Today, in a message to the mailing list, Pawel Jakub Dawidek has said that FreeBSD will continue supporting ZFS even though OpenSolaris is dead.
ZFS support has been present in FreeBSD for a while now. But after Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris and moved Solaris into closed development, there were some concerns about the fate of ZFS in FreeBSD. Pawel’s message has made it clear that ZFS support will continue in FreeBSD. He also said that they will be working with the people behind the IllumOS Project. The IllumOS is a fork of OpenSolaris developed after Oracle killed OpenSolaris.
This is what Pawel wrote:
Eventhough OpenSolaris is dead, the ZFS file system is going to stay in FreeBSD. At this point we have quite a few developers involved in ZFS on FreeBSD as well as serveral companies. We are also looking forward to work with IllumOS.
To confirm their continued ZFS support, he has also released a newer version of the ZFS port for FreeBSD for testing. Some of the new features with this update are:
- Data Deduplication
- Triple Parity Raidz
- Snap shot hold
You can see all the new features here.
ZFS is an excellent file system when we consider integrity. The first non-commercial availability of ZFS came with OpenSolaris and then, it was made available on some Linux distributions with FUSE technology. However, ZFS has not been natively available on Linux because it is released under the CDDL license while Linux is under the GNU GPL license. For going hand in hand, it would have to clear these licensing issues.
Up until now, it was possible to use ZFS only in user-space with compromised performance using FUSE technology. This method was reported to have an adverse effect on the lifetime of the hard disk in some circumstances. Very recently, there has been a drive to port ZFS to Linux and there are many companies working on this.
KQ Infotech is one such company, which is working on a fully functional port of ZFS on Linux that will be independent of FUSE. It is expected to run in the kernel and support more options than current implementations. The better news is that, they are close to reaching this goal and there is a good chance of seeing a Linux release with native ZFS.
This development will fire up a new area of development for application developers and we will probably see a Linux implementation of the extremely popular Time Machine of MAC OS-X that is based on DTrace. In short, the ZFS file system and its snapshot feature makes implementing DTrace easier in Linux.