The future of ZFS in FreeBSD

Matthew Macy mmacy at
Wed Dec 19 23:17:05 UTC 2018

On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 15:11 Steven Hartland <killing at>

> Sorry been off for a few weeks so must have missed that, please do prod me
> on again if you don’t see any response to anything not just this. Like many
> others I get so may emails across so many lists it’s more than likely I
> just missed it.
> That said would you say that with the right support we can make progress
> on the this prior to the port? I have to ask as the alternative version has
> been on the cusp for many years now so it’s feels more like a distant
> memory than something that may happen, no disrespect to anyone involved, as
> I know all too well how hard it can be to get something like this over the
> line, especially when people have competing priorities.

I am hoping that it's sufficiently important to FreeBSD ZFS developers that
they'll give the PR the attention it needs so that it can be merged before
summer. My understanding is that it's mostly suffered from neglect. TRIM is
most important to FreeBSD and it already had its own implementation.

I forwarded you the private communication again as well.


> On Wed, 19 Dec 2018 at 22:52, Matthew Macy <mmacy at> wrote:
>> On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 14:47 Steven Hartland <killing at>
>> wrote:
>>> Thanks for the write up most appreciated. One of the more meaty
>>> differences is that FreeBSD ZFS still has the only merged and production
>>> ready TRIM support so my question would be are their any plans to address
>>> this before creating the new port as going back to a world without TRIM
>>> support wouldn’t be something I’d look forward to.
>> Well, then please follow up on the request I CC'd you on a week ago
>> asking that you engage on the deadlist based TRIM  PR. That's a better
>> forum for discussing these details than lamenting in public lists.
>> Thanks.
>> -M
>>> On Wed, 19 Dec 2018 at 06:51, Matthew Macy <mmacy at> wrote:
>>>> The sources for FreeBSD's ZFS support are currently taken directly
>>>> from Illumos with local ifdefs to support the peculiarities of FreeBSD
>>>> where the Solaris Portability Layer (SPL) shims fall short. FreeBSD
>>>> has regularly pulled changes from Illumos and tried to push back any
>>>> bug fixes and new features done in the context of FreeBSD. In the past
>>>> few years the vast majority of new development in ZFS has taken place
>>>> in DelphixOS and zfsonlinux (ZoL). Earlier this year Delphix announced
>>>> that they will be moving to ZoL
>>>> This shift means
>>>> that there will be little to no net new development of Illumos. While
>>>> working through the git history of ZoL I have also discovered that
>>>> many races and locking bugs have been fixed in ZoL and never made it
>>>> back to Illumos and thus FreeBSD. This state of affairs has led to a
>>>> general agreement among the stakeholders that I have spoken to that it
>>>> makes sense to rebase FreeBSD's ZFS on ZoL. Brian Behlendorf
>>>> has graciously encouraged me to add FreeBSD support directly to ZoL
>>>> so that we might all have a single
>>>> shared code base.
>>>> A port for ZoF can be found at
>>>> Before it can be committed some additional functionality needs to be
>>>> added to the FreeBSD opencrypto framework. These can be found at
>>>> This port will provide FreeBSD users with multi modifier protection,
>>>> project quotas, encrypted datasets, allocation classes, vectorized
>>>> raidz, vectorized checksums, and various command line improvements.
>>>> Before ZoF can be merged back in to ZoL several steps need to be taken:
>>>> - Integrate FreeBSD support into ZoL CI
>>>> - Have most of the ZFS test suite passing
>>>> - Complete additional QA testing at iX
>>>> We at iX Systems need to port ZoL's EC2 CI scripts to work with
>>>> FreeBSD and make sure that most of the ZFS Test Suite (ZTS) passes.
>>>> Being integrated in to their CI will mean that, among other things,
>>>> most integration issues will be caught before a PR is merged upstream
>>>> rather than many months later when it is MFVed into FreeBSD. I’m
>>>> hoping to submit the PR to ZoL some time in January.
>>>> This port will make it easy for end users on a range of releases to
>>>> run the latest version of ZFS. Nonetheless, transitioning away from an
>>>> Illumos based ZFS is not likely to be entirely seamless. The
>>>> stakeholders I’ve spoken to all agree that this is the best path
>>>> forward but some degree of effort needs to be made to accommodate
>>>> downstream consumers. The current plan is to import ZoF and unhook the
>>>> older Illumos based sources from the build on April 15th or two months
>>>> after iX systems QA deems ZoF stable - which ever comes later. The
>>>> Illumos based sources will be removed some time later - but well
>>>> before 13. This will give users a 3 month period during which both the
>>>> port and legacy Illumos based ZFS will be available to users. Pools
>>>> should interoperate between ZoF and legacy provided the user does not
>>>> enable any features available only in ZoF. We will try to accommodate
>>>> any downstream consumers in the event that they need that date pushed
>>>> back. We ask that any downstream consumers who are particularly
>>>> sensitive to changes start testing the port when it is formally
>>>> announced and report back any issues they have. I will do my best to
>>>> ensure that this message is communicated to all those who it may
>>>> concern. However, I can’t ensure that everyone reads these lists. That
>>>> is the responsibility of -CURRENT users.
>>>> -M
>>> _______________________________________________
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