FreeBSD 10 with ZFS root partition

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Anyone tried this?

    Surprisingly, aside from the reliability stuff, ZFS seems to offer a large performance increase over UFS. With UFS FreeBSD has seemed laggy to me on current(ish) machines like my laptop, e.g. cursor lag when installing packages or rendering large web pages. With ZFS, none of that at all.

    (Funny considering I always had problems with ZFS performance on OpenSolaris... Maybe prefetch related? Dunno.)

    There's some other nice stuff too, e.g. the new package manager is like apt-get with a cleaner interface. (And also *fast* when used on ZFS.)

    Two pet peeves so far:

    1. BSD userland utilities are less powerful and more finicky than their GNU equivalents. This rears its head pretty constantly.
    2. Boot time is sloooow. The FreeBSD bootloader was never fast, and the ZFS version takes ~20 seconds to get to the ASCII boot splash.

    But otherwise, quite impressive. With ZFS and snapshotting it would be an interesting choice to base a desktop OS on.

    Edit: tip if you want to avoid problems - disable DRI in xorg.conf. It's enabled by default for some drivers in the packaged X11 version, and that's a problem because it is still pretty buggy on *BSD.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    UFS/ZFS are fast, if you have 256gb RAM and up :)
    Mrk
     
  3. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    2 GB of RAM is quite sufficient for desktop use. I think the trick is that FreeBSD automatically disables ZFS prefetching with < 4 GB of RAM (and OpenSolaris didn't). You probably need a 64-bit kernel though, I don't think ZFS likes 32-bit (PAE or otherwise).
     
  4. Durad

    Durad Registered Member

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    You must have ECC memory and CPU that supports ECC (as well as motherboard), otherwise its risky to use ZFS. If you have bad memory it will result in data loss.

    Also 8GB of ram and up is recommended for ZFS. If you plan to use deduplication feature you may need even more.

    I tested with DesktopBSD and 2gb its very laggy...
     
  5. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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  6. Durad

    Durad Registered Member

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    DesktopBSD is different distro, its based on FreeBSD... it has ZFS root option.

    I would use ZFS just for server enviroment or if you planing to run Raid-Z. Otherwise, you may have hard time to recover data if something goes wrong.
    If I remember correctly they have option to use SSD drive or USB Flash Drive to store checksums, they like preventive feature... Even if that SSD drive goes back system is alive and working...

    Anyway ZFS should be used only to store data (not operating system) and on separate drive while FREEBSD should be installed on USB Flash Drive or separate drive and from there you create ZFS pools on the main drive...
     
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