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How to update your arch linux without the kernel

If you are using archzfs and the zfsonlinux, you know that it can happen from time to time that you have to wait until packages are updated to the newest kernel (or lts kernel). Whenever you want to upgrade your system, you get an error like the following.

:: Starting full system upgrade...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...
error: failed to prepare transaction (could not satisfy dependencies)
:: spl-linux-lts: installing linux-lts (4.9.32-1) breaks dependency 'linux-lts=4.9.30'
:: zfs-linux-lts: installing linux-lts (4.9.32-1) breaks dependency 'linux-lts=4.9.30'
:: zfs-utils-linux-lts: installing linux-lts (4.9.32-1) breaks dependency 'linux-lts=4.9.30'

To update your system without the kernel (and its dependencies), you can use the following trick.

#example if you use the lts kernel
#if you use plain pacman
pacman -Syyu --ignore=linux-lts,linux-lts-headers
#if you use pacaur
pacaur pacman -Syyu --ignore=linux-lts,linux-lts-headers

Thats it :-).

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web - ZFS FTW! :-) - ZFS -- baked directly into Ubuntu 16.04

Dustin Kirkland announced that Ubuntu 16.04 will be shipped with ZFS.
It is still sucky, sucky foobuntu bit I see it as big step for the wonderful ZFS. I am using it since multiple years now and I am enjoying it. ZFS, especially Open ZFS has a bright future.

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systemd[1]: Failed to start Create Volatile Files and Directories. - on Arch Linux having zfsonlinux as root

I just got the following entry on my boot up today:

systemd[1]: Failed to start Create Volatile Files and Directories.

After a while of searching using my favorit searchengine, I (as usual ;-)) found the most fitting solution in the
The solution is given in the manpage of the tmpfiles.d.
tmpfiles.d(5) wrote:

If the administrator wants to disable a configuration file supplied by the vendor, the recommended way is to place a symlink to /dev/null in /etc/tmpfiles.d/ bearing the same filename.

So all you have to do is:

sudo su

cd /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d

cp journal-nocow.conf journal-nocow.conf.bak

rm journal-nocow.conf.bak

ln -s /dev/null journal-nocow.conf

And thats it. Fingers crossed you system will boot without errors.

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zfs as root with luks on arch linux and the small trouble after upgrading the kernel

Everytime the kernel gets updated, my system only reaches the busybox afterwards.
Currently, I have no idea why this happens exactly. But at least, I know how to handle it.
The zfs module is loaded, so all you need to do is to execute

zpool import -f 
, followed by an
zpool export 
It looks like there is a problem with exporting the pool while rebooting, or maybe an error while importing. It is marked as "not exported correctly", that is why booting fails. After the two commands from above, you can enter
and everything should be fine again.

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howto fix bootup error message "Failed to start Create Volatile Files and Directories." from "systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service"

Give is, that you get an error message while booting up your system from "systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service" with the description "Failed to start Create Volatile Files and Directories.".
By using systemctl with systemctl status systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service, you get the same description.
A quick look into the archlinux wiki offers you the solution named enable acl in your file system.
If you are running zfs as your root, you have to execute zfs set acltype=posixacl #your_pool_name. To validate if it is working, execute zfs get acltype before and after the set.

If you want to know more, you can read the following links:

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web - zfsonlinux 0.6.4. released - zfs-announce mailing list

The Linux team is happy to announce a new release of OpenZFS on Linux. The 0.6 4 release adds support for 6 new feature flags, multiple new properties, asynchronous IO, support for Linux kernels up to 4.0 and more.
* Compatible with kernels up to Linux 4.0.
* New feature flags (additional details below):
- spacemap_histogram
- extensible_dataset
- bookmarks
- enabled_txg
- hole_birth
- embedded_data
* New asynchronous I/O (AIO) support.
* New fallocate() FALLOC_FL_PUNCH_HOLE support.
* New fragmentation metric in 'zpool list'.
* New LZ4 compression of meta data.
* New "redundant_metadata" property controls desired redundancy level.
* New "overlay" property controls behavior for non-empty mount points.
* New 'zpool list -v' shows individual disk capacity.
* New 'zpool get -H' (scripted mode) support.
* New 'zpool create -t' creates a pool with a temporary name.
* New script from FreeNAS.
* New bash completion support.
* New DTRACE_PROBES integrated with Linux tracepoints.
* New compressed block histograms with zdb.
* New verbatim pool imports with zdb.

What a release, thank you very much for the work and the damn long list of new features, improvements and bug fixes!

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(fedora) linux and zfs on linux with error message "Failed to load ZFS module stack."

You are getting error messages like the following by trying to use your zfs?

Failed to load ZFS module stack.
Load the module manually by running 'insmod /zfs.ko' as root.
Failed to load ZFS module stack.
Load the module manually by running 'insmod /zfs.ko' as root.
First, check if all modules (zfs is using dkms) are loaded and having the same/fitting version numbers.
dkms status
If the output is not suiteable (one module is missing, wrong version number for example) try to do the following steps by using the proper version number.
dkms remove -m zfs -v 0.6.2 --all
dkms remove -m spl -v 0.6.2 --all
dkms add -m spl -v 0.6.2
dkms add -m zfs -v 0.6.2
dkms install -m spl -v 0.6.2
dkms install -m zfs -v 0.6.2

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web - OpenZFS launched this week

OpenZFS is the truly open source successor to the ZFS project. Our community brings together developers from the illumos, FreeBSD, Linux, and OS X platforms, and a wide range of companies that are building products on top of OpenZFS. OpenZFS is an outstanding storage platform that encompasses the functionality of traditional filesystems, volume managers, and more, with consistent reliability, functionality and performance across all distributions.[...]


The high-level goals of the OpenZFS project are:
- to raise awareness of the quality, utility, and availability of open source implementations of ZFS
- to encourage open communication about ongoing efforts to improve open source ZFS
- to ensure consistent reliability, functionality, and performance of all distributions of ZFS

The main technical goal of the project is easier sharing of code between platforms. Strategies include:
- creating a platform-independent mailing list for developers to review ZFS code and architecture changes from all platforms
- smoothing the illumos integration process
- making it easy to run both ztest and the ZFS test suite (TestRunner or STF based) on each platform
- reducing code differences between the platforms.


What a nice news. I'm using zfsonlinux for more then three years now and even when disks or brains where failing, zfs keeps my data save :-).

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FrOSCon - Open Source Storage Management With openATTIC

My first german talk today so hopefully the human "just in time translation" has a less error state today ;-).

openATTIC with David Breitung.

it-novum GmbH
Edelzeller Str. 44
36043 Fulda

The Two Faces Of Cloud

User View

  • flexibility
  • rapid deployment
  • costs
  • high availability

Producer View

  • ...

What Defindes A Unified Storage

  • high availability
  • freedrom of used protocol
  • storage efficiency
  • centraliced management
  • process integration
  • scalable

High Availablility

  • data mirroring
    • block based
    • file based
    • syncron
    • asyncron
  • cluster failover
    • automatated
    • ...

Freedom Of Protocol

  • NAS protocol
    • CIFS/SMB
    • NFS
    • AFP
  • SAN protocol
    • iSCSI
    • Fibrechannel
    • FCoE
    • Infiniband

storage efficiency

  • deduplication
  • compression
  • over commitment
  • thin provisioning
  • snapshotting

Centraliced Management

  • administration
    • web frontend
    • command line tool
    • api
  • openATTIC is a master/slave system
  • minitoring (by using nagios, check itcockpit)
    • availability
    • ressources
    • performance

Process Integration

  • automated backup process
    • intelligent backups by SnapApps (for consistent snapshots)
    • to backup a database in good health (consistent) state
  • automated server deployment
    • request by user, helpdesk or api
    • ...
    • deployment
    • feedback
  • Snapshotting
    • check snapshot
    • backup healthy snapshot


  • disc scaling
    • more controllers
    • more shelfs
    • more discs
  • node scaling
    • openATTIC Hosts
    • other hosts


  • benefits by freedom of choice for server choosing
  • software and license cost
  • running environment since a lot of tools are community driven

Why Open Source

  • vendor lock
  • security
  • flexibility
  • cost (...)
  • innovation


  • community edition
    • supported by community
    • basis functionality
    • open source
    • central web console
    • nas protocol
    • san protocol
    • deduplication
  • enterprise edition


  • benefits by freedom of choice for server choosing
  • software and license cost
  • running environment since a lot of tools are community driven

Basic Framework (Down To Up Layer)

  • service and tools and vendor plugins
  • backend
  • core (deamon, python django based))
  • frontend (XML RPC API, extJS)
  • interfaces

Next Steps

  • fibrechannel, fcoe
  • more interfaces to vendors
  • more snap apps
  • content adressable storage (cas, hadoop)
  • glusterFS
  • object storeage planned in the far future
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zfsonlinux and kernel 3.9.4-1-ARCH - up and running

Just one day, they are getting faster and faster. This time, it took only one day after the new kernel release. The steps are easy as know.

cd path/to/the/zfsonlinux/automake ant system-full-upgrade

bam and it is building on its own :-).

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howto - zfsonlinux zpool export device busy arch linux

Since i migrate to zfs where it is possible, i did this also with an usb storage. Today, i want to export a pool to use it in my laptop. I finished all i want to do and want to remove the zpool from my system via

zpool export mypool

The result:

umount: /foo/bar/mypoo/foobar: target is busy. (In some cases useful info about processes that use the device is found by lsof(8) or fuser(1)) cannot unmount '/foo/bar/mypoo/foobar': umount failed

Ok, maybe it needs some time to finish writing/flushing the cache so i gave him another 15 minutes. I tried again and the same error message. I used "lsof" but nothing inside when i grep for "mypool". After taking a long look over the internet, the only solution i found was using

zpool export -f mypool
but again, same error.

After strange threads talking about "you have to restart your usb module" i just took a look to the current running systemd units by using

systemctl list-units
and guess what? There are units running for each mountpoint the zfs pool had. All i had to do is to stop the unites and the run "
zpool export mypool
the last time :-).

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arch linux - kernel 3.6.10-1-ARCH zfsonlinux available

Time is ticking, arch linux has updated its kernel to 3.6.10-1 and zfsonlinx in the aur can handle that. Sounding like a broken record, download spl-utils, spl, zfs-utils, zfs and build it.

Use "sudo depmod -a" to generate your modules.dep and map files with the lates versions. Use " sudo systemctl enable zfs.service" if you want to add zfs as systemd service.

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Long night, a zfs and some questions after using zfs get all

I heard my main zfs pool is scrubbing again so i decided to take a look on it. If first started with refreshing my knowledge by using some zpool default commands.

zpool iostat 2 zpool status 2
Both upper commands displays important informations about your pool in an interval of 2 seconds. You can even add a "-v" if you want to know more ;-).

After watching the scrubbing for a while, i also remember the existence of some zfs attributes.

zfs get all
Et voilà, all attributes are listed very well.

I studied the attributes and was quite happy that i already configured a lot the right way. Compression was set to backup and tool, but not to image for e.g. The only thing i missed was the thing about the access time (atime). I really don't care about access time for my files, so it was time to disable this feature to gain some speed.

zfs set atime=off rpool

I was alos not shure if the following attributes are doing what i estimate of them.

sharenfs zoned snapdir utf8only normalization vscan nbmand sharesmb quota reservation

But after quickly asking the world wide web, i found a simple but usefull page called This page lists all available (ZFS v28) attributes and adds usefull informations to it.

I was also investigating the compression attribute. But after a while of surfing and testing on my own (by switching compression), i came to that point, that the default compression method (LZJB) is a good balancing act between speed and cpu usage.

While using my browsers, i also stumbled over old bookmarks i want so share. Best Practices Guide Evil Tuning Guide

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web - The spl/zfs-0.6.0-rc11_2 and arch linux kernel 3.6.2-1

So i run into trouble building the zfsonlinux on the kernel 3.6.2-1. I could not build the spl part. So currently i only can build up by the git source.

Use spl and zfs and build it (./, ./configure, make pkg, pacman -U *.tar.xz).

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web - The spl/zfs-0.6.0-rc11 release candidate is available

This release includes several ZFS improvements which were backported from Illumos and a variety of bug fixes. Full details and proper attribution for this work is below. Highlights include: - Support for ZVOL based swap devices - Support for preemptible kernels - Vastly improved msync() performance - Improved behavior under low memory conditions - Improved 'zpool import' search behavior - Added 'zstreamdump' command from Illumos - Added 'zfs get -t " support from Illumos - Fixed 'ZFS replay transaction error 5' - Fixed SA based xattr coherency issue - Fixed various NFS issues
If you want to know more, check out the following link (including change log as well). source

I must assume, i'm currently quite happy that my tank is running smoothly, maybe i give it a try on the weekend :-), ZVOL as swap is it worth definitly. The arch linux links are already updated.

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web - arch linux zfsonlinux 0.6.0 rc10 available and ready for build

The guys from aur arch linux had finaly managed to add all files for you to build the zfsonlinux for the new 3.5.3-1 Kernel.

You need to download (wget), build (makepkg) and install (pacman -U *.tar.gz) the four following packages: spl-utils 0.6.0_rc10-1 spl 0.6.0_rc10-1 zfs-utils 0.6.0_rc10-1 zfs 0.6.0_rc10-1

Everythings runs pretty smooth from my point of view. Have fun and reenjoy one of the best filesystems available.

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tool - zfs and zpool - command overview

Just a quick overview about some zfs and zpool commands. $tank is used as zpool name.

  • zpool create $tank mirror c6t0d0p0 c8t0d0p0 | creates zpool in mirror by using two devices. Use -m to add a mountpoint.
  • zpool create $tank/dataset1 | creates a dataset in zpool $tank
  • zpool add $tank c11t0d0p0 | adds device to $tank (storageplace increased)
  • zpool destroy $tank | destroy a zpool
  • zpool destry $tank/dataset1 | destroy dataset1 in zpool $tank
  • zpool rename $tank/foo $tank/bar | renames dataset foo to bar
  • zpool replace $tank c8t0d0p0 c11t0d0p0 | replaces device c8t0d0p0 with c11t0d0p0
  • zpool offline $tank c8t0d0p0 | take device c8t0d0p0 offline
  • zpool detach $tank c8t0d0p0 | detach device c8t0d0p0 from zpool
  • zpool attach $tank c11t0d0p0 | attach device c11t0d0p0 from zpool
  • zpool history -i $tank | shows history of $tank
  • zpool get all $tank | returns all properties from $tank
  • zpool get option $tank | get option from $tank
  • zpool set option=value $tank | set option with value to $tank
  • zpool iostat [$pool $intervallInSeconds] | i/o performance monitor
  • zpool import $tank | imports $tank into system. Use -a to import all available zpools
  • zpool status [$tank] | status monitor
  • zpool export $tank | export $tank from system (importent if you want to use this tank in an other environment)
  • zpool scrub $tank | verify integrity of every blog of a data in $tank. Use -s to stop scrubbing.
  • zfs list [-t (type), -r (recursive)] | list available (imported) zpools
  • zfs snapshot $tank@backup | creates snaphot "backup" from $tank
  • zfs rollback $tank@backup | return $tank to dataset $backup
  • zfs destroy $tank@backup | destroy snapshot "backup"
  • zfs send -R $tank@backup | zfs receive -d $backuptank | creates backup zpool
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Pro OpenSolaris

Another month, another book, but still an apress one ;-).

This time, my eyes were focused on the operation system side. It is sad but after reading this book, i can still feel and see the echo of the wounded heart that oracle made by stopping the open solaris development in 2010.
This os reads and feals really well structured and "like a fresh breeze".

But back to the book. If have already index the book with my sticky markers and from now on i have quick access to the following content.

  • CLI
  • SMF
  • ZFS
  • Zones
  • AMP
  • SVN
  • DTrace
  • Links

The book contains 240 pages, so can not bring you in that deep. But it at least it tries, or tries to show you the great world of this operation system.
While playing around in a VM, it still feals that fresh and easy way. The os is well structured and by scratching at the top, all works well. And of course, just for DTrace, SMF and ZFS ... you should give open solaris a try.

The book itselfs is short and well written and shows you the represents you the main benefits of this os.
Because of the fact that open solaris is currently not in well progress, the price is more than cheap. And if not using open solaris, it is good to read about the concepts and the way the os is structured.

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