Getting Started with ZFS in Ubuntu 20.04

ZFS in Ubuntu 20.04 ZFS in Ubuntu 20.04

I upgraded one of the smallest servers at home office to Ubuntu 20.04 recently and realised that ZFS support has been added to Ubuntu for quite some time - so maybe I should explore it more. I actually quite miss ZFS from my Sun Microsystems days.

Loading ZFS modules in Linux

Most likely you don’t have the ZFS modules loaded by default:

[email protected]:~ $ lsmod | grep zfs

… meaning you need to probe ZFS modules to activate this functionality:

[email protected]:~ $ sudo modprobe zfs

As you can see, there’s quite a few modules are loaded now:

[email protected]:~ $ lsmod | grep zfs
zfs                  4030464  0
zunicode              331776  1 zfs
zavl                   16384  1 zfs
icp                   286720  1 zfs
zcommon                90112  2 zfs,icp
znvpair                81920  2 zfs,zcommon
spl                   126976  5 zfs,icp,znvpair,zcommon,zavl
zlua                  147456  1 zfs

Installing ZFS utils in Ubuntu

Alright, next step is installing tools that provide all these z-commands for managing ZFS:

# apt-get install zfsutils

Creating ZFS pool from virtual disks

First, I’ll need a few virtual disks:

# fallocate -l 512M /vdisks/disk1.img
# fallocate -l 512M /vdisks/disk2.img
# fallocate -l 512M /vdisks/disk3.img
# fallocate -l 512M /vdisks/disk4.img

Nice! Now let’s create a ZFS pool (it’s like a RAID array if you’re familiar with mdadm):

zpool create -f newvol raidz /vdisks/disk1.img /vdisks/disk2.img /vdisks/disk3.img /vdisks/disk4.img

Confirm ZFS pool status in Ubuntu

Show ZFS pools: zpool list

Here it is: my newly created ZFS pool called newvol:

# zpool list
newvol  1.88G   212K  1.87G        -         -     0%     0%  1.00x    ONLINE  -

Show ZFS pool status and member disks

Let’s get a bit more information about the pool - for instance, confirm which disks are in it:

# zpool status
  pool: newvol
 state: ONLINE
  scan: none requested

	NAME                   STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
	newvol                 ONLINE       0     0     0
	  raidz1-0             ONLINE       0     0     0
	    /vdisks/disk1.img  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    /vdisks/disk2.img  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    /vdisks/disk3.img  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    /vdisks/disk4.img  ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

I’m quite happy! Will be cool to use ZFS and snapshots for home directory on this box.

See Also

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I'm a principal consultant with Tech Stack Solutions. I help with cloud architectrure, AWS deployments and automated management of Unix/Linux infrastructure. Get in touch!

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