The ZFS Linux Module Goes Into Closed Beta
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 17 September 2010 at 09:39 AM EDT. 11 Comments
We reported last month that a native ZFS module was coming to Linux and would be released in mid-September. Rather than using ZFS-FUSE that runs the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system under the FUSE module so that it lives outside the Linux kernel (and runs rather slowly as our benchmarks show), this new ZFS module is native to Linux and open-source but due to the CDDL license it's being distributed as a module and will not be included in the mainline Linux kernel. This module has now entered a closed beta testing process.

KQ Infotech has been working on this native ZFS module that in turn is based on the work of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. KQ Infotech has now announced their ZFS work with a few details on their Linux kernel module and to apply to be part of the beta testing process.

KQ Infotech is only letting 25 people beta test this module, so good luck getting in (we are in, but due to Oktoberfest and not being given this code earlier, we will not be testing it at this time). With their ZFS module being based upon an older Zpool version and other limitations of the port, some of the downfalls for this ZFS Linux implementation are no data de-duplication support, name normalization support, quotas, root-able file-system, access control lists (ACLs), remount, and KERN SMB support. ZFS commands of rollback, promote, userspace, groupspace, share, unshare, send, receive, allow, hold, and release are also unsupported at this time.

We have heard from KQ Infotech that, "one month down the line, we will put it for everyone." For those beta testing it in the interim, the ZFS module for Linux is currently distributed as Fedora packages for the Linux 2.6.31/2.6.32 kernels, Ubuntu 10.04 with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. No source is currently available besides the work done by LLNL. This ZFS implementation is also only supported on x86_64 Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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