How do I mount another system's zfs root partition on new system?

Brandon J. Wandersee brandon.wandersee at
Sat Aug 27 17:17:47 UTC 2016

Magnus Ahriman writes:

>>> The root partition was encrypted, will I be asked to enter password upon
>>> mounting it?
>> I would think so.

> Thanks! I managed to RTFM and google the question, but the disk seems
> broken as it only shows bootpool as available for import.

zpool(8) doesn't handle encryption, geli(8) does. The password prompt
you see during boot is not triggered by the mounting of the pool: your
boot process is configured (via /boot/loader.conf) to attempt to decrypt
the partition(s) with geli(8) during boot. The mounting of the ZFS pool
is handled by ZFS later in the boot process, after the partition is

You need to unlock the drive manually. The Handbook has the relevant
info on that. If you used the automatic root-on-ZFS option in the
FreeBSD installer then unlocking the unlocking of root partition during
boot was configured for you automatically. You'll need to import/mount
"bootpool," take a look at the options set in /boot/loader.conf on that
pool, and then feed them to `geli attach`to unlock the partition. Then
you can mount the pool using the command Jim gave you.

::  Brandon J. Wandersee
::  brandon.wandersee at
::  --------------------------------------------------
::  'The best design is as little design as possible.'
::  --- Dieter Rams ----------------------------------

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