ZFS question re: deletion during compression

Greg Marsh greg.marsh at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 23:59:16 UTC 2017

Hello & good day to anyone reading this :)

I have a question about how ZFS should react to a very particular
situation. This is not life or death nor costing anyone money. I'm just

I was gzipping a 1TB file.
I accidentally rm'd it as I thought the gzip had finished - it had been
about 8 hours. I didn't notice the gzip process still going until after I
attempted to delete the file (multiple xterms for the lose). After a couple
minutes, the free space hadn't reflected the file deletion. It was only
then I realised that gzip was still churning. It continued running for a
few more hours.

Eventually gzip did finish and left me with a 416gb file, roughly the size
I expected. The initial file being a disk image, half of which was empty

I'm curious if ZFS didn't allow the file to be deleted while gzip was
working on it. Merely removing it from the directory listing. Meaning my
compressed file is fine.

I still have the original file and will take the time to be more careful
about my backup when I redo it. I'm just curious as to if ZFS was
protecting me from my own impetuousness. I am unzipping the first attempt
to see what it looks like, but I don't trust the file regardless.

If you've read this far, thank you very much for your time and
consideration.  If you are a FreeBSD and/or ZFS developer reading this, you
have my eternal gratitude and awe towards your generosity and skills. I
adore what FreeBSD is capable of and how well it works. I've been a
'digital janitor' for more than half of my life and want people to know
just how much I appreciate their expertise.


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