ZFS Install Alternate

This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.


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