Native ZFS for Linux: development continues at LLNL

In my past article “Tutorial: native ZFS on Ubuntu and Fedora Linux” I have given a tutorial how to install ZFS on Linux from the KQ Infotech github repository. This tutorial can be considered obsolete as the company KQ Infotech has been acquired by STEC, Inc (company with focus on SSD). Their ZFS on Linux project was assumably closed, as there is no more serious activity at their github repository. Continue reading

ZFS v28 for FreeBSD 8.2

The version 28 of the ZFS filesystem has been merged to FreeBSD 8-STABLE as of revision 222741 (June 6th, 2011).
There are many FreeBSD users of 8.2-RELEASE (RELENG_8_2) which may want to take advantage of the new ZFS version (v28) before 8.3-RELEASE.
For these users I am providing a patch against the RELENG_8_2 source tree, updated kernel module and binaries and mfsBSD ISO images for testing and rescue.
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Tutorial: FreeBSD network boot with mfsBSD (and pxelinux)

In this tutorial I am going to show how mfsBSD can be booted over the network. This tutorial expects the DHCP server (ISC) and TFTP server to be on a i386/amd64 FreeBSD machine using the same IP adress. If this is not the case, configuration may be different.

What do you need:

  • a boot server (DHCP, TFTP) with FreeBSD sources
  • mfsBSD (ISO from webpage or self-built)
  • some files from a installed sysutils/syslinux port (if you want pxelinux)
  • a network bootable (virtual) machine

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FreeBSD Compiler Benchmark: gcc-base vs. gcc-ports vs. clang

Many FreeBSD users (e.g. server admins) are interested in having their binaries run as fast as possible. There many options of improving the speed of the binaries – we can use different compilers and for each compiler different optimizations. But what combination is best for which processor?

We have benchmarked the perl binary compiled with gcc from the FreeBSD base system against gcc from ports and the new clang compiler. We have tested different optimizations on 8 different processors, all on the amd64 platform. The benchmark software we used is the perlbench benchmark running on Perl 5.12.3 on top of FreeBSD 8.2. This benchmark can also be used as a reference for users using other scripting languages (e.g. PHP, Python or Ruby) as these use similiar structures and methods.

We are benchmarking speed of the generated binaries, not the speed of compiling, as this is most important for us.
“Compile once, run many.” Continue reading

Backported patches for FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE

FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE was announced on February 24, 2011.

As we have been experiencing some problems we had to install several patches that didn’t make it into the release but I consider them important or useful. Most annoying was the swap panic problem, followed by two ZFS problems (page activation if using sendfile(2) and clock_t overflow), so we had to backport these patches to 8.2-RELEASE.
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Updated Tutorial: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD in a FreeBSD jail

In my last article about FOSDEM 2011 I wrote about visiting the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD presentation. What I was interested in – if it is possible to run this inside a FreeBSD jail or at least in a chroot. My results have been positive, so in this article I am providing a tutorial how to easily set up a Debian GNU/kFreeBSD jail on FreeBSD. Remember that the functionality may be limited.

Requirements: FreeBSD 8.1+ i386 or amd64, experience with FreeBSD and jail(8)
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Article in BSD Magazine: ZFS and FreeBSD

An article of mine with the title “ZFS and FreeBSD” was published in the February issue of the free online publication BSD Magazine. The target group of this magazine are users and friends of BSD operating systems.

The article summarizes the ZFS features, gives an overview of supported operating systems, provides links to useful resources and gives some FreeBSD tips.

Link to the free PDF issue: BSD Magazine 02/2011

FOSDEM 2011 – ZFS talk in BSD devroom

Last weekend (February 5th-6th) I visited the FOSDEM 2011 conference in Bruxelles, Belgium. The conference was crowded and many open source projects have been presenting their latest work. The FreeBSD project (where I am developer at) was present with a stand and I met several co-developers there. There have been lots of interesting talks, I was mainly interested in the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD presentation and the various MySQL and PostgreSQL talks – topics I deal with every day.

On Saturday, February 5th, I held a ZFS talk in the BSD devroom called “ZFS in Open Source Operating Systems” that was based on my previous talks.
Download PDF with presentation slides Continue reading

Tutorial: native ZFS on Ubuntu and Fedora Linux

ZFS is a great filesystem and making it available for Linux opens a bridge between Solaris, FreeBSD and Linux.

KQ Infotech has released the source of their ZFS port to the general public, using pool version 28.
You can get more information at their webpage:
Source code is available at

In this arcicle I am giving a tutorial how to build from source and install packages of native ZFS kernel modules for Ubuntu/Debian and Fedora Linux.

You need a x86_64 version (64-bit) of the Linux distributions.

NOTICE: tutorial is obsolete, please visit Native ZFS for Linux Homepage

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ZFS introductory talk at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

Another of my ZFS talks was an introductory talk at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava on December 8, 2010.
The talk was held in the slovak language with the translated title “ZFS from the viewpoint of a system administrator“.
Many thanks to the organizer – The HOW-KNOW Project [1] (joint project of the student organization YNET [2] and IAESTE Slovakia [3]).

Presentation slides (in slovak language)

Link to a video recording will follow. Continue reading