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Date:      Sat, 23 Apr 2011 10:00:06 -0700
From:      Chris Telting <christopher-ml@telting.org>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   zfs partition for /etc?
Message-ID:  <4DB30596.3030609@telting.org>

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I'm using PC-BSD and ZFS.  ZFS is outstanding.  Somewhat less impressed 
with PCBSD.

I've grown addicted to ZFS I think.  I love it's snapshots although I 
already know of new features I would love in new development beyond 
v28.  At least for PCBSD it's nice to be able to rollback to a usable 
system and so I play with my system a lot more.

The mount listing needs to be revamped because I can easily imagine in 
the future 30 plus zfs mounts, especially with jails.  Some indentation 
and grouping options along with filters.  And I think replacing the 
mounted volumes in fstab with config filenames.

A nice thing would be allowing snapshots of directories separate from 
volumes.  And it definitely needs whitespace support for unionfs and 
maybe possibly it's own unionfs solution with more capabilities.  For 
example it would be nice to promote a snapshot (or the reverse to 
generate one) into what I'll call an overlay to be able to apply to new 
directory trees.  Something that integrates with snapshots and clones 
somewhat.

And it needs a very low memory operation for systems as low as 64MB.  
Sure it might crawl but many of it's features are indispensable.

Please excuse my rambling.


So so on to my question.  I'm sure others have thought about this.  I 
kind of want /etc to be it's own zfs partition so that I can snapshot it 
separate from everything else and preserve it without much effort.  But 
I don't think I can do that because of booting.  The system depends on 
/etc before it mounts it's first file system.  Same issue I experienced 
a couple years back when I tried to do unionfs on /etc. Is it possible 
to mount multiple partitions from the kernel read only for single user 
mode and bootup? I almost feel like there should be an fstab for /boot 
just to be able to do something like this.

I want to be able to snapshot and rollback my base system in seconds.  
Since I use separate volumes for /usr and /var I'll accept using a 
script.  My only thought is to generate and archive diffs for /etc 
though another modular script to match snapshot labels.

Any thoughts?

Chris




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