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The Future of ZFS in FreeBSD (freebsd.org)
258 points by vermaden 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments



There are some interesting comments further in the mail thread from Matthew Ahrens (co-creator of ZFS) and Alan Jude (has recently been working on getting zstandard into ZFS) that give more insight.

Matthew Ahrens[1]:

…Being "upstream" is more a matter of degree than an absolute ordering. In the past, most ZFS features have originated in illumos, and those changes have been ported to the other platforms (notably FreeBSD and ZoL). Looking forward, we see more features originating in ZoL. The OpenZFS community (including FreeBSD) is working to put in place technical processes to ensure that new ZFS features are available on all platforms. The original post in this thread was a proposal for how to do that.

Alan Jude[2]:

…The way that things have evolved over the last few years means it would be much more difficult to just import changes from ZoL. ZoL was originally far behind the OpenZFS repo, but as they were catching up, they were also fixing bugs and adding features. So there is not really a common point in the source we could start from to import ZoL commit by commit.… The biggest thing to remember is that this is still OpenZFS, and still run by the same developers as it has been. We are just commonizing on the repo that has the most features integrated into it.

[1] https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2018-Dec...

[2] https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2018-Dec...


> In the past few years the vast majority of new development in ZFS has taken place in DelphixOS and zfsonlinux (ZoL). Earlier this year Delphix announced that they will be moving to ZoL https://www.delphix.com/blog/kickoff-future-eko-2018 This shift means that there will be little to no net new development of Illumos.

So, basically, Delphix was a (the only?) commercial user of Illumos and now they're abandoning it for Linux, which means Illumos will starve for manpower going forward?

It also sounds like FreeBSD also lacks the resources to maintain an implementation of something like ZFS, which is ironic since not too long ago it seemed like one of the marquee features they had that Linux didn't.


> It also sounds like FreeBSD also lacks the resources to maintain an implementation of something like ZFS, which is ironic since not too long ago it seemed like one of the marquee features they had that Linux didn't.

There's no contradiction here. FreeBSD was never the primary contributor to (Open)ZFS (it was an Illumos thing), but we had the resources to make it a first class citizen on FreeBSD at a time when Linux wasn't doing that (mostly for licensing reasons).

It seems like the Linux world has gotten over the licensing problem one way or another, and at the end of the day Linux has something like 100x-1000x more developers to bring to bear at the problem. So between that, and illumos' imminent death, ZoL is the active upstream. FreeBSD is happy to benefit from the ZFS improvements in ZoL, especially given the collaborative spirit we've seen from the ZoL team so far. If anything, kudos to the ZoL folks for the huge amount of effort they've put in over the last handful of years.


> illumos' imminent death

Rumours of our death are, of course, greatly exaggerated.


I just wish the ZFS could be more tightly integrated into Linux than it can (due to licensing). Would be nice to not have two implementations of a crypto system, a raid parity computation system, block caching, allocation, etc. Oh well...


I hear you, especially on the block caching. ARC just does not interact well with FreeBSD's native block cache either.


The thing that really annoys me (if there is a way to fix this, please, comment) is that for zvols, whenever you read or write them, the blocks end up in both the ARC _and_ the Linux Page Cache.


is it just licensing? Doesn't it do its own thing in the vfs layer and perhaps others in a way that it wouldn't be accepted upstream either way?


It does do various things which the Linux kernel maintainers don't like (particularly how tightly integrated all the components are, something something "rampant layering violation"). While getting ZFS in-tree would be a godsend, I don't mind building as an out-of-tree module, just that it would be nice if didn't duplicate so much functionality.


I don't see any reason ZoL couldn't stub out their own CDDL implementations and invoke Linux functions directly, where they are a suitable replacement. The problem is almost always going to be that ZFS was designed for Solaris and adapting it to use Linux APIs is non-trivial. The code duplication bothers me less than the page cache duplication / cache reclaim logic integration.


It's not just to reduce the amount of ZoL specific work.

If I understand correctly, the developers were saying there are specific parts of Linux where anything using them is considered a derivative work, and therefore even distributing source would be a violation of GPL. An instance of this is the crypto layer that was added in recently with the native dataset encryption. SPL actually reimplements this logic because the ZoL maintainers claim they can't use the Linux crypto subsystem without violating GPL.


freebsd code base would be to be a marquee feature to me


I work at Joyent (one of the largest on-record commercial users of illumos today), and am a core member of the illumos community. While we will miss the Delphix folks, they were not driving the bulk of general work on illumos.

I believe that comment by Matt/Kip reflects more of a personal opinion about how things should be (he's a stalwart FreeBSD contributor), rather than how they actually are in practice.


Huh, the rumors I've heard all say Joyent's use of illumos is not long for this earth.


I don't know what to tell you, except that people sometimes say things which aren't accurate when they believe it will advance their personal interests.


I can't disagree with that. :-)


So Bryan Cantrill (CTO) and all the former Sun eng. will abandon SmartOS @ Joyent?


I doubt that Joyent/Samsung will abandon their work on-top of Illumos. They contribute work upstream to Illumos.

They continue to port code to Illumos (i.e. KVM, continued work on Pluribus port of bhyve, etc.).

SmartOS is what their data centre orchestration solution gets built on-top of.

You can see their changelog for SmartOS they are quite active: https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/Joyent_Dev/public/SmartOS/s...

Development of SmartOS and Triton Datacentre occur under their joyent organisation on GitHub.


The rumor is that the decision was made above that level.


Any links/sources you could point towards, even unofficial rumors?


No, just word of mouth.


Interesting. I took it to mean there wouldn't be much more ZFS development within the illumos community.


iX is the corporate sponsor of FreeNAS, so it makes sense that they would have a stake in this, and are taking the lead on it. Hopefully this transition goes smoothly. I've been holding off on a new NAS for some of the migrations for FreeNAS to take effect.

On the flip side, I'm glad I saw this when I did. I really don't want to have to know all about ZFS tooling, and hoping that they get the UI/UX in place for a clean NAS experience, and may just buy a prebuilt from iX later next year.


I will complete my first freenas build that I've waited years to build this weekend. in either case, I've been waiting so long that seeing this does not change my desire and opportunity does not always come when we want it to.

guess I have some additionally learning to do :-)


>which is ironic since not too long ago it seemed like one of the marquee features they had that Linux didn't

That can still be somewhat true due to the licensing mess. ZoL will never be in the tree for linux. The best you can hope for is the Canonical solution which at least ensures a supported version for the distro kernel.


Unless and until Oracle relicenses ZFS in compatible terms.

My theory on how this might happen is an independent implementation of BtrFS that extends from ZFS code, sharing it whenever possible.

Should such a thing emerge and surpass current BtrFS, what else could Oracle do but throw in the towel?


Oracle is not capable of relicensing OpenZFS, as they do not hold the copyright for it past code that is common between ZFS v28/ZPOOL v5 and OpenZFS.

From my understanding both Linus and ZoL team prefer to be separate.


Oracle is capable of changing the terms of the CDDL though (the CDDL has an auto-update clause), which would effectively allow for it to be replaced with a GPL-compatible version and it would affect all code put under that license (no matter who the copyright holder is). This is the same process that they used to switch from CDDLv1 to CDDLv2 for all their projects (though the only change was who had the right to change the license terms -- from Sun to Oracle).

But it's unlikely they'll do it. In recent years they've relicensed-under-GPL some things (like the DTrace userspace utilities) but I have doubts they'd ever do it for something like ZFS.


>From my understanding both Linus and ZoL team prefer to be separate.

I sincerely doubt that. If Oracle would relicense/dual license ZFS as GPLv2 compatible then I feel convinced that the ZoL contributors would happily do so as well.

I can't think of a single reason why they would not want to be in mainline Linux, and I have seen nothing indicating that the Linux kernel devs would be anything but happy to have it 'mainlined' as it would only make Linux better.

Of course this all hinges on Oracle, which makes it extremely unlikely in my opinion.


I can only base this on discussions with ZoL maintainers.

From my personal look, there could be significant mess due to attempts to "remove duplication" or similar moves to make the code more linux-like. While ZFS is not the rampant layering violation some people accused it of, there's significant amount of code there (and funnily enough, there's actually overlap with some less-known linux features)


> Oracle is not capable of relicensing OpenZFS, as they do not hold the copyright for it past code that is common between ZFS v28/ZPOOL v5 and OpenZFS.

Yes, all the parties that contributed code would have to agree, not just Oracle. However, I doubt anyone would object relicensing ZFS to some license that both FreeBSD and Linux would find acceptable.


Yes but what if they Relicense the common code that was between ZFS, then the OpenZFS project should be able to relicense itself.


> It also sounds like FreeBSD also lacks the resources to maintain an implementation of something like ZFS

A bit of a leap - while your theory could be correct, alternatively, if the filesystem is complicated and can be ifdefed to work for many OS's, it makes sense to combine dev efforts into one codebase rather than having multiple independently maintained forks..

not sure which is the case here.. but in any event.


The most interesting (and tragic) part of this, to me, is not that ZFS is being rebased from Illumos (open source Solaris) to ZFS on Linux:

... it's that Solaris is effectively finished as an OS. It's not even its own upstream anymore for arguably the greatest modern contribution to any OS.

This is tragic, and needless. Oracle effectively shot itself in its own foot with the pointless and deliberate choice of licenses, the on-again, off-again open sourcing of Solaris, and the complete lack of commitment. Solaris had a real shot of remaining a fine alternative UNIX operating system, at least for the server side of things, but now this shot is gone.

They killed Solaris like they killed Java.


You are assuming they ever even cared about Solaris.

They bought Java, because they were using it everywhere in their own product offering, and didn't want it under someone else's control (esp. if IBM would have been Sun's buyer rather than them).

Anything else which came with the purchase (Solaris, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, MySQL, the hardware business, 30K+ employees) amounted to, in their eyes, literally strings attached, that they had to pretend to care about for a while.

Even Java itself is not getting treated too well, but that was never the point - the point is not to lose control, and to monetize what they can.


OT, sort of: I am banned (permanently? [2]) from the #zfsonlinux IRC channel because I connected to it via IRCCloud [1]. It's this kind of attitude that worries me about using it.

1: http://irccloud.com

2: https://irc-source.com/channel/freenode/%23zfsonlinux-quaran...


It was a flood prevention system which was triggered by IRCcloud network going broken for a long period of time. It's also used by several other open source channels.


They probably don't want another service storing and analysing your messages.

The free version is basically useless: "Stay connected for 2 hours while inactive (permanent for first 7 days)" because of this.


Not an unreasonable policy in the abstract but open channels for free software projects should be publicly and permanently logged, same as mailing lists. Private channels, sure. Other than that, the project should have public logs, at which point it doesn't matter if a for-profit company wants to see those logs because literally anyone can—or could have just joined in the first place.

(Debian also has a policy that you may not publicly log its IRC channels, and I also think it's wrong.)


Sure, but I can't even reconnect with another client with my normal Freenode account now.


Hit up #freenode and see if one of the staff can mediate wih the channel ops for you - "I was banned by account because irccloud but am happy to use another client" seems like a reasonable request to me

(I'm freenode staff but currently mostly on hiatus due to lack of tuits)


> many races and locking bugs have been fixed in ZoL and never made it back to Illumos and thus FreeBSD

Why would that be? Lack of interest on sending them upstream or them being sent but never merged back?


I would guess it's because people don't always try to figure out whether bugs they find that appear to be in Linux-specific code can be reproduced in other codebases, rather than explicit lack of interest or PRs going nowhere slowly.


Is there enough interest in ZFS that an organization could be set up to keep a single core ZFS and coordinate its ports into different OSs in a way all ports benefit from updates and the frontier between core and OS can be clearer?


They're already having regular meetings among participants from each of the respective child projects to try and coordinate things like this and ensure that problems are not arising from people not doing the followup on pushing code upstream/pulling code from upstream to ensure platforms aren't missing major features/bugfixes for years.

[1] is the monthly meeting notes, and while I haven't had a need to visit one and confirm, they certainly appear to be open to interested parties, not just an invite-only group.

(I recently proposed something controversial [2] in an attempt to try and get predictable consistent behavior on a certain thing across all platforms, which is when I learned about this from someone telling me they discussed it there.)

ZoL also maintains their own list of upstream (e.g. openzfs) commits and what their status is of landing in ZoL. [3]

[1] - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w2jv2XVYFmBVvG1EGf-9A5HB...

[2] - https://openzfs.topicbox.com/groups/developer/T04955dd2e8aa4...

[3] - http://build.zfsonlinux.org/openzfs-tracking.html


Well, this mailing list discussion is serving that function; how much more of an "organization" would you want?

I suppose you could argue for having a single, explicitly OS-independent "upstream repository" rather than treating either Illumos or ZoL as upstream? I doubt there are enough developers who would want to work on ZFS generically rather than ZFS in the context of a particular OS. ZoL maintains a clear separation from Linux proper for licensing reasons so I'd think they're "independent enough" to serve as upstream for non-Linux versions.


> ZoL maintains a clear separation from Linux proper for licensing reasons so I'd think they're "independent enough" to serve as upstream for non-Linux versions.

That would neatly solve the issue of ZoL patches never making it back to Illumos.


As a long-time BSD user (since 1982) this both saddens and heartens me. It saddens me, that the core development path in BSD was not able to sustain being the "reference" model for a wider community. There is no point pretending you can, when nobody else wants to follow that model.

The heartening moment, is that linux and BSD should share code when they can, because its sensiblet to avoid pointless fork. Pointful fork, (and I exclude licence terms mostly) is something we have to deal with. Pointless forking is just a royal pain.

An outcome of this should be that I get more guarantee a ZVOL export/import cycle across Linux/BSD (which btw I have now done about 10 times on 10TB ZFS filesystems) will work with no awkward binary consequence to flag/version mismatch which came about because of two codebases: version mismatch because one was "old" and one is "new" is a different thing.


> It saddens me, that the core development path in BSD was not able to sustain being the "reference" model for a wider community.

Could you explain? FreeBSD was not the reference implementation of ZFS, illumos was. ZoL is still tied up in the OpenZFS project (as are illumos and FreeBSD), this is more a matter of rebasing onto the subproject where more development is occurring. As it was, FreeBSD's implementation was already using a Solaris/illumos compatibility shim, and it sounds like switching isn't that much work.


Oh, I misunderstood. I thought the input back into Linux ZFS grew out of the (Free)BSD work. If its two independent OS trees both referring upstream to Illumos, its a minor moment.

What does the solaris compatibility shim do in the end, which couldn't be done direct in the codebase? I don't like shims, it feels like the linux compatibility ABI moment where something gets added and the shim drifts, and then you can't do eg DRI any more because "they changed how it worked and we didn't catch up"

But, thanks for the cluestick hit. If this is just flavour of ice-cream from the same truck, I'm less worried.


The shim, as I understand it, for linux is there to both handle some licensing differences and to also translate between Linux's io subsystem which isn't going to be turned into Solaris' nor will ZFS's be turned into Linux's IO subsystem directly. They're basically compatible but have different ways of doing things so it results in needing a shim to handle things.


I don't know a lot about it, but my understanding is that the shim is pretty thin, there to translate some slightly different syscall conventions. Compatibility shims done well (minimal to no overhead) can be very beneficial, allowing separate projects to share more code directly.

On a separate note, illumos is a really cool project. I hope this transition (and apparent reduced activity in their development on ZFS) is not a symptom of the project losing momentum. My first experiences with a computer were on SunOS and early Solaris, and illumos is the the [open source] heir to that throne.


Is there a resource that explains the historical intricacies and licensing issues surrounding ZFS from the beginning? From what I've seen, it's a clusterfuck whichever *nix OS you like.


As I understand it, including ZFS requires all linked code to be bound by the CDDL, which the GPL cannot do.

https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2016/feb/25/zfs-and-linux/

"[§]3.1 … Any Covered Software that You distribute or otherwise make available in Executable form must also be made available in Source Code form and that Source Code form must be distributed only under the terms of this License. …

"[§] 3.4 … You may not offer or impose any terms on any Covered Software in Source Code form that alters or restricts the applicable version of this License."


It's the opposite way - GPL automatically covers the final product, and does not allow for licenses that have stronger terms than itself.

CDDL is per-file license, does not automatically extend itself to the whole product. But it also has wording about patents et al, which puts it beyond direct inclusion in kernel just like MPL.

Out of tree with one degree of separation (Solaris Porting Layer) is based on the precedent of AFS implementation for linux, where the argument was that the code is not derivative of Linux kernel code, as in no way was VFS unique to linux or any other crucial part involved.


> CDDL is per-file license, does not automatically extend itself to the whole product. But it also has wording about patents et al, which puts it beyond direct inclusion in kernel just like MPL.

Well, MPLv1 was incompatible with the GPL. MPLv2 has an explicit clause to make it compatible (namely to allow relicensing within limits). I would imagine the lack of "relicensing within limits" would be the key problem with CDDL and GPL -- since CDDL was based on MPLv1.

> Out of tree with one degree of separation (Solaris Porting Layer) is based on the precedent of AFS implementation for linux, where the argument was that the code is not derivative of Linux kernel code, as in no way was VFS unique to linux or any other crucial part involved.

Right, especially since the ZFS source code was developed completely separately to Linux and the SPL is licensed GPL+CDDL. This is the same thing that NVIDIA does with their drivers (they even build their driver binaries on FreeBSD to show that it "couldn't possibly" be a derived work of Linux and have a GPL shim).


But Ubuntu figured it was ok to ship with zfs.

https://blog.ubuntu.com/2016/02/18/zfs-licensing-and-linux

Though FSF doesn't seem to support it.

https://www.fsf.org/licensing/zfs-and-linux

And a few HN posts regarding the Ubuntu's announcement.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11125063

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11240402


> But Ubuntu figured it was ok to ship with zfs.

Having spoken to some Canonical folks involved in this discussion, basically it boils down to the fact that the SPL (Solaris Porting Layer, which converts Linux VFS APIs to Solaris ones for ZFS) is GPL licensed and that ZFS was developed entirely separately from Linux (and Torvalds has said he agrees with the latter point). It also helps that ZFS is free software.

Honestly I think their strategy is that it's very unlikely they'll get sued (not to mention the past 5-8 years of OpenZFS development was done without an Oracle CLA). IMHO the FSF is primarily against it because they think it might water down the GPL's effects.


>But Ubuntu figured it was ok to ship with zfs.

Yes, but it's shipped as a separate kernel module (as in separate file) rather than built into the Linux kernel. As for the legality of this, it can really only be determined in court, which hopefully won't happen since I can't think of anyone who would want to prevent Linux from using ZFS now that Sun is gone.

It would be great if it could eventually be part of Linux mainline which would then allow it to easily be used on boot volumes as well. That would require dual/relicensing though, since Linus Torvalds have said that CDDL code will not be merged with mainline (most likey a result of consultation with Linux Foundation lawyers).


> I can't think of anyone who would want to prevent Linux from using ZFS now that Sun is gone.

Oracle? I doubt they would, but I mean, it's Oracle.


I get you point but Oracle don't really seem all that interested in maximizing Solaris.

The problem we have is Oracle also don't seem at all interested in maximizing ZFS either. So they'd quite happily see both die.


Only until they figure suing others would be worth a grab for them.


That doesn't contradict my statement.

One can be aggressively litigating using ones IP while also letting the technology behind that IP die.


> prevent Linux from using ZFS now that Sun is gone.

Considering btrfs isn't really going anywhere why would they not rather take the effort to relicense zfs than put any effort on btrfs if they have no bad intention with zfs?

Fixing zfs' situation surely can buy some mindshare for Oracle.


Definitely feels like it. OSX had its "we're onboard with ZFS" moment which vanished. I am believing this was a licence fubar.


I doubt it would have gotten announced w/o the approval of their giant army of lawyers.


Apple AFAIK started work with Sun in charge - it was Oracle getting its hands on Solaris tech that had Apple pull out.


Because Lawyers? or because nobody like Larry?


Why not both?


Or they just figured they wanted a file system that also works on mobile devices (apfs even works on watchOS) with limited memory.


I could wear the ZFS thing was from so long ago that APFS wouldn't even have been a glimmer in an Apple engineer's eye. 10.5 or 10.6?


Yeah, there was a period between ZFS not happening and APFS really starting, as far as one can tell.


I'll admit, I feel somewhat smug over this after being talked down to by BSD guys. Regardless, I'm glad we can all enjoy a shared codebase for an amazing filesystem.


It's my understanding that code will not be committed into OpenZFS if it cannot be compiled in both Linux and FreeBSD.


TL;DR FreeBSD will rebase its ZFS code from Illumos to ZFS on Linux (ZoL).


If the ZFS FreeBSD code are going to be taken from ZoL, what's the difference of use ZFS on FreeBSD and GNU/Linux?


For ZFS itself, probably not much. It'd be the rest of the system you'd be selecting things for.


Isn't FreeBSD suddenly getting a version of zfs with features and bits of code that is developed against Linux?

Sounds like edge cases for performance and stability could show up?


They were already getting a version of zfs developed against another OS (illumos).


They know the edge cases and gotchas on that version by now but until they test the ZoL version on wide variety of FreeBSD deployments, it could mean they're back to labelling it a beta version at this point.


FreeBSD can bundle it in the installer, and put the root filesystem in a ZFS dataset.

Because of GPL incompatibility with the CDDL, Linux cannot do this. A compliant installer must put root on something else, usually ext4 or xfs. A Linux installer iso putting root in a zfs dataset opens a terrible legal door.


Of course Linux can do this. I'm writing this very reply on a Linux system booted directly off a ZFS dataset.

    % zfs list rpool/ROOT/default 
    NAME                 USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
    rpool/ROOT/default  14.8G  60.1G  11.9G  /
Support for this exists in GRUB and initramfs-tools, and it works perfectly.

The GPL is not an EULA. It's a distribution licence. There is absolutely no problem in using ZFS on your system, and there's no legal restriction on what an installer may or may not do.


Uh, no?

If said installer downloaded and compiled the code (nvidia-drivers style), you'd not have an issue. Only once the code is combined does it "violate" the license. You can't distribute something in violation of GPL2, but you can keep it for yourself. As long as the installer doesn't distribute offending binaries, you're fine.


Hopefully very little! With work on a windows port, os x support, and emerging encryption support - we might finally have a modern, nice, solid cross platform read-write-safe fs beyond fat32!

Encryption support should be on 0.8 (next) release:

https://github.com/zfsonlinux/zfs/milestone/12


does this mean anything for mac?


According to Lundman earlier today [1] O3X ("OpenZFS For OS X") never fully made the transition from basing off of ZoL to illumos. So this won't really make a major practical difference for the Mac, O3X will just move fully back to basing off of ZoL and that'll be that. In terms of core feature set it's already doing pretty well, and has developed far farther then ZEVO ever could. If anything this might be good inasmuch as it'll mean ZoL specifically is getting another set of eyes towards maintaining portability, so perhaps long term both FreeBSD and O3X may benefit from a lot of extra eyes on it and a bigger userbase while not falling to too much Linux-specific behavior.

1: Issue #674


Apple already has apfs.


And? How's this relevant?


I mean, there's unlikely to be any official support of zfs on Mac and the fact Apple developed apfs recently could mean there's less appetite for community to port and support zfs on Mac.


>could mean there's less appetite for community to port and support zfs on Mac.

Eh? The community port and support already happened, years ago. I made the move myself from ZEVO once Spotlight support got mainlined but even that was a while ago and it already had a ton of great features before that. It is a small scale effort compared to Linux or FreeBSD of course, but it has kept up pretty darn well and is pretty solidly developed at this point. I push it pretty hard on my Macs and it's been pretty reliable, though there are definitely edge case oddities that can be found. You can also see the smaller scale of the effort in areas like the wiki not being fully up to date, or that booting off of it still is rough. Even so it's pretty solid at this point and hits all the core features including encryption.

Long term the big risk of course is that Apple will shut off all user low level access to their drives via T-series chips in Macs, since they don't actually give hardware owners the ability to use their own keys there. Ideally this would be illegal but I doubt any movement will be made on that in the US at least in the near future. Even so given that Apple up until recent has still been selling brand new Macs without it macOS itself will likely support running on those systems for a long time to come (Apple still officially supports running the existing version even on 8 year old MPs, granted with compromises but those had pretty fundamental divergences from modern firmware too). O3X is still pretty nice in the mean time.


I’m not terribly afraid of Apple doing that move. With Core Storage, Apple already has abstracted away low level storage access years ago. Even if Core Storage was mandatory (which it isn’t), O3X runs perfectly fine on top of Core Storage either with or without ZFS encryption. O3X will continue to run happily as long as block-level storage access remains built into macOS. And it will because APFS is a very young filesystem, which depends on block-level access; it took Apple a decade to build APFS from scratch so there’s no way for Apple to get rid of this dependency without throwing APFS away and starting from scratch.

But what if Apple simply built APFS into one of the next generations of T-series chips so it can physically deny block-level access to software? Not going to happen: Apple needs APFS to work not only with built-in storage but also with external USB drives, RAM disks, DMGs, sparse bundles, and so on. This means APFS needs to remain in kernel space, and kernel code will continue to have block-level access, and so will O3X and all of its features.


I don't see how. Those who want ZFS probably want to use specific features of it or for specific purposes but don't want to have to stop using macOS to continue working with ZFS volumes.


I agree. For me, APFS still lacks essential features, such as data integrity checks and advanced control over snapshots.


Apple wanted a file system that would run on everything from smart watches to multi-core desktops. Because, you know, those use cases are identical.


Hope this puts to rest the claim that zfs on bsd is better maintained and integrated than zol!


There is no cause for shame for a brilliant effort that goes the way of all things.

There is no cause for pride in newly-acquired skills that rest on the backs of giants.


> and integrated

Considering one of thse comes default the base system and the installer can install to it, has jail(8) integration, etc etc

and one of them is an addon which will never be merged to the main kernel (which is only a kernel), and because of this, will likely never be directly supported by the main linux distribution vendors, I'd say the jury is still out on this piece..

lack of base system integration for linuces also leaves the 'maintained' somewhat up in the air too.. if I'm running $linux_flavor and Zfs crashes, and the ZoL devs blame this particular distros particular configuration/build options, toolchain, etc where do I go for a fix?

migrate to another linux with totally different package mgmt, etc?

but yes, it looks like the zfs core code itself is more actively updated for that portion directly.


> will likely never be directly supported by the main linux distribution vendors

Zfs is front and center for lxd on Ubuntu - and about as "supported" as can be?

I just can't wait for crypto support to really land in open zfs - would make it even easier to use for external drives (now encryption needs separate support, geli on bsd, dm-crypt/luks on Linux). And using zfs as a volume manager would make things in general easier and less complicated.


>if I'm running $linux_flavor and Zfs crashes, and the ZoL devs blame this particular distros particular configuration/build options, toolchain, etc where do I go for a fix?

To the distro of course. How is this even a point of contention?


DragonflyBSD Hammer2 filesystem all of a sudden looks way more appealing.

Kind of ironic given DragonflyBSD roots in FreeBSD


> DragonflyBSD Hammer2 filesystem all of a sudden looks way more appealing.

Why? Existing FreeBSD ZFS users can and in all probability will continue to use it. Why does a less mature FS on a less widely used BSD derivative suddenly look appealing to you?




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