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ZFSCONCEPTS(8)		FreeBSD	System Manager's Manual		ZFSCONCEPTS(8)

NAME
     zfsconcepts -- An overview	of ZFS concepts.

DESCRIPTION
   ZFS File System Hierarchy
     A ZFS storage pool	is a logical collection	of devices that	provide	space
     for datasets.  A storage pool is also the root of the ZFS file system hi-
     erarchy.

     The root of the pool can be accessed as a file system, such as mounting
     and unmounting, taking snapshots, and setting properties.	The physical
     storage characteristics, however, are managed by the zpool(8) command.

     See zpool(8) for more information on creating and administering pools.

   Snapshots
     A snapshot	is a read-only copy of a file system or	volume.	 Snapshots can
     be	created	extremely quickly, and initially consume no additional space
     within the	pool.  As data within the active dataset changes, the snapshot
     consumes more data	than would otherwise be	shared with the	active
     dataset.

     Snapshots can have	arbitrary names.  Snapshots of volumes can be cloned
     or	rolled back, visibility	is determined by the snapdev property of the
     parent volume.

     File system snapshots can be accessed under the .zfs/snapshot directory
     in	the root of the	file system.  Snapshots	are automatically mounted on
     demand and	may be unmounted at regular intervals.	The visibility of the
     .zfs directory can	be controlled by the snapdir property.

   Bookmarks
     A bookmark	is like	a snapshot, a read-only	copy of	a file system or vol-
     ume.  Bookmarks can be created extremely quickly, compared	to snapshots,
     and they consume no additional space within the pool. Bookmarks can also
     have arbitrary names, much	like snapshots.

     Unlike snapshots, bookmarks can not be accessed through the filesystem in
     any way. From a storage standpoint	a bookmark just	provides a way to ref-
     erence when a snapshot was	created	as a distinct object. Bookmarks	are
     initially tied to a snapshot, not the filesystem or volume, and they will
     survive if	the snapshot itself is destroyed. Since	they are very light
     weight there's little incentive to	destroy	them.

   Clones
     A clone is	a writable volume or file system whose initial contents	are
     the same as another dataset.  As with snapshots, creating a clone is
     nearly instantaneous, and initially consumes no additional	space.

     Clones can	only be	created	from a snapshot.  When a snapshot is cloned,
     it	creates	an implicit dependency between the parent and child.  Even
     though the	clone is created somewhere else	in the dataset hierarchy, the
     original snapshot cannot be destroyed as long as a	clone exists.  The
     origin property exposes this dependency, and the destroy command lists
     any such dependencies, if they exist.

     The clone parent-child dependency relationship can	be reversed by using
     the promote subcommand.  This causes the "origin" file system to become a
     clone of the specified file system, which makes it	possible to destroy
     the file system that the clone was	created	from.

   Mount Points
     Creating a	ZFS file system	is a simple operation, so the number of	file
     systems per system	is likely to be	numerous.  To cope with	this, ZFS au-
     tomatically manages mounting and unmounting file systems without the need
     to	edit the /etc/fstab file.  All automatically managed file systems are
     mounted by	ZFS at boot time.

     By	default, file systems are mounted under	/path, where path is the name
     of	the file system	in the ZFS namespace.  Directories are created and de-
     stroyed as	needed.

     A file system can also have a mount point set in the mountpoint property.
     This directory is created as needed, and ZFS automatically	mounts the
     file system when the zfs mount -a command is invoked (without editing
     /etc/fstab).  The mountpoint property can be inherited, so	if pool/home
     has a mount point of /export/stuff, then pool/home/user automatically in-
     herits a mount point of /export/stuff/user.

     A file system mountpoint property of none prevents	the file system	from
     being mounted.

     If	needed,	ZFS file systems can also be managed with traditional tools
     (mount, umount, /etc/fstab).  If a	file system's mount point is set to
     legacy, ZFS makes no attempt to manage the	file system, and the adminis-
     trator is responsible for mounting	and unmounting the file	system.	Be-
     cause pools must be imported before a legacy mount	can succeed, adminis-
     trators should ensure that	legacy mounts are only attempted after the
     zpool import process finishes at boot time. For example, on machines us-
     ing systemd, the mount option

     x-systemd.requires=zfs-import.target

     will ensure that the zfs-import completes before systemd attempts mount-
     ing the filesystem. See systemd.mount(5) for details.

   Deduplication
     Deduplication is the process for removing redundant data at the block
     level, reducing the total amount of data stored. If a file	system has the
     dedup property enabled, duplicate data blocks are removed synchronously.
     The result	is that	only unique data is stored and common components are
     shared among files.

     Deduplicating data	is a very resource-intensive operation.	It is gener-
     ally recommended that you have at least 1.25 GiB of RAM per 1 TiB of
     storage when you enable deduplication. Calculating	the exact requirement
     depends heavily on	the type of data stored	in the pool.

     Enabling deduplication on an improperly-designed system can result	in
     performance issues	(slow IO and administrative operations). It can	poten-
     tially lead to problems importing a pool due to memory exhaustion.	Dedu-
     plication can consume significant processing power	(CPU) and memory as
     well as generate additional disk IO.

     Before creating a pool with deduplication enabled,	ensure that you	have
     planned your hardware requirements	appropriately and implemented appro-
     priate recovery practices,	such as	regular	backups. As an alternative to
     deduplication consider using compression=on, as a less resource-intensive
     alternative.

FreeBSD	13.0			 June 30, 2019			  FreeBSD 13.0

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