[zfs-discuss] Ubuntu 16.04 with ZFS root

Richard Laager rlaager at wiktel.com
Fri May 20 14:55:34 EDT 2016

On 05/20/2016 12:58 PM, Walter Parker via zfs-discuss wrote:
> As far as I can tell:
> Method 1 is install from scratch on each install (every system gets a
> clean creation)
> Method 2 is to copy a pre-installed image to the new system.

No. Method 2 is install each system from scratch as normal on ext4, then 
copy that into ZFS.

There are pros and cons to each.

The data integrity thing was already mentioned. While I agree in theory, 
in practice, it's probably not that big of a problem.

With method 2, you're always getting the output of the standard 
installer, by definition. With method 1, I have to maintain the HOWTO to 
ensure it gives you the same (or as close as possible to the same) 
output as the standard installer. For example, I had to update the list 
of default group memberships for 16.04.

However, maintaining a HOWTO of method 1 makes it very clear (to someone 
who knows what a non-ZFS manual install looks like) what sort of extra 
steps are necessary for a ZFS-on-root install. This provides targets of 
what to eliminate. I did this sort of work for 16.04, reducing the steps 
a bit. Eventually, we will hopefully reach the point where the only 
extra work is `zpool create` and `zfs create`. At that point, it becomes 
trivial-ish to integrate into the real installer.

This is why I personally think method 1 is better. I'm working a path 
towards a goal of the HOWTO disappearing completely, or at least being 
reduced to "here's a recommended partitioning setup for the installer".


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