Some notes on RootOnZFS article in wiki

Robert Noland rnoland at
Mon Dec 21 15:28:08 UTC 2009

On Mon, 2009-12-21 at 06:14 -0900, Mel Flynn wrote:
> On Monday 21 December 2009 06:05:14 Ollivier Robert wrote:
> > According to Mel Flynn:
> > > 2) `gpart set -a active -i 1 ad4' gave me 'active: device not
> > > configured'. This error isn't mentioned (debugflags didn't help) in the
> > > wiki nor the missing DIAGNOSTICS section in the gpart man page. In my
> > > case the system booted, but it's nice to know what the error means and
> > > whether you can
> > 
> > Most of the time, you don't even need it.  On modern machines, system will
> >  boot from the GPT "freebsd-boot" partition w/o having it active.
> And you would know whether you fall into the 'modern machines' category how? 
> Also, did this error tell me I don't need it, did it tell me it didn't work 
> even though it tried and now my partition info is screwed or is it completely 
> harmless? That's what I'd like to know (either in the article, but probably 
> better in gpart manpage).

The reason that it fails is that "active" is not a parameter for GPT
based geom_part.  It is only for geom_mbr.  As I said, this is usually
no longer needed if you are using most newer branches, which if you are
doing zfs boot, you should be.  Lots of zfs boot fixes have gone into
the code lately.


Robert Noland <rnoland at>

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