ZFS is a modern file system and volume manager originally developed by Sun Microsystems and licensed under the CDDL. It is a copy-on-write file system with support for large storage arrays, protection against corruption, snapshots, clones, compression, deduplication and NFSv4 ACLs. An open-source fork of ZFS can be found at http://open-zfs.org/ , which is supported by ZFSonlinux.org, illumos.org and ZFS developers in the FreeBSD & Mac OS X communities.

ZFS is supported out of the box on a number of operating systems:

  • Solaris 10
  • Oracle Solaris 11 Express
  • FreeBSD
  • NexentaStor
  • illumos - specifically, illumos-based distributions, like:
    • Nexenta's illumian
    • Joyent's SmartOS (server OS with strong focus on virtualization)
    • OmniTI's OmniOS (general purpose server OS)
    • OpenIndiana (general purpose desktop/server OS)

Due to license incompatibilities, the CDDL licensed ZFS code cannot be distributed as part of the GPL licensed Linux kernel. Other alternatives methods are available for running ZFS on Linux: