FreeBSD 8.0 system setup with ZFS steps

Derrick Ryalls ryallsd at
Mon Nov 30 02:30:59 UTC 2009


I created the following guide when I was trying out ZFS in VirtualBox
on my windows machine.  I created 5 hard drives: 1 to represent a
flash drive to boot off of, 4 to represent the large hard drives I
would be using in raid.  It seemed to work to get a running system,
but wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid or missing a
good step.

FreeBSD 8.0 with ZFS

   Use a 2gig Flash device.  1 gig is enough space though.  512M will be tight.
   Collect the 4 other SATA drives.
*Start FreeBSD normal install.
   Select the flash device as the device to install to.
   Use the entire device
   Install the bootMgr
   Create a single slice taking up the entire device, mount to /
   Select distribution minimal
   Run install
   Normal post install answers
*Activate ZFS (
   Follow instructions for RaidZ
   Be sure to add the instructions for daily raid mails
*Create mount points in pool
*One at a time, copy existing data from / to new mount points.
Instructions are in the link above
*Reboot (make sure nothing is broken)
   zfs create -V 4g storage/swap
   geli onetime -s 4096 /dev/zvol/storage/swap (encryption, might not be needed)
   swapon /dev/zvol/storage/swap.eli
*pkg_add -r bash
*Add users
*Normal setup at this point.


My goal is to not burn out the flash drive with a bunch of writes, so
it should primarily be read only, with the occasional edit to a config
file or installworld.  I tried putting /etc in a ZFS pool to take
advantage of snapshots and such, but the machine couldn't find the
boot drive as that information is stored in /etc and ZFS is not loaded
at that point.

Am I doing something stupid that may burn out the flash drive or cause
the system to be rather slow?



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