Problems with zfsboot loader if raidz present on any drive

Joao Barros joao.barros at
Sun Dec 7 11:09:36 UTC 2008

On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 9:22 AM, Doug Rabson <dfr at> wrote:
> On 7 Dec 2008, at 03:19, Pegasus Mc Cleaft wrote:
>> Hello Hackers,
>>        Recently and friend and I have been trying to get the new
>> gptzfsboot working
>> on our machines and ran into a interesting problem.
>>        Initially I was building the world without the environment variable
>> LOADER_ZFS_SUPPORT=YES in the /etc/make.conf and this, of course, didnt
>> work
>> very well. Every time the machine booted, it would throw 2 lines after the
>> pin-wheel and then reboot. I couldent read what the lines were it went so
>> fast.
>>        My friend had a bit more luck and got his machine working OK with a
>> single
>> drive and later a mirror drive added.
>>        I added the environment variable and rebuilt everything and
>> installed. This
>> time, I could see the bios drives and a further 2 lines of ZFS something
>> and a
>> reboot...
>>        No matter what I tried, I couldent get the machine to boot up to a
>> point
>> where I could try and fix the problem, so I started pulling devices out
>> and
>> found the following: If there is a raidz pool on any drive (not
>> necessarily
>> the one that you are trying to boot from) the loader dies and reboots the
>> machine. My friend, as an experiment created 3 gpt partitions (in addition
>> to
>> the single partition that he had been previously booted from) on his
>> single
>> drive and made a raidz pool for testing. His machine showed the same
>> condition
>> as mine, however he was able to capture the message before the machine
>> rebooted:
>> <message>
>> ZFS: can only boot from disk or mirror vdevs
>> ZFS: inconsistent nvlist contents
> The zfsboot code in current doesn't support raidz or raidz2. I have been
> working on adding that support but its not ready yet. The code works in my
> test harness but crashes instantly when I put it in the boot code :(. I
> should have time to finish debugging it soon.

After installing my system yesterday on a single disk with gptzfsboot,
I connected my old raidz and I only got cyclic reboots. I knew
instantly it had something to do with the raidz. Disconnecting 2 out
of the 4 disks of the raidz would allow the system to boot as the
raidz would not present itself as ONLINE.
As a temporary workaround for this problem I disabled those 2 disks on
the BIOS, the system boots fine and the kernel is able to find them
Doug, when you feel comfortable to share any patches, I'm willing to test :-)

Joao Barros

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