ZFS Indications Have Us Already Eager For Ubuntu 19.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 17 April 2019 at 07:04 AM EDT. 17 Comments
While Ubuntu 19.04 isn't even coming out until tomorrow, the indications around Ubuntu desktop ZFS support and functionality likely debuting the next cycle has us already quite eager for the Ubuntu 19.10 release coming out in October.

We've been anxiously clamoring for more details on the Ubuntu desktop ZFS plans as part of their new desktop installer initiative and much more than simply offering ZFS On Linux (ZoL) that they've been doing through their archive in recent years. In order to get this support ready before next year's Ubuntu 20.04 Long Term Support release, they need to have the initial work ready for Ubuntu 19.10 to ensure sufficient testing pre-LTS cycle.

The latest Ubuntu desktop weekly status updates include more indications of this ZFS work coming together:

Taught curtin -d argument of zpool create.
Fixed bug in curtin where zpool features werer not passed to zpool_create.
More spec on zfs on root on Ubuntu.
Created curtin config to install ZFS on root on UEFI systems.
Installed zfs alongside an ext4 installation
Initial version of grub menu generation for ZFS systems including snapshots


discussed with Richard and change some designs about separation of ROOT/ and system/. Long discussion, but good outcoming. Changed the spec and initramfs implementation for this.
found some curtin bugs and co-author some fixes:
zpool features not passed to children (fixed in https://git.launchpad.net/curtin/commit/?id=47956074c84ad20c9aa9278fc747c29a499f64931)
disabling features was not available, still waiting for a second review cycle though: https://code.launchpad.net/~jibel/curtin/+git/lp_1823848_zfs_disable_features/+merge/365776
found another bug when curtin slightely changes yes to on, requiring more debugging in our initramfs changes and fix
crafted a “with UEFI” curtin yaml
crafted/packaged zsys-install as a script to easily install the canary image
some uploads in the canary-image desktop ppa with various fixes (initramfs, zsys-install, livecd-rootfs)
designed grub menu for various scenario (zsys, pure zfs, hybrid, and ext* + zsys/zfs…) (not fully implemented yet)

Those are from this week's status updates. It appears they are aiming for more than just some basic ZFS support on the Ubuntu desktop but intending to support a variety of use-cases/deployments.

It will be certainly interesting to see how this ZFS/installer work pans out for Ubuntu 19.10 and what other features may come this next cycle ahead of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
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