More ZFS Love - Rapid Recovery

I recently scragged my laptop's primary root partition such that I needed to install-from-scratch again. I had a bootable secondary root, but since it was running an experimental BFUed build, this partition could not be upgraded.

Let's quickly look at how I configure my 100-decimal-GB laptop disk (&\*%$% disk vendors):
  • c0d0s0 --> Primary root, approx 8GB (and I mean GB the way software geeks mean it, 8 \* 1024\^3).
  • c0d0s1 --> Secondary root, same size.
  • c0d0s3 --> swap, 3GB, same as main memory size (useful for system dumps).
  • c0d0s7 --> ZFS pool "tank", with 5 ZFS filesystems (tank, CSW, spro, local, and danmcd).
Before I shut it down for upgrade, I simply uttered this:
zpool export tank That's it!

Then I plugged in my laptop to a local netinstall network, and PXE-booted to a Nevada build 73 install (which includes detangled NAT-Traversal) and started it up. I used the old Solaris installer because I know how to tell it to preserve disk slices. I told it to preserver the secondary root and the zpool.

One install later, I get root, and to recover my miscellaneous backups, CSW software, compilers, local binaires, and home directory, I just did:
zpool import tank And again, that's it! All of my filesystems got mounted properly, no tables to edit, NOTHING.

I'll be at the University of Michigan Engineering Career Fair this coming Tuesday, and will be wandering campus on Monday. If you're one of the four people who read this blog and are there, drop by the Sun table - and see the very laptop I'm talking about. :)
Comments:

8GB for / is much too small nowadays. Once LU supports ZFS, of course, you'll just want one big volume and never again worry about / size.

Posted by Nico on September 21, 2007 at 11:40 AM EDT #

This comment is directed at the previous comment, not this post, which talks about great stuff that works today.

Yes, lots of cool things "will" happen with respect to ZFS. How about finishing them? ZFS can't conquer the world while we're still waiting on obvious features based on the ZFS snapshotting/cloning design.

Posted by Solaris Reality Check Guy on September 22, 2007 at 01:07 PM EDT #

Mr. Guy.

I totally agree that waiting on obvious features is a royal pain in the ass.

Speaking as someone whose own subsystem just recently started exploiting a feature (SMF) available since Solaris 10 RR (aka. 03/05), I can tell you that sometimes getting the obvious feature working can be an even bigger royal pain in the ass. (Especially if part of your source base is still closed-source, but that's another story for another blog post. :)

I appreciate, though, your even-handedness in contrasting my post's content to Nico's. I can tell you that Nico isn't working on ZFS per se, and it's probably his way of expressing his own anticipation.

Posted by Dan McDonald on September 23, 2007 at 01:45 AM EDT #

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