Installing Arch Linux on ZFS

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The Zettabyte File System (ZFS) is an advanced copy-on-write filesystem designed to preserve data integrity from a multitude of possible corruption scenarios as well as provide simple administration features. ZFS makes disk administration effortless with support ZFS storage pools (zpools) and automatic mount handling. First released in 2005 for Solaris OS, ZFS has since become the flag bearer for next generation filesystems.

ZFS was first developed and released by Sun (now owned by Oracle) as Open Source Software licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) which is famously incompatible with the GNU Public License. This incompatiblity prevents ZFS from being merged into the mainline kernel, and generally presents some obsticles for users that want to use ZFS in Linux. is a project funded by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop a native Linux kernel module for its massive storage requirements and super computers.

Notes before installation

  • The ZFS packages are tied to the kernel version they were built against. This means it will not be possible to perform kernel updates until new packages (or package sources) are released by the ZFS package maintainer.