ZFS on Linux has now become the OpenZFS ZFS implementation

April 12, 2020

The other day I needed to link to a specific commit in ZFS on Linux for my entry on how deduplicated ZFS streams are now deprecated, so I went to the ZFS on Linux Github repository, which I track locally. Somewhat to my surprise, I wound up on the OpenZFS repository, which is now described as 'OpenZFS on Linux and FreeBSD' and is linked as such from the open-zfs.org page that links to all of them.

(The OpenZFS repo really is a renaming of the ZFS on Linux repo, because my git pulls have transparently kept working. The git tree in the OpenZFS repo is the same git tree that was previously ZFS on Linux. I believe that this is a change for OpenZFS's own repo, although I don't know where that was.)

I knew this was coming (I believe I've seen it mentioned in passing in various places), but it's still something to see that it's been done now. As I thought last year (in this entry), the center of gravity of ZFS development has shifted from Illumos to Linux. The OpenZFS 'zfs' repository doesn't represent itself as the ZFS upstream, but it certainly has a name that tacitly endorses that view (and the view is pretty much the reality).

Although there are risks to this shift, it feels inevitable. Despite ZFS being a third party filesystem on Linux, Linux is still where the action is. It's certainly where we went for our current generation of ZFS fileservers, because Linux could give us things that OmniOS (sadly) could not (such as working 10G-T Ethernet with Intel hardware). As someone who is on Linux ZFS now, I'm glad that it hasn't stagnated even as I'm sad that Illumos apparently did (for ZFS and other things).

I don't think this means anything different for ZFS on Illumos than it did before, when the Illumos people were talking about increasingly adopting changes from what was then ZFS on Linux (cf). I believe that changes and features are flowing between Illumos and OpenZFS (in both directions), but I don't know if there's any effort to make the OpenZFS repo directly useful for (or on) Illumos.

Comments on this page:

I believe the eventual plan is that it becomes the OpenZFS repo for Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Illumos, macOS, and Windows - though not necessarily in that order. At present it exists in some form or another on all of them - and any other OS that's willing to implement the SPL shim, tests, and such can be added too.

I look forward to seeing OpenZFS being the most ported filesystem. :)

Written on 12 April 2020.
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Last modified: Sun Apr 12 00:39:28 2020
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