ZFS backups: retrieving a few files?

Peter Jeremy peterjeremy at acm.org
Tue Nov 23 23:04:57 UTC 2010

On 2010-Nov-23 23:45:43 +1100, Andrew Reilly <areilly at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>zfs send -vR tank/home at 0 | zfs receive -d /backup/snapshots
>in order to experiment with this strategy.
>One would then become alarmed when one discovered that the
>receive mechanism also invoked the mountpoint= parameter of the
>source filesystem, and the zfs propensity for just doing stuff,
>and boom: you have a read-only version of your home directory
>mounted *on top of* your actual home directory...

Been there, done that.  The undocumented '-u' option to receive will
prevent the receive side performing mounts.  The poorly documented
'-R' option on import allows you to specify an alternative root
mountpoint.  Once you have done the initial transfer, you can also set
'canmount=noauto' on each fileset (it isn't inherited) to prevent ZFS
automounting them on import.

BTW, the entire export is performed at the current compression level -
recompressing existing data.

Peter Jeremy
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