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Old 01-23-2010, 05:34 PM
maintech maintech is offline
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Default adding hard drives
I don't have much experience with bsd yet but am working on it. I come from the linux community. I have a hard drive formatted to fat32 that I wish to reformat to zfs and add as a partition that will automatically mount at bootup. This is not hard in linux (except linux doesn't have zfs) but so far I have been unable to do so in pc-bsd. I have been unable (so far) to find any guides online that will show me how it is done. Any assistance including links to guides would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
(PC-BSD 7.1.1)
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:39 PM
Ian_Robinson Ian_Robinson is offline
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Default Re: adding hard drives
The zfs command configures ZFS datasets within a ZFS storage pool, as
described in zpool(1M). A dataset is identified by a unique path within
the ZFS namespace. For example:


where the maximum length of a dataset name is MAXNAMELEN (256 bytes).

A dataset can be one of the following:

file system A standard POSIX file system. ZFS file systems can be
mounted within the standard file system namespace and
behave like any other file system.

If you are technically minded, you can review the FreeBSD Handbook section on ZFS: ... s-zfs.html

and you can look at the man page for zfs(8) in Konqueror (URL = man:zfs) or in a terminal (command = man zfs).

These FreeBSD wikis on ZFS are helpful: ... ly_system/

You did not say whether you were going to use ZFS to install your system or whether you were going to access an additional zfs disk, slice, or a partition. If you are starting from an empty disk, slice, or partition onto which you plan to install zfs, just let the PCBSD installer do it for you. If you are going to are going to add a zfs disk, slice, or partition to your existing system, you will generally:

1. Work as root in a terminal (i.e., on the terminal command line, type su)

2. Create some mount points (example: mkdir /zfs_mount)

3. Start sysinstall (as root), select "Configuration" and:

A. Fdisk to create a partition (a BSD "slice")

B. Bsdlabel to create a file system on the target.

4. Use an editor (i.e. "ee" or "vi" (or whatever) to change certain configuration files (you must be root to save them) to load and enable access to the zfs system:

A. /boot/loader.conf
B. /etc/fstab (adding a line in this file let let it auto-mount at boot up)
C. /etc/rc.conf

Please see the references above for specifics.


Also, zfs requires at least 4GB of RAM.

If you are interested, and do not mind reinstalling when the release comes out, PCBSD 8.0 (currently in a very reliable BETA form and soon to be in RC form) has better support for ZFS. PCBSD 8.0-BETA (based on FreeBSD 8) is found on the PCBSD main page at I would expect PCBSD 8.0 will be in final (or close to it) at the end of Feb 2010.

Ian Robinson
Salem, Ohio

Ian Robinson
Salem, Ohio
FitchKendall AT
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