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Thread: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

  1. #1
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    How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Can anyone tell me what the expected timeline is for Ubuntu's default inclusion of ZFS is? I didn't find a decent answer in a 'net search. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Not sure anyone can give a definitive answer. "When it's ready" seems to be the general answer for most open source projects. That being said it's highly anticipated, I'm sure they aren't dragging their feet so to speak.

    You can do it manually right now if you wanted to. I've not tried it yet. This thread had me google it. I may pick up a couple cheap 120gb ssds just to mess with it.

    https://openzfs.github.io/openzfs-do...ll-environment

  3. #3
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    First, re. the admonition, I'm chatting, not seeking technical support. I don't have zfs & don't intend on installing/using it unless it comes with the OS. I'm in Chat because I assume that's where I go to talk about Ubuntu's plans, which is what I'm doing.

    Second, I appreciate everything you've said, Tadaen_Sylvermane, but like me, you're declaring ignorance. I'm trying to learn if I can find out what the development timeline is and how they're coming. If no one here knows such things, where do I go to learn this? The Ubuntu site doesn't seem to have dev. info., and 'net searches yield nothing after late '19. How do I learn this?

  4. #4
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Have you seen this?

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZFS

    ZFS seems a bit of overkill for desktop systems. There is BTRFS which is supposed to offer some of the benefits of ZFS and can be chosen on install. I'm no expert in these things.

  5. #5
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rlynwood View Post
    The Ubuntu site doesn't seem to have dev. info., and 'net searches yield nothing after late '19.
    Here is some more information from 2020.
    https://didrocks.fr/tags/zfs/

  6. #6
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    You'd probably get a more thorough answer here: https://discourse.ubuntu.com/

    As far as I know ZFS is already included. At least on the kernel side of things.
    But it seems that only the Desktop installer has an option to set it up at installation time.
    Not sure what the current status is for Server installers. In terms of if or when it will be an option during a standard normal (no need to pre-configure things) install.

    Even if not all parts are included by default, all parts are within the Ubuntu repository ecosystem, so no need to install from outside sources.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Yes, Tadaen_Sylvermane, I think you're right. I've just spent hours surveying the various forums, including the one that I think looks like the closest an outsider can get to the primary developer of an adaptive software called ZSys which apparently is supposed to make Ubuntu work with ZFS. Apparently, ZFS's development is independent of any distro and it's up to the distros to adapt to it, as Ubuntu is doing with ZSys. And I haven't found any way to even guess how they're coming. They seem to be trying to complete and stablize ZSys for 20.04 and precious little later. So I guess it'll be quite a while. Thanks for your work and help.

    Thanks, tea for one. I just checked that link and don't find anything I should pursue, but appreciate the info.

    Yes, kurt18947, I have now, both because of your link and my own searching. You're right: it seems to be gross overkill for an ordinary consumer. It's designed for humongous enterprise use. Still, Fedora has moved to btrfs, a similar system, and Ubuntu has chosen to proceed in the same direction but with ZFS rather than BTRFS. My system is just a bit more complicated than a normal person's, so I'll use and appreciate some of that power then it's ready. But it doesn't look like it'll be any time soon despite the devs' enthusiasm.

    Thanks, deadflowr. I've just spent quite a while there and found my way to the subforum that deals with Ubuntu's adaptation--it's called ZSys--to ZFS, but it's quite old. They're still working on 20.04, as I said above (see my other comments). And, yes, I know now that it's available for use, but I'm not a dev or experimenter; I'm waiting for it to be the default file system.

  8. #8
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    btrfs article: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021...ed-filesystem/ be very careful with that file system until understanding the limitations and failure modes.

    Using ZFS for data-only, not the OS, is an easy choice for people inclined to use multiple disks and who want advanced storage management. Many people - probably over 90% want "simple" storage. It is easier to understand. That isn't what ZFS or BTRFS or LVM+EXT4 provide. They are complex, but provide some interesting capabilities in storage management.

    The fact that a file system isn't pre-installed means very little. It is still in the ubuntu repos and just as available as any other program in those repos. I suppose that's a philosophical discussion similar to whether to include f2fs or exfat or fat32 or ntfs. I have much need for f2fs, ZERO need for exfat and only a few systems need fat32 or ntfs, but 90% of my Linux systems have zero need for non-native linux file systems. The Ubuntu pre-installed software list is already quite bloated. Even for cloud deployments, the Ubuntu cloud image is 80MB whereas alphine Linux image is under 3MB. That's almost 30x larger!

    One size doesn't fit everyone. Lacking any proactive user request, I'm inclined to NOT install extra file systems. OTOH, I didn't think the "minimal Ubuntu Install" should include a bloated web browser too. The packaging team expressed their thanks, removed a few packages on my list, but not firefox. It is their distro, their choice. If I want something else, I can fork the distro and do it that way or just script to remove the bloated stuff I don't want, which is what I've done. I purge nano as my first command on any new Ubuntu. That would make many people unhappy, probably.
    Last edited by TheFu; October 11th, 2021 at 03:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    That's a big jump,
    from when will it be included to when will it be the default.
    Those are totally different things.
    As far as I know there is no plan to make it the default file system.
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  10. #10
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    Re: How is ZFS coming in Ubuntu's development of it?

    Not sure that I understand the OP's question.

    ZFS is baked into the kernel now. To my knowledge, it's been that way since at least Bionic. To run LXD properly, one should set up at least a ZFS partition, but it's better to give it a whole HDD/SSD.

    So, I'm a bit lost on what OP means by "expected timeline for default inclusion", since it's already included.

    Of course, to manage the file system, one needs to install one simple package: zfsutils-linux, but that is easily done.

    As for it being overkill, not really. I use LXD to sandbox many apps. It's also amazingly useful for running older versions, different flavours, quick and dirty containment, and the usual assortment of suspects. Since ZFS is practically de rigueur for LXD, then, far from overkill, it becomes a necessity for me as a desktop user too.

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