ZFS Install Alternate

Introduction

This document is intended to walk you through installing Funtoo Linux using ZFS as your root filesystem, without a separate /boot partition, in situations where you may not have console access or your choice of rescue environment to support ZFS. I use a two layered install in this guide, with a minimal ZFS supporting Funtoo installation as the first step on to a supported filesystem, followed by using that as a rescue environment to create a ZFS-only Funtoo install.

Some discount server hosting companies do not provide KVM or other means to have console access to your server. Additionally I am unaware of any who offer a rescue boot that supports ZFS. This guide addresses those issues and also shows how to get grub to load kernel and initramfs from /boot on ZFS. You will want to refer to Funtoo Linux Installation and [[ZFS Install Guide as companions to this document as I will defer much to those.

Create a minimal Funtoo install on a small partition

Follow the instructions to create a base install of funtoo on a small partition, 3gb should be enough. I recommend using bliss-kernel with bliss-initramfs as it is precompiled and supports ZFS (and this is just a bootstrap/rescue environment). A 2.5G partition for / should be enough. You can make this smaller by using a physical partition for swap and tmpfs for /usr/portage and /var/tmp/portage.

Use the mini-install to bootstrap into full ZFS based system