I have a simple setup:

  • Ubuntu 13.04 on internal USB thumbdrive
  • 4xSATA drive in raidz spool with some volumes /tank/vol1, /tank/vol2

Where does zfs store its' configuration data - is it on member drives of zpool? What would happen if USB thumbdrive dies and I need to reinstall it and access data on zpool?

2 Answers 2


The configuration is stored in the member drives.

There is also a zpool.cache file in /etc/zfs or /boot that has a copy of the configuration so that the kernel mounts zfs filesystems that it had previously known about. A zfs volume will not automatically be mounted at startup until it's imported (which adds it to the cache file).

  • Thank you!Does it makes sense to backup cache file?
    – Sergei
    Jun 19, 2013 at 17:47
  • 1
    Not really, no... If your thumbdrive dies you can just import the zpool on another computer.
    – Chris S
    Jun 19, 2013 at 18:09

ZFS Configuration is stored on the member drives of the zpool, yes.

Sounds like you'd lose your Ubuntu system, but it's not clear what's on the thumbdrive.


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