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Getting grubby with ZFS

Dec 16, 2010, 20:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"The GRUB bootloader is widely used to get Linux (and other) systems running. Its flexibility and configurability make it a logical choice for many types of computers, as does its "just works" factor: your editor cannot be the only one to smile when he realizes how long it has been since the last "I forgot to run LILO and my new kernel won't boot" episode. One of GRUB's nice features is its ability to understand filesystem structures and find bootable kernels on the fly. So the addition of support for another filesystem type would not normally be a noteworthy event. When that filesystem is ZFS, though, people will pay attention.

"ZFS was developed by Sun Microsystems, and is now owned by Oracle. It offers some nice features that Linux does not (yet) have in a production-quality filesystem. ZFS, like the rest of Solaris, is licensed under the CDDL, which is not considered to be compatible with the GPLv3 license used by GRUB. Over the years, ZFS has also been the subject of a fair amount of dark murmuring with regard to a large pile of associated software patents. For these reasons, there has never been a serious push to get ZFS support into Linux."

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