ZFS Cheat Sheet

You never forget your first love. Whether it’s a high school sweetheart, your first car, your first Linux distribution. The first file system I ever fell in love with was ZFS. Before that, file systems were a total bore, whether it was FAT32 on my Creative Zen MP3 player, NTFS on my Windows box, or whatever the heck Ubuntu used by default in the late 2000s.

Why my apathy about file systems? Well a lot of their features are kind of in the weeds. Sure journaling is important when the power goes out. Yeah, it’s great that NTFS doesn’t have the file size and drive capacity limits of FAT32, but for most of my use cases, that was mostly an academic argument. Then came the glories of ZFS.

I first came across the filesystem when I tried out OpenSolaris. As soon as I saw the Time Slider functionality, which gave a graphical representation of the systems snapshotting capabilities, I was hooked. I ran the OS for six months based on my love of that feature alone. Sure the system didn’t have anywhere near the software library of Ubuntu and basically died a slow unsupported death (thanks Oracle!). But after that taste, I wanted to see ZFS everywhere. I started dreaming of seeing the file system on OS X, but alas it wasn’t to be.

ZFS may be at a dead end on the consumer front, but Matt Crape put together a helpful cheat sheet for whatever you’re using the file system for. I might need to spin up an install of OpenIndiana just to relive the glory.

Matt That IT Guy comments:

I recently posted about the process I took to get data from an old FreeNAS to a new one. Truth be told, that process did work (and reasonably well), but I ended up tweaking things a bit more … actually a lot more. I won’t go into details about it, as it isn’t really relevant, […]

Read more at: ZFS Cheat Sheet

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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