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Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the crossing-the-platforms dept.

Software 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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ZFS on Linux (3, Interesting)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188709)

So what am I supposed to do about all the kernel panics and absurdly slow IO and transfer speeds?

Re:ZFS on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188775)

Run them on Solaris instead (or, more likely, illumos).

Re:ZFS on Linux (3, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188841)

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.

BTW, is ZFS SSD-aware?

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188917)

....

BTW, is ZFS SSD-aware?

ZFS has had SSD support for the ZIL and L2ARC for years.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190055)

Using a small SSD for L2ARC and ZIL can bring near SSD performance from spinning disk... (near I said, not identical - but damned close)

Re:ZFS on Linux (4, Informative)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#40189499)

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 [openindiana.org] . They're also welcome at freenode on #openindiana.

Re:ZFS on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190497)

Anything Solaris lost what was left of this mojo after the Oracle acquisition.

It still exists in some form or another but has left mind share than any *BSD derivative.

Re:ZFS on Linux (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40192139)

One funny thing about OpenIndiana - it's fully supported on x86/x64, but not on Sun's own SPARC servers [openindiana.org] . So ironically, if one wants ZFS and DTrace support on SPARC, one is probably better off going w/ FreeBSD 9, rather than OpenIndiana.

not a serious OS (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40193815)

OpenIndiana has only made three "development releases" since 2010, it is not a production grade system. Just a hobbyist system.

Re:ZFS on Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188789)

So what am I supposed to do about all the kernel panics and absurdly slow IO and transfer speeds?

Learn to use and configure linux

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189083)

So what am I supposed to do about all the kernel panics and absurdly slow IO and transfer speeds?

Learn to use and configure linux

Not quite that simple. A number of presumptions that zfs makes about the underlying OS are in conflict with the linux kernel approaches (zfs was written for Solaris after all).

Re:ZFS on Linux (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40191273)

Correct, it was written for a stable kernel.. :)

Re:ZFS on Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40193115)

Fuck off, you childish little troll.

Re:ZFS on Linux (4, Informative)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188847)

DTrace and ZFS are quite mature running under FreeBSD.

Re:ZFS on Linux (4, Interesting)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189009)

+1, After having used linux daily for more than 14 years, I have recently ventured in to the BSD land. And I like it a lot.

If you've been playing in Linux land, and never bothered with any of the *BSD, do yourself a favor and install one of the BSDs in a VM. You'll not be disappointed.

Re:ZFS on Linux (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40192223)

It will be interesting once Debian's kFreeBSD is out to see whether it supports ZFS & DTrace or not.

One thing I'm wondering - b/w OpenIndiana and FreeBSD, the main difference is that the former is based on SVR4 and the latter on 4.4BSD. Are there differences b/w them that would cause anybody who needs ZFS to prefer either one over the other?

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40193495)

I use Solaris at work, but as a workstation and not as an admin so while I have a "feel" for it, I can't directly compare them. I would say they are very similar but do have semantic differences... de-facto file locations, behavior of temp directories, etc. I feel that they are more similar than Linux is to either FreeBSD or Solaris.

I looked into both (at the time) OpenSolaris and FreeBSD and decided that FreeBSD's better hardware support was worth the tradeoff in lagging ZFS versions. And not that I anticipated it, but it turns out that the FreeBSD Linux emulation environment was also useful (for running a CrashPlan server).

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#40193515)

I do know kFreeBSD atleast supports ZFS, pf, pfsync and carp from OpenBSD which are all part of FreeBSD kernel.

Not sure about DTrace, haven't tried that.

Re:ZFS on Linux (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40192635)

If you want to try FreeBSD with ZFS, I recommend that you use the PC-BSD [pcbsd.org] 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.

Re:ZFS on Linux (5, Informative)

Liberum Vir (1227612) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40191657)

Fairy nuff. ZFS has a lot of benefits over the standard Linux filesystems for certain things (just as all the Linux filesystems have their own niches in which they are the supreme overlords). It's rare for me to create a system in which I use fewer than 4 filesystems and if I were to try for a fully-optimized system that would probably go to 5 or 6. ZFS running reliably under Linux would pretty much guarantee me moving to such a model.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40191947)

But the last I checked there are at least 30 filesystems available (buildable and bundled) in a standard linux kernel. Some offer backward compatibility to very old systems, some offer unique network support (plan 9 is a different kind of beast, but not bad, just very interesting), and some run under fuse (like zfs) which makes them 'out of kernel', and thus, rather slow. BTRFS is (apparently) coming along. Someone will surely point this out on this forum. Last I tried it, it was still a work in progress. There was no automatic pruning, poor ssd support, and a lot of other features missing (like fsck repair tools). That was 2 operating systems ago, and reiser, although dated, still works very well. When btrfs matches it, I switch.

Re:ZFS on Linux (2)

Damouze (766305) | about 2 years ago | (#40192083)

I am terribly disappointed with ext4. If you want a good and stable combination of volume management and a filesystem, I'd recommend LVM (which of all the software solutions I've worked with is by far the best), combined with XFS, which is a stable and reliable journalling filesystem. Where ext4 fails just as terribly as its predecessor, ext3, as far as disk performance goes (kjournald, big kernel lock and the likes), XFS just ploughs on and on.

As for Solaris and ZFS. At the company I work for we still use UFS for everything. ZFS has its niceties, but it does one thing many applications, especially DBMSes, won't like: it does not support direct I/O (http://blogs.sybase.com/database/2009/07/directio-file-system-devices/). Even if you do the zpool, zvol-as-raw-disk-device option you'll end up terribly disappointed, because although it claims to support direct I/O, you will not bypass the primary cache. Also, using ZFS on a SAN LUN does not really make any sense. It wants to do things with your disk devices that you don't want it to do with them. So, while as a concept ZFS is marvelous, quite brilliant actually, its practical application is not well-suited for a high-performance, high-load datawarehouse. Why? Because like another software company whose name I will not mention, Sun designed ZFS to be a little too smart for its own good.

Re:ZFS on Linux (3, Insightful)

bheading (467684) | about 2 years ago | (#40192807)

I agree that ZFS on a SAN doesn't make sense, but that seems to be to have been the intention; ZFS wasn't aiming to work with your SAN, it is aiming to replace it, and I'm sure had the guys at Sun remained in control SAN features would have been added to it. That's why NetApp brought them to court.

Re:ZFS on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188891)

ZFS has some pretty heavy hardware requirements. I have yet to see it copy faster than 4MB/sec on my system with 768MB of RAM 500mhz.

Re:ZFS on Linux (2)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189027)

Yes, no one would suggest ZFS as the filesystem for your phone. You might have to do things like disable checksums [solarisinternals.com] if you have an older or otherwise underpowered CPU, and it's tuned by default to use memory quite heavily. That anecdote isn't very relevant for today's desktop or server environments though.

Re:ZFS on Linux (-1, Troll)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#40189543)

ZFS stands for Zombie FS, an outdated disk management bloat of last century "enhancements" for spinning drives. ZFS fancy features only contribute to more unnecessary disk writes that are killing my modern SSD. A current SSD drive has it's own hardware level management, there is no need to keep some nasty write, log, index, trace, journal -- the write-happy file systems around, actually the plain old FAT32 is kinda rock solid compared to for example NTFS, the current #1 SSD assassin.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40189995)

If you think a SSD is the way to go you don't need zfs because you already show that you don't care about your data. I use a ssd for speed in applications where I don't care if the data is lost. How does your ssd drive with fat32 ensure the integrity of the files themselves. I'm not just talking about file system metadata. Hopefully people won't pay heed to ignorant hipsters like yourself. Then again if the goal is data integrity running the Linux port of zfs isn't the answer either.

One of the jewels of zfs some of that uncool to you crcs or checksums on data. What you should be saying is why are SSDs so crappy that the can only take 5k writes?

Re:ZFS on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190753)

ZFS stands for Zombie FS, an outdated disk management bloat of last century "enhancements" for spinning drives. ZFS fancy features only contribute to more unnecessary disk writes that are killing my modern SSD. A current SSD drive has it's own hardware level management, there is no need to keep some nasty write, log, index, trace, journal -- the write-happy file systems around, actually the plain old FAT32 is kinda rock solid compared to for example NTFS, the current #1 SSD assassin.

Wahh! WAHHH! I couldn't get it to work so it must be broken!

Re:ZFS on Linux (0)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#40191179)

You're an idiot. I suggest performing some Google queries for ZFS and SSDs. Then again, judging by your post, you're probably coming from a world where NTFS is common. I would say it's understandable that a Windows-centric sysadmin would have trouble understanding these things, but I happen to know several Windows admins who do understand them. Thus, I'm pretty sure you're an idiot.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40192653)

Yes, no one would suggest ZFS as the filesystem for your phone

Actually, some guys at Samsung would. They trimmed a lot of the optional features (made them optional at compile time, rather than run time), reduced the size of the ARC to 4MB, and got ZFS running reasonably well on a machine with 16MB of RAM. We're investigating bringing some of their changes into FreeBSD for ARM systems, but it's starting to look as if it would be one of those things where by the time it's done the hardware has improved to the point that it's no longer worthwhile.

Re:ZFS on Linux (2)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#40193521)

Interresting enough btrfs works really well on a phone.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40191069)

I don't know about "heavy"... I have it running on a 6-year-old HP xw4400. Sure it's a nice old machine with a 64-bit processor (required for stability) and ECC RAM (required to get the real data integrity benefits of ZFS), but you can get a HP Microserver new for under $400 that has both of those things.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

bheading (467684) | about 2 years ago | (#40192811)

ZFS is intended to use cheap, recent hardware to deliver high performance. The idea is that you'll build a box with gobs of RAM, SSDs and CPUs and save significant amounts of money compared to buying a similarly specced storage box from one of the major enterprise storage vendors.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190305)

zfsonlinux is quite solid; I've been using it on all my systems including this laptop for over a year.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#40190891)

So what am I supposed to do about all the kernel panics and absurdly slow IO and transfer speeds?

I thought ZFS ran in userland on Linux - how does it cause kernel panics?

In any case, I've been running zfs (raid-z) on a home Ubuntu based fileserver for over 2 years without a single kernel panic (record uptime was 9 months before I rebooted to apply updates).

This fileserver is used to stream movies, as well as act as a DVR for 3 home security cameras, and is the backup target for several Windows computers so it gets a fair bit of use.

You're right about slow I/O though.. it's not nearly as fast as hardware RAID would be, during heavy I/O the CPU power of the Atom processor is a limiting factor.

Re:ZFS on Linux (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40191083)

This article uses the kernel module, not the userland FUSE stuff.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40191631)

Dude, you're doing all that...on an Atom? Doesn't it drag ass? if it were me I'd replace that sucky Atom with a cheap Phenom X4e, those support ECC and can be had for $62. [starmicroinc.net] Figure in $30 for an AM2+ board and $20 for a 2Gb RAM stick and for less than $115 you'd have a machine that would be a HELL of a lot faster than an Atom at multitasking.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Damouze (766305) | about 2 years ago | (#40192119)

I actually run an OpenIndiana installation on a system with an Atom D510 and two 320GB 2.5" drives. The performance is actually not all that bad. Even so, I didn't really build it to perform very well, I built it to see if I could set up something that eats less than 100 Watts while still offering something remotely resembling a performance. With regard to that, the system is working perfectly ;-).

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#40192801)

Don't write any kernel code yourself, and you won't see any kernel panics.

Re:ZFS on Linux (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40192865)

Speak for yourself, I've been using it for months without a single kernel panic, and the performance has actually been better than it was on OpenSolaris.

Issue is not implementation (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188711)

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

Re:Issue is not implementation (5, Interesting)

Liberum Vir (1227612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188831)

The whole GPL/CDDL issue is still around, however, since the CDDL code is not added to the Linux Kernel, but instead a loadable kernel module distributed separately, it is possible to satisfy both the GPL of the Linux Kernel and the CDDL of ZFS and DTrace. Because of the incompatibility of CDDL with the GPL, you could not distribute a complete system using of Linux, ZFS, and DTrace. You can, however, distribute packages to allow people to build it themselves. This is what the authors of these projects have done.

Re:Issue is not implementation (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40192349)

Which is what makes me wonder - why are people trying this? If ZFS is what is needed, why not go w/ a perfectly good and compatible FOSS unix, such as either OpenIndiana or FreeBSD? The former has the same license as ZFS, while the latter's license is not incompatible w/ CDDL.

If the objective was to get some of the nice things from the Linux world, that might be possible w/ Debian kFreeBSD, which has some support for ZFS [debian.org] . Might be a better option than Linux.

Re:Issue is not implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192731)

Linux has better HW support.

Re:Issue is not implementation (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#40192847)

"Which is what makes me wonder - why are people trying this? If ZFS is what is needed, why not go w/ a perfectly good and compatible FOSS unix, ..."

Because a filesystem isn't an operating system. You are asking why people don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Wrong about license (3, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Wrong about license (1)

bheading (467684) | about 2 years ago | (#40192777)

Are you sure that is correct ? I'd have thought the license is very relevant. The question of whether or not something is a kernel module, or dynamically linked or whatever, is extraneous to the important question which is whether or not a derived work is being created and therefore whether or not the license can be satisfied.

By distributing a kernel module, you are distributing a derived work in a way that cannot simultaneously satisfy the requirements of both the CDDL and the GPL. That's why you'll never see these ZFS or dtrace modules included as part of a distribution. Which is a major hamper on the development of this work, since it is the major distribution vendors and other major firms (HP, IBM and so on) who fund the lion's share of the effort

The guys who are distributing binary packages of these components are running the very real risk that Oracle will sue them. Sun licensed these components under the CDDL rather than the GPL for a damn good reason, they did not want to allow Linux to cherry pick the best bits and then use them to defeat Solaris in the marketplace.

Re:Wrong about license (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#40192861)

I sure hope that Sun doesn't get defeated in the marketplace!

Re:Wrong about license (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#40193537)

Sun doesn't exist anymore, it's all Oracle now.

Re:Wrong about license (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#40193793)

Reread what I wrote with the knowledge that I already knew that and you'll figure out what that whooshing sound was right before you replied ;-)

Re:Wrong about license (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40192887)

They're not distributing binary packages. The Ubuntu packages have the source code and the DKMS config to build the thing, and have the package pre-requisites such that everything "just works".

OK Howto article, but missing key points (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188751)

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.

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.

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (5, Informative)

Darik (63019) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 [zfsonlinux.org] , the ZoL Launchpad page [launchpad.net] for packages, and maybe the ZFS introduction [opensolaris.org] or another tutorial.

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (1)

Liberum Vir (1227612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189039)

Thanks for the recommendation on adding in those links. I've added them. You'll find them at the end under "Further Reading and Sources". As well as a shout out to you. Cheers!

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190789)

Thanks for the recommendation on adding in those links. I've added them. You'll find them at the end under "Further Reading and Sources". As well as a shout out to you. Cheers!

Next time don't be such a lazy bastard. You get paid while your readers do the legwork for free. That's fucked, try earning your keep by performing basic due diligence like this. No one expects you to be perfect but at least TRY.

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192061)

Next time don't be such a lazy bastard. You get paid while your readers do the legwork for free. That's fucked, try earning your keep by performing basic due diligence like this. No one expects you to be perfect but at least TRY.

Too bad you're replying to the person that submitted (and wrote) the original article, and not the Slashdot editor that posted the story, dumbass.

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (2)

Liberum Vir (1227612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188945)

The zfsonlinux.org site is what I used to set this up. The pool version is reported as 28 and filesystem version as 5. My apologies there. My objective with this article was to create a simple to follow tutorial on how to get it set up. My objective never was on how to use ZFS or DTrace. I'm intermediately familiar with ZFS, and very much a beginner when it comes to DTrace. Again, a "how-to use" tutorial was not my objective. There are far better sources for documentation on use. My article is just to get people an environment set up in which to test the platform. I had been toying around with the idea of ZFS and DTrace on Linux for a while, however, there was nothing like my article to help people in setting up a testbed system. So, that's what I wrote once I figured out how to make it all work together.

Re:OK Howto article, but missing key points (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189053)

If a debian shop, kfreebsd might be the way to go.

Debian is kernel agnostic, several choices including freebsd (kfreebsd should be ready for when wheezy goes stable).

You get a fully baked distro with everything you expect from Debian (which is ummm... pretty much everything you could ask for already vetted and pre-packaged-- with ease of management fully thought out), and the stability of zfs on a freebsd kernel (which lately has become pretty solid).

I work in a Debian shop too, and really prefer Debian to any other distro out there (though a soft spot still for slack), but I would probably just go with freebsd at work, if production ZFS was desired-- larger userbase (probably) than kfreebsd debian will ever garner.

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40188771)

Just use solaris? ZFS, dtrace, SMF, and about 100 other things you dont have on Linux (I've been a Solaris and Linux user since about 1994).

Re:Why bother? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190529)

Why bother with Solaris?

ps.: long time Solaris user here. don't see the appeal anymore. the illumos/openindiana project suffer form the same short slightness that caused opensolaris to fail (couldn't expect anything different if the same sun people are major forces behind it).

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40193681)

Could you elaborate? OpenIndiana is entirely community based and has none of the original OpenSolaris people behind it.

Re:Why bother? (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40191751)

There's things Solaris has that Linux doesn't, there's things Linux has that Solaris doesn't, there's things Inferno has that neither Solaris nor Linux have, there's things Hao Ya tea has that no OS will ever contain. Interoperability is best when essentially external components are portable, tea is best when hot and not Earl Grey.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188805)

So there's a list of 10 steps to install zfs and that's it? Didn't do anything? zfs/zpool upgrade -v? zvols? zfs send/receive? snapshots? rollback? Scrub? Performance tests? Compression? Encryption? Can I export my pool from my Solaris 11 SPARC system and import it into linux, make some changes and then move it? L2ARC support? Separate ZIL support? Case sensitivity?

I know this isn't exactly a great comment, but is it at all possible that someone make a judgement as to the value and truth of a submission before putting it up?

Re:Huh? (3, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40188965)

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It performs fairly well in my testing so far. Yes. Yes. Yes, if the pool version is below the currently supported Linux port's version (28). Yes. Yes.

Granted, we haven't been using it long, but so far it's been fairly stable and capable.

http://zfsonlinux.org/ [zfsonlinux.org]

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190599)

Encryption? So you're beyond v28? Or are you talking about encryption at some other level than zfs?

Re:Huh? (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#40192915)

The submission was titled "Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux". You're thinking of the article you are going to write called "Now that I got ZFS and DTrace working on Ubuntu Linux Thanks to Some Other Guy Being Nice Enough To Help My Lazy Ass, Here's What I Did With It".

Now that it's been Oracled... (3, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189113)

I've been running ZFS on FreeBSD for a few years and it's lived up to its promises, but I think I'll be migrating off of it. The problem is that I trusted Sun. They did some goofy things, but you knew where you stood with them. They release ZFS under an Open Source license? You could take them at face value and know that you were allowed to use it. But now that Oracle holds the reins, I have no desire to depend on any Sun-borne projects anymore. Yes, ZFS is Open Source. So was Java, and Google just spent roughly a bazillion dollars defending themselves for using something that looked like it. I can't afford to take on a case like that.

Other than the Oracle-owned btrfs, what ZFS alternatives are available and ready for use today?

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

Liberum Vir (1227612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189179)

Well, I know that it may not be as widely known as ZFS, but I would recommend checking out NILFS2. It certainly seems interesting and seems like something that could solve many of the same problems ZFS sought to solve.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40189423)

So was Java, and Google just spent roughly a bazillion dollars defending themselves for using something that looked like it. I can't afford to take on a case like that.

So you take the Oracle vs. Google case as Oracle eventually going after individual users of legitimately licensed code?

Nonsense.

As much as I think Larry Ellison is a douchebag, he is motivated by profit. The results of this last case were less than optimum for him, going away from the case with bupkis and a bunch of fees from BS&F. Alsup also established he fact that independent implementation of APIs are not copyright violations, ever, under current law, which had not been proven until now, which is a big win for everyone including Google, and a stupendous loss for Oracle.

Larry Ellison learned an expensive (David Boies doesn't come cheap) lesson here, that even his bluster and hubris doesn't win court cases.

Google was not the loser here.

ZFS and btrfs have free licenses and it's tough to put the worms back in the can once something is under a free license. Forks happen. Look at what happened to OpenOffice and Libre Office. Sure, Oracle can close off future code, but Very Useful Stuff like this gets forked by the community. There are enough smart people poking around in the guts of ZFS and btrfs that *do not* work for Oracle and the projects will continue on in the community even if only to give Oracle the finger.

Your fears are overblown.

--
BMO

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#40190413)

Suing users is completely plausible for Oracle. The case would be meritless, but I don't have the time and money to go up against Oracle in court.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40190441)

1. You are not that important
2. More serious answer: Going after end users is a waste of resources and Larry isn't as dumb as Darl McBride.

--
BMO

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#40190679)

1. I'm a disposable cog, but my employeer may make waves...
2. ... and if those waves compete with Oracle's, they may start an IP pissing match.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40190899)

See, here's the thing...

If you, or your company, files lawsuits repeatedly for meritless reasons, you can rapidly find yourself being classified as a "vexatious litigant" where you need a court's approval before even filing a lawsuit.

Sure, Oracle can sue for anything. If they make an ass of themselves in the system, the system can slap them back. It happens. It happens with these "Sue 5,000 John Does" that various extortion-firms have filed against copyright infringers, like what happened to Righthaven, which no longer exists as a result.

If you or your company are using code as licensed, I don't see how you are under any risk. If it was as bad as you think it is, companies would simply have assassination squads instead of lawyers.

--
BMO

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

puppetluva (46903) | about 2 years ago | (#40190767)

David Boies has had a frustrating decade in tech work. He won the Microsoft antitrust case only to have it overturned. He lost representing SCO va unix, he lost representing napster and now he lost it for Oracle. He's a legal superman, but he should stay away from tech for a while. . .

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40192295)

David Boies signed the Contract From Hell vis-a-vis SCO.

The contract had a cap on fees, and BS&F was to represent SCO vs IBM until the heat-death of the Universe, because they stood to gain a portion of the FIVE BILLION DOLLARS IBM was supposed to cough up.

--
BMO

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192425)

Why just tech? He lost it for Algore as well

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40191809)

My preference would be for the wide range of open source u*ix-style OS' to get together, hammer out a cross-os VFS layer and thus reduce the discussions of FS' to technical points on the FS itself, eliminating the OS from the equation. There is nothing inherent about mapping/remapping/versioning/distributing physical data in logical files to blocks of data that is the least-bit OS-specific.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40192505)

That's a great idea - HAMMER FS. Comes under the BSD license, and is developed by DragonFlyBSD to start w/.

Question - is Veritas' file system under any open source license, or is it only closed source?

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190383)

everything looks good btrfs!

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40191493)

Not so fast.

While the btrfs engineers have not pursued patents, it is a ZFS knock-off, and Sun patented the hell out of ZFS (all those $2000 patent bonuses for the ZFS engineering team), and Oracle now owns those patents. btrfs is GPLv2, which does not cover patents. ZFS is CDDL, which does.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40190409)

I don't trust Oracle at all, but I do trust the CDDL. The CDDL allows others to use the copyrighted code, and provides patent protection.

That's huge.

Oracle would never have chosen the CDDL. While they stopped releasing new versions, they can't put the toothpaste back in the tube: projects can keep using the previous CDDL'd code.

This will not be another Oracle vs Google, provided people use the CDDL'd code to get both copyright and patent protection.

You can't say the same about SystemTap and btrfs. Do either infringe on the many patents Sun filed on DTrace and ZFS, which Oracle now owns? If I'm going to adopt btrfs (say, in a product), will Oracle release it under the CDDL to afford the same patent protection that ZFS provides?

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

Guy Smiley (9219) | about 2 years ago | (#40191937)

The Oracle/Solaris version of ZFS is dead to the open-source world. Almost all of the original ZFS developers left Oracle and are working at other companies developing OpenSolaris (now called Illumos). That means that the open source version of ZFS is getting better all the time, and the Linux ZFS code is pulling fixes and features from Illumos, so it isn't just sitting still either.

Oracle doesn't "hold the reigns" on ZFS anymore, though they may like to think that. That is the benefit of open source software - once it is free, nobody can stop you from using it. In this regard, CDDL is even better than GPLv2, since CDDL explicitly grants a patent license for all patents embodied in the ZFS code.

As for stability, there are full time developers working on deploying ZoL on a 55PB Lustre+ZFS+Linux parallel filesystem running 1TB/s for one of the largest computers in the world, so you can bet it will be stable enough for your desktop.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

bertok (226922) | about 2 years ago | (#40192299)

Other than the Oracle-owned btrfs, what ZFS alternatives are available and ready for use today?

The only serious filesystem with similar features (B-Trees everywhere, hashing for integrity, etc...) that I know of is Microsoft ReFS [wikipedia.org] . It's still beta, and will be missing key features of even NTFS when released, so it won't exactly match up to a mature filesytem like ZFS.

Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 2 years ago | (#40192723)

Oracle has no way of "taking back" the already available source. The only problem is that any new ZFS features implemented by the FreeBSD team will probably be incompatible with the Solaris version. But, looking at v28, you may have enough funcionality for a decade (there is encryption missing, and I think dump still not works as expected, but that's about it).

If you want a BSD-licensed alternative, try DragonFly BSD. It comes with the HAMMER filesystem, that provides some (most?) of ZFS funcionality.

Liicensing? (3, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Used both on Linux: ZFS is great, Dtrace unstable (5, Interesting)

GrumpyOldMan (140072) | about 2 years ago | (#40190255)

I use ZFS on Ubuntu 11.10 in "production" for my main workstation and fileserver with a 3x3TB raidz pool with an L2 ARC. I/O is blindingly fast, and it has been rock solid. It serves about 10 machines, and feels an order of magnitude faster than the md/lvm based xfs array it replaced.

I write 10GbE drivers for Linux, MacOSX, FreeBSD and Solaris. I make heavy use of Dtrace for both debugging and performance analysis. I feel naked without Dtrace, and I've used the linux dtrace a few times for debugging. Unfortunately, I've never had dtrace run on linux for more than a few minutes without crashing a machine. This is not necessarily bad, and often just a few seconds is all I need. But I would never run linux Dtrace on any production machine, whereas I use it all the time under Solaris / FreeBSD and MacOSX and often have customers run Dtrace probes on those OSes to diagnose issues.

Re:Used both on Linux: ZFS is great, Dtrace unstab (2)

jovius (974690) | about 2 years ago | (#40193153)

I've been using ZFS on Linux also a while on my Ubuntu based backup/media box. No problems so far, and the average transfer rate of a 100 GB disk image has been 50 MB/s from internal drive A to internal drive B (non RAIDed, Asus E35M1-I DELUXE Mini ITX with 8GB of mem and 2*Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB SATAIII 64MB,). The CPU usage hits maximum while transferring, and ZFS also uses most of the RAM quite efficiently.

Low bar for entry (4, Insightful)

outZider (165286) | about 2 years ago | (#40191159)

So an article lacking knowledge of the technologies, any sort of testing, anything beyond "make install" or "apt-get install", will make it to the Slashdot homepage? This person openly admits that they didn't test ZFS beyond creating a zpool, and they don't know enough about DTrace to try... anything.

As an aside, why was Linux capitalized, but Solaris was not?

I don't see Solaris users migrating (1, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 years ago | (#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:I don't see Solaris users migrating (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#40192755)

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

You don't need to partition, you can use /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc instead. My question to you is, is Linux doing something that Solaris doesn't support? ie: Capable of running ZFS in a partition instead of using whole disk?

But none of this stuff is production quality yet on Linux

Define what will make it 'production quality' please.

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.

I definitely agree NFS on Linux still needs work. Hell, it's still possible to lock up a server if you don't treat NFS just right. But, to be honest, I'd rather see the CIFS support extended more to be honest, mostly better security models offered on it (not only with authentication, but ACLs and file locking that doesn't suck and I couldn't give a crap about iSCSI anymore).

performance VS Solaris is questionable

Do you have any benchmarks regarding this specific setup. I'm genuinely curious. The stuff I find is regarding other implementations involving FUSE.

Linux doesn't have the components to implement all the integrations and beneficial "layering violations" ZFS has on Solaris

Seriously, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, access directly to the hard drives without any 'layering violation' issues, been in Linux since the beginning.

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

Is this the same kind of polish that things like cron get on Solaris - Where it still doesn't support attributes like @reboot, but it's all good because the code is old and so it's matured just right or something? (Seriously, I've been told this is why the cron in Solaris is superior - note that I did not say Open Solaris).

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

Actually, you can do the same with this implementation, only difference is you need to give the specific device paths like /dev/sdb instead of c1t0d0.

Re:I don't see Solaris users migrating (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#40193843)

> > Ha ha ha. You know part of the magic of ZFS is management of the entire disk drive. No partitioning
>
> You don't need to partition, you can use /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc instead.

Actually, i tried that, it give me an error.

fiZrst post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40191811)

are 1nherently

Strange article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192169)

No attribution to the original authors of the tools, and the dtrace is a one-line change to the original dtrace-for-linux port.

“sudo make all”?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192371)

Why “sudo make all” when “make all” will do?

Just one complaint (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40192917)

I've been using zfsonlinux for a few months now, ever since I migrated my file server from OpenSolaris to Ubuntu Server, and I've generally been pretty happy. It's been stable and fast (faster than osol was, anyhow). My only complaint is that mounting filesystems on boot seems eternally broken.

In previous options, there was a config file option for a workaround, and the filesystems usually (but not always) got mounted on boot. Then that solution was removed in favour of an updated mountall package; unfortunately, this new solution never works. I'll boot the system, no filesystems mounted, but running mountall from the command prompt gets everything mounted OK... Sigh.

Dtrace is amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40192989)

It's a must have for a sysadmin.
How many times have you had application folks or devs come by your desk and complain "things are running slow".
Good to be able to find the root cause and sometimes propose a workaround under an hour.

Now that we are making the switch to Linux, people complain that we're not quite as fast as with Solaris when it comes to finding out why stuff is running slow..

So yeah in the perfect case Linux might have a slight edge over Solaris in performance, but that doesnt matter when the tools to diagnose shitty in-house apps are missing.

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