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Ubuntu Developers Seem To Be Really Pursuing ZFS Root Partition Support On The Desktop

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  • Ubuntu Developers Seem To Be Really Pursuing ZFS Root Partition Support On The Desktop

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Developers Seem To Be Really Pursuing ZFS Root Partition Support On The Desktop

    Earlier this month I reported on how Ubuntu developers indicated they were looking at ZFS support on the desktop as part of their work developing the new Ubuntu desktop installer GUI. It's quite clear now that they are indeed pursuing the work to allow Ubuntu desktop installs via their work-in-progress installer to support ZFS root installations...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ZFS-Root-Again

  • #2
    Hopefully that means they're going to do things like getting Grub to support all the 0.8 ZFS features, create or use a decent backup solution with an easy-mode GUI like Suse does with BTRFS, better selinux integration, and things along those lines.

    It would also be interesting if they release kernels/maintain patches that revert the recent GPL export changes.

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    • #3
      I'd like to think I'm somewhat educated about ZFS, but I'm still kind of puzzled as to why folks want to use it as a root file system, particularly with a single drive (as I assume most Desktop installs would use). Do the ZFS permissions, quotas, etc become all that useful to Desktop installs?

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      • #4
        I'm more interested in bcachefs becoming competitive.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
          Hopefully that means they're going to do things like getting Grub to support all the 0.8 ZFS features, create or use a decent backup solution with an easy-mode GUI like Suse does with BTRFS, better selinux integration, and things along those lines.

          It would also be interesting if they release kernels/maintain patches that revert the recent GPL export changes.
          There is no need to rework Grub (and that would mean massive rewrite of parts of the ZFS code base into Grub if you would like to boot from encrypted root dataset for example forced by CDDL) because you don't need Grub at all, UEFI solved that issue.
          What better integration with SELinux you have in mind?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mskarbek View Post

            There is no need to rework Grub (and that would mean massive rewrite of parts of the ZFS code base into Grub if you would like to boot from encrypted root dataset for example forced by CDDL) because you don't need Grub at all, UEFI solved that issue.
            What better integration with SELinux you have in mind?
            You have to create restricted datasets by specifically disallowing ZFS features at pool creation for Grub to be able to read it. The Arch Wiki has a decent write up on it. Not everything modern has UEFI and there is a lot of older, non-UEFI hardware that is better, more powerful, and more capable to leverage ZFS's strengths over certain modern UEFI systems so Grub with full ZFS support, on any other BIOS+UEFI bootloader for that matter, is almost necessary for a distribution to claim full ZFS support. Also, even though I am a systemd user, systemd-only solutions suck and shouldn't be encouraged.

            I'd like to be able to use SELinux user and group contexts on pools and datasets in general, not just on the files underneath them. Like if "zpool list" was ran as a regular user, only that user's dataset, like tank/home/$USERNAME, would show up and not tank/system/snapshots, tank/system/usr, or tank2onAnotherDiskForGrub/boot. Not everyone needs to know exact pool names, locations, etc. I'm not actually sure if that would be handled by SELinux, ZFS, or a little bit of both...hell, it might be possible now, been a while since I've looked into the two since I don't use SELinux on a regular basis nor am I usually bothered by security concerns...it's just something I've been thinking about since a discussion about multiseat Linux boxes the other day.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
              You have to create restricted datasets by specifically disallowing ZFS features at pool creation for Grub to be able to read it.
              I know, that is why I mentioned the rewrite of ZFS code for the purpose of allowing Grub to access newer functionalities. I also know that there are situations where such support would be very helpful (to say the least) but the main focus of this article is a modern desktop environment where UEFI is basically a standard those days and you don't need systemd at all for that to work.

              Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
              I'd like to be able to use SELinux user and group contexts on pools and datasets in general, not just on the files underneath them.
              What you are describing IMO fits better into zfs allow/unallow functionality as its extension rather then SELinux integration.

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              • #8
                Sounds like a call to boycott Canonical (and possibly sue them due to license breaches) to me. I hope they back down before they actually deface GNU GPL, because they're large enough to become a scapegoat. People posting publicly should back off and think again before publicly considering whether breaking GPL is a good idea (it's not).

                I hope Linux developers will wage a war against ZFS, as it will enforce the GNU GPL, and with enough pressure it might cause Oracle to re-license their file system under acceptable terms (not that I care about the file system).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DoMiNeLa10 View Post
                  Sounds like a call to boycott Canonical (and possibly sue them due to license breaches) to me. I hope they back down before they actually deface GNU GPL, because they're large enough to become a scapegoat. People posting publicly should back off and think again before publicly considering whether breaking GPL is a good idea (it's not).

                  I hope Linux developers will wage a war against ZFS, as it will enforce the GNU GPL, and with enough pressure it might cause Oracle to re-license their file system under acceptable terms (not that I care about the file system).
                  Pretty much this. Upstream Linux developers should remind Canonical that the GPL matters and that the onus is on ZFS to comply with it, not the other way around. From a technical point of view ZFS makes me puke on a server; on a desktop the idea is downright repulsive IMO.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DoMiNeLa10 View Post
                    Sounds like a call to boycott Canonical (and possibly sue them due to license breaches) to me. I hope they back down before they actually deface GNU GPL, because they're large enough to become a scapegoat. People posting publicly should back off and think again before publicly considering whether breaking GPL is a good idea (it's not).

                    I hope Linux developers will wage a war against ZFS, as it will enforce the GNU GPL, and with enough pressure it might cause Oracle to re-license their file system under acceptable terms (not that I care about the file system).
                    Can the 5 people in the room that would actually do this please stand up.

                    ZFS won't be re-licensed anytime soon.

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