Closeup photo of an attentive wildcat.

Enlarge / This is a Fossa. It appears to be focusing. (Cryptoprocta ferox is a small, catlike carnivore native to Madagascar.) (credit: Mathias Appel)

Last October, an experimental ZFS installer showed up in Eoan Ermine, the second interim Ubuntu release of 2019. Next month, Focal Fossa—Ubuntu’s next LTS (Long Term Support) release—is due to drop, and it retains the ZFS installer while adding several new features to Ubuntu’s system management with the fledgling zsys package.

Phoronix reported this weekend that zsys is taking snapshots prior to package-management operations now, so we decided to install the latest Ubuntu 20.04 daily build and see how the new feature works.

Taking Focal Fossa for a quick spin

Focal installs much as any other Ubuntu release has, but it retains 19.10’s ZFS installer—which is still hidden behind “advanced features” and still labeled experimental. After selecting a ZFS install, you give your OK to the resulting partition layout—with one primary partition for UEFI boot and three logical partitions for swap, boot ZFS pool, and root ZFS pool. A few minutes later, you’ve got yourself an Ubuntu installation.

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