Fri. Aug 7th, 2020

Linus Torvalds does not recommend using ZFS in the Linux kernel

2 min read

Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds recently to respond to problems Linux kernel scheduler article raises everyone’s attention, in the same post, he also responded to “ZFS module” matter on the Linux kernel.

Linus has stated his attitude towards ZFS, and he will not recommend using ZFS until Oracle reauthorizes the ZFS code to make it more friendly to the Linux Kernel mainline. But even without the license, Linus doesn’t seem to be attracted by the features or overall performance of ZFS.

Of course, Linus Torvalds has little control over the behavior of modules outside the kernel source tree, and always sticks to the stance of not maintaining unstable driver APIs/ABI, and will not invest in code outside the closed source/kernel source tree. Modules outside the kernel source tree are also considered largely non-existent.

Linux open source

According to Linus’ response, if someone adds modules like ZFS to the Linux kernel, they will be independent of the Linux kernel, Linus cannot maintain it, and cannot be affected by kernel changes submitted by others. Some people think that it is feasible to incorporate ZFS code into the kernel, but Linus can’t rest assured that he will take this approach given Oracle’s litigious nature and licensing issues.

Linus also admitted that “And I’m not at all interested in some “ZFS shim layer” thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle’s interface copyright suits (see Java), I don’t think it’s any real licensing win either. 
Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.
The benchmarks I’ve seen do not make ZFS look all that great. And as far as I can tell, it has no real maintenance behind it either any more, so from a long-term stability standpoint, why would you ever want to use it in the first place?