Updated: 02/27/2019 by Computer Hope
OpenZFS logo.

ZFS is a file system and logical volume manager developed by Sun Microsystems. It is designed for high-performance, fault-tolerant, large-scale Unix-like systems.

ZFS history

ZFS was first developed at Sun in 2001 as a proprietary file system, and was released as an open-source component of OpenSolaris in 2005. In 2010, when Sun was acquired by Oracle, ZFS reverted to closed-source, proprietary software.

In 2013, the development teams of the illumos, Linux, FreeBSD, and macOS operating systems collaborated to release a new open-source version of ZFS, OpenZFS.

ZFS features

ZFS features include:

Operating systems that support ZFS

The following operating systems completely or partially support ZFS:

Linux support

Due to licensing incompatibilities, ZFS support on Linux is largely restricted to user space, mounted as a FUSE filesystem. This restriction satisfies the ZFS license, at a performance cost. However, in 2016, Ubuntu 16.04 introduced a segregated development model that satisfies the ZFS license terms, and began including ZFS support as a kernel module.

Hierarchical file system, Operating System terms