linux. It is still in beta stage, and it will never be like having it in the kernel, however is a very interesting project. I think that if the license of ZFS change, it won’t be too hard to have ZFS in the kernel thanks to the work that Ricardo Correia is doing with ZFS on FUSE. Check it out at this address: http://zfs-on-fuse.blogspot.com/ 2007-04-06 7:06 pm slashdev Does anyone know if there are plans to Port ZFS (or any other non-MS file system) to Windows? (i know, probably far fetched…) 2007-04-06 8:17 pm adamk So this is offtopic as is pertains to ZFS, but does directly relate to using FreeBSD on the desktop… Unfortunately, FreeBSD no longer has a qualified developer maintaining Xorg. There are three freebsd ports committers working on bringing Xorg 7.2 into the FreeBSD ports tree. Their focus is on fixing other ports which are now broken due to the changes in X11BASE that is happening at the same time as the migration to Xorg 7.2. No one, however, is currently working on fixing the broken AIGLX support for the radeon and intel drivers ( http://wiki.freebsd.org/ModularXorg ). Nor does it appear anyone is working on X11 related bugs (such as http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=ports/106370 ). In addition, one of those three developers has said that once the problems with the other ports are sorted out, they will be merging Xorg 7.2, whether or not AIGLX is still broken at the time. To me, the lack of 3D support for a card which is well supported by open source 3D drivers under linux, makes FreeBSD nearly unusable as a desktop. And, even if DRI did start working on this card, the lack of AIGLX support puts FreeBSD at a severe disadvantage to linux when is comes to 3D desktop support. I believe the only way to get beryl working on FreeBSD at the moment, for example, is with an nVidia card and the nvidia drivers. Till FreeBSD gets someone on board who can remedy these problems, I’ve had to switch to linux, booting FreeBSD only once in a while to update the system and update my ports. 2007-04-06 8:41 pm Oliver Yeah 3D desktop, hype of the year. Most people are migrating from Windows to opensource OS xyz because of this eyecandy crap who drives your power consumption to new heights. >Their focus is on fixing other ports which are now broken Some ports, I’m using it with git and it runs quiet smooth. >the lack of AIGLX support puts FreeBSD Yes in terms of your very own “desktop experience”, if you do need couture try a Mac. >Unfortunately, FreeBSD no longer has a qualified developer maintaining Xorg. Or maybe Xorg hasn’t got qualified developers who can develop system independent. 2007-04-06 8:49 pm adamk Yeah 3D desktop, hype of the year You may consider the 3D desktop hype, but I consider the zoom features to be a necessity at this point, at least for me. if you do need couture try a Mac. Besides, why should I use a Mac when linux does just what I need? FreeBSD used to be on par with linux in that arena, it isn’t now. Or maybe Xorg hasn’t got qualified developers who can develop system independent. Either way, it’s still FreeBSD’s problem. They used to have someone who worked on DRI support, they don’t now. Besides, 3D accleration at this level has always required kernel support. Expecting the Xorg developers to remove all operating system specific support is not going to happen. Ever… Adam Adam Edited 2007-04-06 20:55 2007-04-06 10:41 pm Oliver >FreeBSD used to be on par with linux in that arena, it isn’t now. FreeBSD primary use was never a desktop system, but it fits of course for many people in this area. Look at some desktops in Linux, people who are actually working with it – they don’t use instable features for real productivity. A friend of mine is using Maya at the Linux desktop at home and university, he wouldn’t even think of using a 3D desktop … 2007-04-06 10:58 pm adamk FreeBSD primary use was never a desktop system, but it fits of course for many people in this area. My point simply is that the number of people for whom FreeBSD fits as a desktop system is going to decrease. Whether or not the FreeBSD project cares to remedy that problem is simply up to them. Adam 2007-04-07 1:11 pm Doc Pain “My point simply is that the number of people for whom FreeBSD fits as a desktop system is going to decrease.” To simplify, I just divide “people for whom FreeBSD fits as a desktop system” into two parts: The ones who need eye candy (this includes 3D desktop as well, allthough I don’t consider it as completely useless), and the ones who don’t. For the first part, Linux surely is the better choice. KDE, Gnome, Compiz, Beryl et al. are designed for Linux primarily, they work fine here, along with the drivers for ATI or nVidia. Modern Linux distributions don’t force anyone to get the hands dirty editing configuration files. The other part will be fine with PC-BSD and DesktopBSD. The better educated ones will use FreeBSD on the desktop as they did for years, setting up their system with the non-mainstream software that is the best solution for their individual needs. I may include myself here: I use FreeBSD at home (along with IRIX) and at work (along with Solaris) as a desktop OS. Even my boss does, and he can be considered quite computer illiterate. 🙂 Finally, I think your statemend (or assumption) is correct. More and more people concentrate on eye candy, and this is not FreeBSD’s main playing field. 2007-04-08 3:57 pm Oliver It’s this ill-fated term “desktop” a buzzword from Microsoft and Apple. I do have my “desktop” at FreeBSD and sometimes, if I have to cope with Debian, I have the same desktop too. So in the end it depends on the user. I could easily say, most of the people nowadays is lost in eye-candy. But people who do need an easier entry level can go with DesktopBSD and PC-BSD – no distros, but an easier entry to FreeBSD. So what? We don’t need a 2nd Ubuntu because people are too lazy to learn something. Call it Zen or KISS, it’s almost the same. You get a prof. base, with lot of options and you can build up your own environment. No interface-nazis according to Linus, no LSB mumbo jumbo in Linux, no half-cocked drivers just because of some media buzzwords and so on. 2007-04-06 8:56 pm antik …AIGLX support… Emmm, how aiglx is related to ZFS? If you have nothing to say then don’t say it here. 2007-04-06 9:10 pm adamk Emmm, how aiglx is related to ZFS? They’re not… They are both, however, related to the usefulness of FreeBSD on the desktop. If you have nothing to say then don’t say it here. That makes no sense. Clearly if I had nothing to say, I wouldn’t have said anything. Since I did say something, I must have had something to say. Adam 2007-04-06 10:36 pm Oliver That’s mere nonsense, I don’t need a 3D desktop environment – it’s a toy, nothing more. And ZFS important for the desktop? What a nonsense … 2007-04-06 10:56 pm adamk That’s mere nonsense, I don’t need a 3D desktop environment I never said you did. Adam 2007-04-07 3:03 am sbergman27 “”” And ZFS important for the desktop? What a nonsense … “”” Well, ZFS does seem already to have easier administration tools than the Linux Partitioning/RAID/LVM/EXT3 stack. There is no reason that all those layers could not be easily controlled through a simple gui. But I’m beginning to despair of it ever happening. It’s not like any one of those layers is new. And still, adding a new drive to an existing filesystem is rocket science. It’s not just that you have to drop to the command line to do it. It’s that you have to drop to the command line and make the new drive a physical volume, add the physical volume to the volume group, expand the logical volume, and then online resize the filesystem. Oh, and you’d better do all that by UUID or label, and not device name, because you are not guaranteed that the device name will remain constant. Simple, isn’t it? I envision plain old end users being able to just plug another USB drive into their machine, and have it simply added to their existing filesystem. They can already do this with RAM. Just plug it in and they have 2GB whereas they used to have 1GB. They should be able to do the same with storage. Again, there is no reason we *can’t* do this in Linux. But it looks to me like ZFS has at least made some progress toward simplifying FS administration for people who don’t happen to be experts. Regarding your other claim. I tend to agree, as things stand today. But, I suspect that composited desktops will gain some actual value once the silly and useless effects are dropped (retaining any features which are actually useful that may sift out), more cards support them, stability increases substantially, and they are considered mundane enough that no one talks about them any more. (And users come down hard on anyone who tries to reintroduce silliness like wobbly windows). But I suppose this is not really the place to have that discussion. Edited 2007-04-07 03:09 2007-04-09 7:46 am Chezz AMD64 patches has been added today.