ZFS Cheatsheet

If you're new to ZFS, you can use local files to create a ZFS pool and get started.


List Pools

sudo zpool list  

Create a ZFS volume/pool on a single disk:

zpool create vol0 /dev/sd[x]  

Your pool will automatically be mounted at /[pool name].

Refer here for details of creating other pool types across multiple disks, such as RAID 1, 10, 5 etc.

Delete All Datasets In A Pool

zfs destroy -r [pool name] 

Delete a Pool

sudo zpool destroy [pool name]  

Check Disk Statuses

If you're running a redundant raid, you may want to check if any drives have failed once in a while. This is done by just checking the pools.

sudo zpool status  


Scrub a pool

sudo zpool scrub [pool name]

To see the progress of a scrub use sudo zpool status


Create a Dataset

sudo zfs create [pool name]/[dataset name]  

ZFS will automatically mount the dataset at /path/to/pool/[dataset name].

You can create a "descendent" dataset/filesystem like so:

sudo zfs create \  
[pool name]/[dataset name]/[descendent filesystem]

List Datasets and Pools

sudo zfs list  

Delete Dataset

sudo zfs destroy [pool name]/[dataset name]  

A dataset cannot be destroyed if snapshots or clones of the dataset exist.

Set Dataset Record Size

Read here for more information about what the record size actually does.

sudo zfs set recordsize=[size] pool/dataset/name

Size should be a value like 16k, 128k, or 1M etc.

Get Dataset Record Size

sudo zfs get recordsize pool/dataset/name


Snapshot Datasets

zfs snapshot [pool]/[dataset name]@[snapshot name]  

List Snapshots

sudo zfs list -t snapshot  

Rename Snapshots

zfs rename [pool]/[dataset]@[old name] [new name]  

Restore Snapshot

zfs rollback -r [pool]/[dataset]@[snapshot name]  

This will delete all snapshots that were taken after [snapshot name] was taken!

The file system that you want to roll back is unmounted and remounted, if it is currently mounted. If the file system cannot be unmounted, the rollback fails. The -f option forces the file system to be unmounted, if necessary.

Delete a Snapshot

zfs destroy tank/home/cindys@snap1  



Creating RAID Arrays

Refer to my post on creating ZFS Pools.

Sharing Datasets Over NFS

Refer here.


Mount Everything

zfs mount -a

This will let you know if your pool or dataset won't mount for some reason, such as the directory not being empty.

Get Mountpoints

zfs get all | grep mountpoint

Set Mountpoint

sudo zfs set mountpoint=/path/to/mount zpool-name/dataset-name




Stuart is a software developer with a passion for Linux and open source projects.

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