Re: New laptop: need advice on choice of file system types
- Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2019 09:28:39 -0400
- From: Dan Ritter <dsr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: New laptop: need advice on choice of file system types
> On 2019-04-12, Thomas D Dial <tdial@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > ZFS for /home makes sense, especially for anyone not already somewhat
> > familiar with ZFS.
> Well, if ZFS is this big sixteen-wheeler that you might crash into the
> concrete embankment if you're not careful, what are the benefits that
> outweigh or override these risks for the casual Linux enthusiast, when
> she can just drive an easy default ext4 automatic vehicle and know
> she'll get from here to there safely without worrying about it?
ZFS is not for the casual, right now. For example, my father has
been using Debian for more than 15 years now, but he's never
typed a sudo command without explicit instruction from me. He
just wants to use his computer. If I put him on a ZFS system, I
would continue to manage it for him the way I manage his ext4
backups right now.
The data management concerns that prompted the creation of ZFS are
increasingly within the scope of normal hardware purchases. People are
buying drives that perform like sports cars and have the capacities of
trucks. Unlike a commercial truck or a fancy sports car, ZFS is free. So
it can make sense to more people to spend the time necessary to learn
how to drive it properly.
ZFS unifies disk management, storage allocation, RAID, caching, data
safety, snapshotting, compression and deduplication. The simpler your
scenario, the less attractive ZFS is.
For a single-disk workstation, ZFS offers flexible filesystem allocations
(/home and /var can share the disk without either one being limited by
a partition size), on-the-fly compression, checksumming of all data,
and a live scrub (fsck) method that fixes any issues without taking your
system offline. There's also the possibility of snapshotting the system
for recovery or backup over the network. Snapshots are extremely fast
and can be done automatically via cron. Zsend/zrecv are snapshot-aware.
For a 2-4 disk desktop, ZFS does all that plus RAID1, RAID10, or improved
RAID5 variants (RAIDZ1 through Z3).
For a multi-disk server, add in a separate intent log (write cache), read
cache, and possible deduplication. (Dedupe is a giant RAM hog,
however, and very difficult to turn off if you haven't prepared
In the near future, ZFS adds native encryption.