I really like the compact flash card suggestion. Doing a little reading it looks like most compact flash cards (if not all modern ones) include ECC by default and I have several compact flash cards sitting around! I will try to migrate to one of these. 

FWiW If freeNAS had a ZFS root on just the 64bit image i would be very happy with that.  Large USB drives are cheap especially considering what i am using it for.  RAID1 in ZFS for root would clear up bit rot and snapshots before upgrades would make roll back super easy. 

Thanks again, a happy FreeNAS user! 

On Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM, Josh Paetzel <josh@ixsystems.com> wrote:

>>>> Thanks for FreeNAS!

There are a couple of issues with root on ZFS.

The first is:  nanobsd (the underlying build system of FreeNAS)
doesn't understand ZFS.  FreeNAS uses the whole ping pong two boot
partition things inherited from nanobsd, plus the FreeBSD MBR loader
to manage booting from them.  That would all have to be rethought.

2) Like it or not the 32 bit images are still quite popular.
Hopefully someday that will not be the case, but ZFS on 32 bit is a
nightmare.  People also run FreeNAS on lower spec hardware and don't
use ZFS at all for their storage volumes, once again something I don't
like, but it has to be supported for the time being.

3) The boot image is (mostly) read only, and while I've seen my fair
share of failures with USB sticks, high quality ones are not all that
prone to failure.  For a system with only USB, they make usb to
compact flash adapters that are fairly low cost.

There are a number of highly reliable small flash boot devices out
there, an example being:


(No idea on cost)

To answer your question though, there are no plans to move the image
to ZFS in the immediate future.

- --

Josh Paetzel
Director of IT, iXsystems
Servers For Open Source  http://www.ixsystems.com

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