Linus on ZFS (It's Foss)

Abishek’s latest :
See :

(Were did you get the info about open sourcing ZFS in 2013? I’m sure it was already “open” when Sun Microsystems made Solaris “open source” circa 2008/2009, just before Oracle took over - hence why FreeBSD has had it for such a long time, I was working quite closely with Oracle and Sun gear (including Oracle / StorageTek ZFS Filer NAS appliances) and software in 2013, and I don’t remember any announcement about ZFS being opensourced that year).

I’ll continue to use and support ZFS (I love it actually) on Solaris and FreeBSD…

But will NOT be using on Ubuntu or any other Linux distro… shame… I was tempted to go ZFS on my next “fresh” Linux desktop build (probably ubuntu 20.20).

But good on Linus for sticking it to Oracle and Larry Ellison (can’t stand that bloke - his idea of philanthropy is to chuck millions into cryogenics - so he can be revived post-mortem, plus he owns a WHOLE island, he sounds like a Bond villain! I bet he’s even got an overweight fluffy white cat!)…

and here also - at Phoronix :


Thanks for pointing out the year ZFS was open sourced. I have updated the article now.


Reading the article, I got following impressions:

  1. The main “issue” is licensing. Which does not matter to me, at all. I use ZFS on Linux since years and am free to do so, as I have to load it as a non-standard part the distribution. Which is done every day with proprietary drivers, being much worse than the licensing with the original ZFS.
  2. He complains about the original ZFS not being maintained anymore really, therefore not recommending to use on Linux.
    I think this is extremely curious, as I would recommend using ZFS on Linux EVEN MORE in that case! ZFSonLinux has pretty much become its own thing anyway and it is under heavy development. Sounds like some advertisement, I read of some pro-ZFS website, right? Wrong! I have personally experienced that and I profit from the improvements that the OpenZFS team made in the past couple years. Just a couple of months ago I loaded the newest ZFS version onto my Raspberry Pi 4B 4G, because I want to use offline encryption for a cloud pool. Maybe ZFS can die (which I don’t believe) but OpenZFS won’t die (anytime soon), because it is being used all over Linux and is a great implementation. Seeing ZFS on Ubuntu just pushed more in this direction of OpenZFS being alive as never before.

Long story short

ZFSonLinux will continue to grow. Continue to use it. You as a single person or company do not need to care about the Licensing issues, as it’s only related to the question if ZFS should be included by default or not. The case now is, that you explicitly have to install it on your own behalf. That is no issue to the user.

Commit history of ZFSonLinux

Does this seem to anyone like this project is dying?

That said, I don’t understand how Linus is basing his general distaste for ZFS on “benchmarks”, as he said. It’s not the performance that makes ZFS great, it’s its capabilities. If you have ZFS set up, you are done for pretty much every possible NAS setup. Is there anything ZFS cannot do in terms of providing storage solutions?

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Don’t quote me on that mate… I just know it was earlier than 2013…

e.g. in 2011 I purchased a HP NL40 MicroServer, and installed FreeNAS 9 on there with ZFS raid across 4 drives… and I’m pretty sure FreeNAS had (inherited from FreeBSD) native ZFS a few years before that (my previous FreeNAS installs didn’t have enough grunt to do ZFS so I used UFS).

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I’m seriously considering dumping ZFS on Linux…

At certain times, my Lenovo Thinkpad E495 running Ubuntu 20.04 goes into walking dead mode… i.e. seems to be running, but is barely responding…

And I’m seeing things like z_wr_iss and z_wr_int eating up all my CPU… I’d previously resolved this by killing Resilio Sync, as that’s the only thing that would be committing writes, but I’ve done that this arvo and my Stinkpad is still running like a blind, 3 legged pig, stuck in a quagmire of pigshit…