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ZFS 2.0.0 Released

Version 2.0 of ZFS has been released, it’s now known as OpenZFS and has a unified release for Linux and BSD which is nice.

One new feature is persistent L2ARC (which means that when you use SSD or NVMe to cache hard drives that cache will remain after a reboot) is an obvious feature that was needed for a long time.

The Zstd compression invented by Facebook is the best way of compressing things nowadays, it’s generally faster while giving better compression than all other compression algorithms and it’s nice to have that in the filesystem.

The PAM module for encrypted home directories is interesting, I haven’t had a need for directory level encryption as block device encryption has worked well for my needs. But there are good use cases for directory encryption.

I just did a quick test of OpenZFS on a VM, the one thing it doesn’t do is let me remove a block device accidentally added to a zpool. If you have a zpool with a RAID-Z array and mistakenly add a new disk as a separate device instead of replacing a part of the RAID-Z then you can’t remove it. There are patches to allow such removal but they didn’t appear to get in to the OpenZFS 2.0.0 release.

For my use ZFS on Linux 0.8.5 has been working fairly well and apart from the inability to remove a mistakenly added device I haven’t had any problems with it. So I have no immediate plans to upgrade existing servers. But if I was about to install a new ZFS server I’d definitely use the latest version.

People keep asking about license issues. I’m pretty sure that Oracle lawyers have known about sites like zfsonlinux.org for years, the fact that they have decided not to do anything about it seems like clear evidence that it’s OK for me to keep using that code.

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