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Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux 137

New submitter Liberum Vir writes "Many of the people that I talk with who use Solaris-like systems mention ZFS and DTrace as the reasons they simply cannot move to Linux. So, I set out to discover how to make these two technologies work on the latest LTS release of Ubuntu. It turned out to be much easier than I expected. The ports of these technologies have come a long way. If you or someone you know is addicted to a Solaris-like system because of ZFS and DTrace, please, inquire within."
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Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:48PM (#40188711)

    The issue with ZFS and Linux has always been more about copyright than implementation.

  • Re:ZFS on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:58PM (#40188847) Homepage

    DTrace and ZFS are quite mature running under FreeBSD.

  • Re:ZFS on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by Liberum Vir ( 1227612 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:59PM (#40188863)
    I haven't done any performance testing so far. My objective with this was just as a proof of concept, if you will. I'm sure, if you are having kernel panics and absurdly slow IO/transfer speeds, the developers would welcome your input to make it better. Personally, I prefer LVM and ext4 for most uses. Again, this was more just to prove that it could be done.
  • by Darik ( 63019 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:05PM (#40188937)

    I just looked at this article as my employer uses Debian and Ubuntu heavily and I've been pushing for ZFS on our file servers. There is no mention of ZFS version, the feature set available, or even a link to the source material.

    ZoL is based on ZFS version 28 from the last open Solaris release, and currently integrating Illumos as its upstream.

    There isn't much mention of how to use ZFS. I happen to know most commands, but I think this article would be difficult for a beginner even though it seems to be targeted at that demographic.

    It looks like the Slashdot editors are doing this blogger a favor by linking to a mostly empty article.

    At a minimum, this article should link to the ZoL home page [], the ZoL Launchpad page [] for packages, and maybe the ZFS introduction [] or another tutorial.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:50PM (#40189439)

    Check out Dragonfly BSD's Hammer FS. It has offline dedup that doesn't require much mem at all (unlike ZFS's online dedup), some other features to ensure data integrity. It is not the life the universe and everything approach of zfs and btrfs, but it has much of what would be traditionally thought of as the fs part of the functionality.

  • Re:ZFS on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:56PM (#40189499) Journal

    I used to have very high expectation of OpenSolaris after Ian Murdock became the head of the project... But then Oracle came and destroyed all my hopes.

    Good news! Your high expectations and hopes are alive and well at the [open] crossroads of America [] . They're also welcome at freenode on #openindiana.

  • Liicensing? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:27PM (#40189869)

    I always thought the hold up on ZFS and DTrace on linux was the fact the CDDL and GPL didn't play nicely with each other. It was never a technical reason.

    I've been running both on FreeBSD for a couple years now. Still don't have any production machines with ZFS yet, but I've found DTrace to be a life saver on more than a few occations.

  • Re:ZFS on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:25PM (#40190403)

    I have to second this... Debian was always my preference but I tried FreeBSD to get ZFS. For dependencies, ports does some things... differently than APT, but they are similar enough that it won't completely shock your system.

    And just like Debian, it is easy to start with an extremely minimal system and only add what you need, so stability and boot speeds are excellent.

    I think that Debian is still faster at certain things, though that is subjective.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @12:35AM (#40191269)

    3) Partition the new drives.

    )9 .... “sudo zpool create zfs-blog raidz /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1”

    Ha ha ha. You know part of the magic of ZFS is management of the entire disk drive. No partitioning

    Look: The ZFS on Linux project is a noble effort, and I am sure many Linux users will eventually benefit, and it will maybe be good enough for them to not switch to Solaris.

    But none of this stuff is production quality yet on Linux, and the performance VS Solaris is questionable. Linux doesn't have the components to implement all the integrations and beneficial "layering violations" ZFS has on Solaris; and they won't for a long time, Sun spent over 10 years and tens of millions on development of Solaris and their filesystems, I don't think it's reasonable to expect to see the same kind of polish on Linux for ZFS or Dtrace at this point, and we don't; lots of work and funding could change the situation, but for now the Linux implementation doesn't hold a candle to the Solaris implementation.

    You can go ahead and add: COMSTAR, SMF, FMD, and an excellent native NFS server implementation, to the list of things Solaris has but Linux doesn't.

    The Linux implementation of even ZFS is less mature and sheds benefits of ZFS. Including ease of management. 10 commands just to get setup? Geez.

    With Solaris, you have ZFS out of the box and you just do "zpool create tank mirror c1t0d0 c1t1d0 mirror c1t2d0 c1t3d0

    No "partitioning" ZFS manages the disks, including disk cache, and fault management.

    You can be pretty darn sure zfsonlinux doesn't have the same level of FMA reporting / fault management capabilities.

  • Re:ZFS on Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:33AM (#40192635) Journal
    If you want to try FreeBSD with ZFS, I recommend that you use the PC-BSD [] installer. This can set up a complete FreeBSD environment (with or without the extra PC-BSD stuff - I think the 'server' install is vanilla FreeBSD) on a ZFS root. Doing the same with the current version of the FreeBSD installer requires some manual intervention, which is not really fun for people who aren't experienced with FreeBSD. Or for anyone else, for that matter.
  • Wrong about license (Score:4, Informative)

    by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:48AM (#40192703)

    The DTrace integration is via a kernel module, so the license on DTrace is irrelevant..

    There are a couple of interfaces in Linux that should be externalized for getting stack tracebacks into user space in a standard manner without caring about binary architecture (they are currently static). I've personally used a modified Linux with DTrace mods and these functions externalized, and it's rather stable and usable. Specultive tracing is also a lot better for finding the origin of some random errno in the kernel, or who in user space is calling gettimeofday() a bazillion times in order to time stamp X events.

    Obligatory disclosure: I was on the team that did the DTrace port to Mac OS X.

    -- Terry

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay