Help booting FreeBSD with a ZFS root filesystem

Elias Chrysocheris eliaschr at
Mon Jan 25 22:52:06 UTC 2010

On Monday 25 of January 2010 23:31:26 Ross Penner wrote:
> I'm trying to set up a system using ZFS as the root filesystem. I
> followed this guide: (
> Everything went swimmingly until I rebooted and the system failed to
> load.
> output:
> FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
> (root@, Mon Jan 25 13:03:11 UTC 2010)
> \
> can't load 'kernel'
> Type '?' for a list of command, 'help' for more detailed help.
> OK
> I used the memstick 8.0-Release. Can anybody suggest what could have
> gone wrong, or how I could find out what could have gone wrong?
> Thank you for any help
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It seems that the system cannot mount the ZFS partition properly and see the 
/boot/kernel. Can you boot using fixit console, kldload the opensolaris and zfs 
modules and see if you have everything configured properly (like loader.conf, 
etc., set the mountpoint of the zfs partition to legacy and zpool set 
bootfs=zroot zroot)?
Remember that the zfs pool is there, so zpool list first and if you can see the 
pool, import it.
Actually I'm not a zfs geek, but these are the first steps I would follow to 
"debug" the problem. I've used the same guide to make my system a zfs-only 
system and everything went fine. I didn't install a new FreeBSD system but I 
dump-restored my existing one...


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