Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Don’t Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds

Filed under
News

Linux creator Linus Torvalds is skeptical of ZFS open source licensing and doesn’t recommend using it on Linux.
Read more

Avoid Oracle's ZFS kernel code on Linux...

  • Linus Torvalds: Avoid Oracle's ZFS kernel code on Linux until 'litigious' Larry signs off

    The Linux kernel creator says he refuses to merge the ZFS module into the kernel because he can't risk a lawsuit from "litigious" Oracle - which is still trying to sue Google for copyright violations over its use of Java APIs in Android - and Torvalds won't do so until Oracle founder Larry Ellison signs off on its use in the Linux kernel.

    "If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can't maintain it and I cannot be bound by other people's kernel changes," explained Torvalds.

    "And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it's OK to do so and treat the end result as GPL'd," Torvalds continued.

    "Other people think it can be OK to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it OK, and that's their decision. But considering Oracle's litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there's no way I can feel safe in ever doing so."

Linus Torvalds: “Don't use ZFS”

  • Linus Torvalds: “Don't use ZFS”

    ZFS could be the fastest file system in the world and randomly disperse kittens and I still wouldn’t touch it with a ten metre pole if I were Linus. Oracle is a colony of snakes led by the biggest snake of them all, and adding their code – even through shims or interfaces – should be a complete non-starter for any project.

Discussion in Slashdot now

Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”

  • Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”—but doesn’t seem to understand it

    Last Monday in the "Moderated Discussions" forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds—founding developer and current supreme maintainer of the Linux kernel—answered a user's question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy that heavily impacted the ZFS on Linux project. After answering the user's actual question, Torvalds went on to make inaccurate and damaging claims about the ZFS filesystem itself.

    Given the massive weight automatically given Torvalds' words due to his status as founding developer and chief maintainer of the Linux kernel, we feel it's a good idea to explain both the controversial kernel change itself, and Torvalds' comments about both the change in question and the ZFS filesystem.

Torvalds warns against Oracle module

  • Torvalds warns against Oracle module

    IT’s Mr Sweary, Linus Torvalds has warned engineers against adding a module for the ZFS filesystem that was designed by Sun Microsystems, now Oracle, due to licensing issues.

    As reported by Phoronix, Torvalds has warned kernel developers against using ZFS on Linux, an implementation of OpenZFS, and refuses to merge any ZFS code until Oracle changes the open-source license it uses.

    ZFS has long been licensed under Sun's Common Development and Distribution License as opposed to the Linux kernel, which is licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL).

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds

  • It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing

    Linux kernel jockey, Linus Torvalds, has taken time out to remind open source loyalists that he is no fan of the ZFS file system due, in part, to the sometimes tortuous nature of open source licensing.

    Torvalds was responding to a question late last week regarding a recent update to the Linux kernel breaking the third party ZFS module.

    With his new non-sweary hat on, Torvalds patiently explained his position around out-of-tree components such as ZFS. In essence, they aren't his problem. We imagine ensuring nothing breaks in the user space is challenging enough.

    "Note that 'we don't break users' is literally about user-space applications, and about the kernel I maintain," he explained, adding: "If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can't maintain it, and I can not be bound by other people's kernel changes."

    So there you have it, ZFS fans. Except, of course, you don't.

    The Linux supremo went on to throw a little shade at Platinum Linux Foundation member Oracle, adding, "There is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it's OK to do so and treat the end result as GPL'd."

Linus Torvalds Won’t Merge ZFS Code Into Linux Kernel

  • Linus Torvalds Won’t Merge ZFS Code Into Linux Kernel

    In the recent “Moderated Discussions” forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds warned kernel developers against adding a module for the ZFS filesystem until Oracle were to re-license the code for mainline inclusion.

    He was answering a user’s question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy, as reported by Phoronix.

    “Honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle,” he wrote. “Other people think it can be OK to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it OK, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.”

Oracle, OpenZFS respond

With text

  • Oracle, OpenZFS respond to Linus Torvalds saying 'Don't use ZFS'

    The reporting around his comments -- coming from a wide array of news outlets (some Linux-centric, others less so) -- has been heavy on opinion... but light on commentary from the key parties involved.

    In fact, I have yet to see a single article on this topic where the journalist has reached out to the folks that own ZFS (Oracle) or the maintainers of OpenZFS (which was forked from an earlier, open source version of ZFS).

    Let's correct that.

Original and Conde Nast

  • Do not blame anyone. Please give polite, constructive criticism

    Note that "we don't break users" is literally about user-space applications, and about the kernel I maintain.

    If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can't maintain it, and I can not be bound by other peoples kernel changes.

    And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it's ok to do so and treat the end result as GPL'd.

    Other people think it can be ok to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it ok, and that's their decision. But considering Oracle's litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there's no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.

    And I'm not at all interested in some "ZFS shim layer" thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle's interface copyright suits (see Java), I don't think it's any real licensing win either.

    Don't use ZFS. It's that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.

    The benchmarks I've seen do not make ZFS look all that great. And as far as I can tell, it has no real maintenance behind it either any more, so from a long-term stability standpoint, why would you ever want to use it in the first place?

  • What Linus Torvalds Gets Wrong About ZFS [Ed: This anti-Torvalds rant comes from the same publisher, Conde Nast, that forced Torvalds out of his own project for a month]

    Ars Technica recently ran a rebuttal by author, podcaster, coder, and "mercenary sysadmin" Jim Salter to some comments Linus Torvalds made last week about ZFS.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Devices/Embedded With GNU/Linux

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

In my first post on easy application development on the Librem 5 I discussed how to turn a simple shell script that takes a screenshot into a full graphical app with only a few extra lines of code. In this post I will follow up with an even simpler application that took about twenty minutes to write with much of that time involved in reading documentation. My Bright Idea The interesting thing about smart phones is how many other devices they have replaced beyond a regular phone. For instance, there used to be a market for small, pocket-sized digital cameras, but now many people just use the cameras on their smart phones. While some people still do keep a pocket flashlight with them, many people just use the light on their smart phone. I realized that a flashlight app would be another great way to showcase just how easy it is to develop applications for the Librem 5. As applications go the requirements are pretty simple: you need a button to turn on the light, a button to turn off the light, and a button to close the app. Read more

LibreOffice Writer Articles and Improvements

  • Two alternatives to Microsoft Word that are free and customizable

    If you're looking for an open-source office suite, LibreOffice is the software package for you. Its word processing program is LibreOffice Writer--which, incidentally, this story was written with, so I can attest to its excellence. You're able to choose from different fonts and text styles, embed images and figures, and use a variety of other functions you'd expect from its paid competition. It can save files in an Open Document Format (ODF), a number of Word formats, and export your work as a PDF for wide-ranging compatibility.

  • Improved rotated text handling in Writer's table rows with automatic height

    Writer now has better support for rotated text in tables containing rows with automatic height. This post also presents two related fixes. First, thanks Otevřená města who made this work by Collabora possible. [...] Before diving into improved rotated text handling, first a continuous section break import problem (tdf#128605) was fixed: this was a case when we created a new page style, but only a new section was intended.