ZFS Rescue Disc

This page may be dated. In particular, ZFS can now be installed atop the Debian live CD images.

This is a ISO (CD image or USB flash drive image) that is based on the debian-live rescue image, but built with Linux kernel ZFS support from the ZFS On Linux project.

It includes:

  • debian-zfs / zfsonlinux: ZFS metapackage and zfsonlinux repo signing key
  • zfs-dkms: ZFS kernel modules, built
  • grub-pc: GRUB with ZFS patches supporting /boot on ZFS
  • zfs-initramfs: initramfs scripts supporting booting with a ZFS root
  • zfsutils: command-line tools for managing ZFS filesystems

It does NOT include zfs-fuse, which the upstream package may. That is fine, since zfsonlinux supports both the older zfs-fuse filesystems and newer ones.

This image also contains the Debian installer. However, unlike the traditional installer, installing from this image will simply copy the image contents to the disk. Debian Installer does not yet support installing to ZFS on Linux, so if you are interested in a fresh Linux install with ZFS, follow my Installing Debian with ZFS instructions.

This disc is also useful for Converting an existing Linux installation to ZFS.


  • Download the latest prebuilt image from http://people.debian.org/~jgoerzen/rescue-zfs/

    • Note: there are two versions. wheezy-live-rescue-zfs is based on the stable 0.6.2 release, while wheezy-live-rescue-zfsdaily is based on the daily snapshots.
    • Most users should avoid the zfsdaily image. It is only needed for those that have updated to git HEAD and want a rescue image that uses the same ABI.
  • Get the source at https://github.com/jgoerzen/rescue-zfs/

See Also

This page may be dated.

This page is outdated.

This is about running ZFS on Linux and Debian.