Should we simply disallow ZFS on FreeBSD/i386?

Maxim Sobolev sobomax at
Sun Jan 6 13:57:49 PST 2008

Gary Corcoran wrote:
> Perhaps the 7.0 release notes should include a note to the effect that
> ZFS is *strongly* NOT RECOMMENDED on 32-bit systems at this time, due

By watching this and other threads on ZFS and reading Sun's own design 
papers I am getting strong impression that this should be even more 
strong than strong NOT RECOMMENDED. Perhaps ZFS should BE DISALLOWED to 
run on i386 at all (unless one does some manual source code tweaking or 
something like this, and hence can ask no official support from the 

I believe that 95% of hardware today that realistically is capable of 
running ZFS is also capable of running 64bit code, so that potential ZFS 
users are far better off switching to FreeBSD/amd64 and help 
testing/improving that architecture than fighting architectural 
limitations of already dying i386. And we are as a project are better 
off too, by spending out limited resources on something that has future.

 From my own experience FreeBSD/amd64 is quite mature for running most 
if not all of the server tasks today and ZFS is first and foremost a 
server FS. The only place where FreeBSD/i386 beats FreeBSD/amd64 is 
desktop, due to binary drivers and such, but ZFS is almost useless 
there. So that by simply officially disallowing ZFS on FreeBSD/i386 we 
could win by a great margin.

Just my CAD0.02.


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