I’ve been stalking and reading older forum posts about using Manjaro with ZFS or BTRFS on the root partition(s) and I’d like to ask – without sounding entitled – is there a rough timeline on adding installer options/steps that allow us to set up ZFS / BTRFS root partition(s)?
Ideally I’d like to be able to capture a snapshot before sudo pacman -Syu (I plan to run a server that gets updated weekly) and then boot into the snapshot if the update had problems.
I am aware that I can tinker with that manually but (a) I’d like to avoid it if possible for now due to not much free time and energy, and (b) I am not in a rush and can wait. So something like “yeah, expect it by XMas” or “spring 2022 at the earliest” will help me make a decision whether to wait, tinker with it myself, or just say screw it and use the normal installation and make network Borg backups to my NAS (which won’t help with a failed system update but oh well, one has to re-learn how to boot and repair a botched upgraded Linux at one point, right?).
Amazing work by the way. Downloaded the new installers 3 days ago and already used the live distributions on 4 machines already to gather hardware data and do various tests / benchmarks. Everything worked like a charm without exception! Thank you.
BTRFS as root is available and with timeshift + timeshift-autosnap it will create snapshots before any upgrade process. It works on my main machine very well. And with grub-btrfs, it will also create bootable snapshot entries.
ZFS is not recommend to use as root device due its external module, which needs to be updated on every kernel upgrade (DKMS). At least i never done this.
I had to abandon my plans to use ZFS, as it was a headache to setup, and I feared breakage in future updates, plus on top of that, I experienced much better performance from XFS. (The same is likely to be true with EXT4 or BTRFS out-performing ZFS as a root filesystem for desktop Linux).
One of its problems ─ as was mentioned by @megavolt ─ is the fact that zfs is not licensed under the GPL but under the CDDL, which is not compatible with the GPL. As such, its driver module cannot legally be included in the upstream kernel, which means that the use of zfs in a GNU/Linux system will always require DKMS.
@Aragorn unfortunately, until the legal issues become a thing of the past, it seems like this is the fate of ZFS on desktop Linux.
It works fine for dedicated NAS servers, for example, since they have a specific role (storing your files), and have less frequent system updates. The NAS developers/maintainers won’t arbitrarily update the kernel and risk causing breakage between the ZFS module and kernel.
Case in point: TrueNAS SCALE. A NAS appliance that runs on Linux (Debian) in which everything is ZFS-based, even the boot-pool.
it is a “a native kernel module.” according to ZFS - Ubuntu Wiki
I’ll have to double check any signs of DKMS during my next update
in any case, I have never had any issues during updates. root is not on ZFS though.
Thank you, haven’t ran the installer anytime soon so I can’t remember the options so I am assuming you are correct and I’ll just pick BTRFS when I setup one of my spare laptops Soon™. Didn’t know about grub-btrfs, that’s very handy and I’ll use it from now on.