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ZFS File System for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is 90% Ready

The ZFS file system is coming to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and it’s just one of the many new features that are going to be implemented in the new OS.

Canonical is pulling all the stops for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and it looks like users will get easy access to ZFS file system. Before you get too excited about the prospect of replacing the current EXT4 files systems, you should know that it will be available only as a tech preview, for the time being.

There is still a lot of work left to be done, and it’s not fully integrated into Ubuntu. The developers still need to add it to the installer, and it will be a long while (if ever) until it is adopted in any sort of default capacity.

The main reason why the Ubuntu devs are looking towards this new file system is because Debian is also supporting it. Since Ubuntu is based on Debian and ZFS seems to be on the rise, it’s only natural for them to try to adopt it.

ZFS is coming to systems near you

ZFS is not something new that appeared overnight. It’s been in the works for the past decade, and it has only recently become more widely adopted. Some of the operating systems that have ZFS or, at least, support for it include Solaris, OpenSolaris, OpenIndiana, illumos, Joyent SmartOS, OmniOS, FreeBSD, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD systems, NetBSD, OSv and even Mac OS with MacZFS.

“There’s no support in Ubiquity installer, as far as I know, and there’s one remaining bug in grub (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+bug/1527727) (fixed in my PPA, ppa:cmiller/ppa). If you are installing fresh, you can boot, use the tools already in the distro (and my PPA until I can get changes into xenial), mount them, and then continue and install entirely on ZFS. You’ll still need a EFI partition to bootstrap grub,” Canonical’s Chad Miller explained on Google+.

It will take a while until users catch up, and the fact that ZFS is licensed under CDDL, which is incompatible with the GPL license of the Linux kernel, means that it’s going to be available as default anytime soon. In any case, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) promises to be a really interesting release.

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