Nicolas Martyanoff wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm thinking about switching my main desktop to FreeBSD for various
> reasons (main one, I love it on my laptop and server), and I've been
> considering using ZFS. I'd like to have a disk-modular system, ie.:
>
> - Being able to have mirroring.
> - Being able to add new disks without effort.
> - Being able to add new disks AND mirroring disks (spare disks ?) at
> the same time.
>
> I'm gonna begin with 2x 1TB disks with mirroring, and I'd like to be
> able to add, if needed, new disks, for example 2x 1.5TB to get 2.5TB
> diskspace fully mirrored. The whole process shouldn't need to reinstall
> the system, or to change the slice/partition layout, ie. be totally
> transparent for the data.
> And for this particular need, ZFS seems to be the way to go.
>
> However, I'm a bit worried about FreeBSD's ZFS implementation:
>
> - I've got a 64bits dual core 2GHz CPU, but can't use an amd64 FreeBSD
> since Xen, NVidia drivers and wine don't work on it; but ZFS is said
> to be unsuitable for i386.
>
> - It's said you can't boot from a ZFS pool.
>
> So could you please tell me if using ZFS is ok for me, or should I use
> a gmirror system (but I don't think I can easily add new disks to this).


I can't speek of 64bit vs. 32bit.
In case of booting problem, you can create small partition on your 1TB
disks, put it in gmirror with UFS2, put boot loader code to the both
disks, create /boot partition (or whole root) on it and use it just for
booting (ad0s1 + ad1s1 will be gmirrored as gms1). Second partition
(ad0s2 + ad1s2) can be used for zpool mirror. Another disks can be added
as usual.
The second way - you can use CF card + CF to IDE reduction to create
/boot on it (UFS2) and use it just for booting the system. Or internally
connected USB flash disk / small SSD.

Useful links:
http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFS
http://wiki.freebsd.org/JeremyChadwi..._on_a_ZFS_pool
http://yds.coolrat.org/zfsboot.shtml
https://ish.com.au/solutions/articles/freebsdzfs

Miroslav Lachman
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