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Ubuntu 19.10 to Support ZFS on Root as an Experimental Option in the Installer

Canonical announced today that it plans to implement support for ZFS on root file system in the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system.

Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) will be the next major release of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, and also a testbed for Canonical to implement new features and see if they prove to be useful to the community for upcoming LTS (Long Term Support) releases, such as next year’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

One of these new features coming to the Ubuntu 19.10 release this fall is an experimental option implemented in the graphical installer to let users create a root file system formatted with the ZFS file system. But Canonical warns users that they should not use it on a production machine.

“As we want to have the dataset layout right and we know a file system is very crucial as it’s responsible for all your data, we don’t want to encourage people to use it on production systems yet, or at least, not without regular backups. The option will be highlighted as such – you are now warned,” said Didier Roche.

Powered by ZFS On Linux

Canonical’s implementation for ZFS on root support is based on the actively developed ZFS On Linux software, which provides native encryption, raw encrypted ZFS transmissions, project accounting and quota, checkpoints, trimming support, as well as numerous performance enhancements over existing filesystems.

Canonical is committed to enhance their ZFS support with the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) release, which is scheduled for launch next month on October 17th. They already backported several post-release upstream fixes for ZFS On Linux to offer users the best ZFS experience and reliability.

In addition, Canonical says they’ve added new support in the GRUB boot menu, which you can see in action in the video below. In the coming weeks, they also plan to implement automated snapshots, easier rollback and backup support, as well as support for offline instant updates for ZFS on root.


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