ZFS Bootloader for root-on-ZFS systems with support for snapshots and native full disk encryption (by zbm-dev)

Zfsbootmenu Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to zfsbootmenu

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better zfsbootmenu alternative or higher similarity.

zfsbootmenu reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of zfsbootmenu. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-11-12.
  • Hacker News top posts: Nov 12, 2022
    7 projects | reddit.com/r/hackerdigest | 12 Nov 2022
    ZFSBootMenu – A boot loader to manage ZFS boot environments for Linux\ (14 comments)
  • ZFSBootMenu – A boot loader to manage ZFS boot environments for Linux
    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Nov 2022
    The problem is, ZFS support on GRUB2 hasn't been great, partly due to licensing issue requiring lots of ZFS internals to be re-implemented in GRUB. This resulted in issues such as grub-probe unable to detect ZFS pools due to unsupported ZFS features[1] (including native ZFS encryption, which is a deal-breaker for many)

    ZBM took another approach. It provides a small initramfs image that are built on the host machine (via `generate-zbm` script) via standard method such as dracut or mkinitcpio. This image provides an interface for decrypting/mounting ZFS filesystems using the very same ZFS kernel module installed on the host. After the filesystem is mounted, it then kexec'd into the host kernel.

    This also means ZBM doesn't completely replaced GRUB2 or syslinux. Instead, it rely on those intermediate bootloader (including EFI bootloader such as rEFI/gummiboot) to load ZBM itself. (Though ZBM itself only has built-in hooks for syslinux and gummiboot). Being an initramfs give an extra benefit of providing interesting mechanism. e.g., dealing with FDE on a headless server by providing a SSH server for entering an encryption key[2] during boot.

    (No affiliate; just a very happy user.)

    [1]: https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?58555

    [2]: https://github.com/zbm-dev/zfsbootmenu/wiki/Remote-Access-to...

    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Nov 2022
  • Linux Boot Partitions
    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 3 Nov 2022
    Creating and shipping a UKI means that people can just write it to a USB drive that has a vfat partition marked as an ESP. As long as the filename is BOOTX64.EFI, modern x86_64 hardware will automatically find and boot that if no other working EFI entries can be found. Since the kernel commandline is embedded in the UKI, there's no manual/error prone setup to be able to boot the file with any required/extra arguments.


    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 3 Nov 2022
    I'm a huge fan of UKI - it's part of the underlying 'magic' of ZFSBootMenu (https://github.com/zbm-dev/zfsbootmenu/). We ship a single EFI file that is a full Linux kernel, a semi-custom initramfs and an embedded command line. With that, we can fully support root-on-ZFS because we don't have to re-implement a complex filesystem in a bootloader ... like GRUB. Because we're not trying to re-implement ZFS (or any other modern/complex filesystem), we can ALWAYS be current. If a new version of ZFS is released, all we have to do is build a new EFI executable with that baked in to the embedded initramfs.

    There are serious concerns with SecureBoot and being able to unlock your own bootloader - but UEFI itself is a nice universal base to target in 2022.

  • Question: is it possible to unlock encrypted ZFS rpool via ssh during startup?
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/zfs | 6 Oct 2022
    Yes, for ZBM for example can do that: https://github.com/zbm-dev/zfsbootmenu/blob/master/contrib/remote-ssh-build.sh
  • Latest Fedora update tried to remove zfs
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/zfs | 8 Sep 2022
    I’m fond of this one, which also sets up zfsbootmenu
  • ZFS Noob Moral Support Needed
    4 projects | reddit.com/r/zfs | 17 Aug 2022
    I've found that throwing ZFSBootMenu onto a flash drive and using that instead of a normal bootloader makes it super duper simple. I can dedicate the entirety of my disks to zfs and don't have to worry about partitioning or disabling certain features to get it to play nice with booting. On my big server I run a super minimal Tumbleweed install with root and everything else on ZFS (some day I'll get a bigger machine that can handle more drives so I can separate my root and storage pools) and it's kinda nice being able to have everything zfs.
    4 projects | reddit.com/r/zfs | 17 Aug 2022
    Should you decide to have another go at ZFS on root I’d recommend having a look at https://github.com/zbm-dev/zfsbootmenu
  • Technical reasons to choose FreeBSD over GNU/Linux
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 6 Aug 2022
    ZFSBootMenu provides boot environments for Linux. The now defunct Project Trident, formerly PC-BSD and then TrueOS, had a gui installer that sets you up with

    - ZFS on root install of essentially void Linux

    - rEFInd with a kernel sufficient just to boot into

    - ZFSBootMenu which lets you boot into a prior boot environment

    - ZFS native encryption of /home per user directory set up to unlock when you log in via PAM and zfscrypt

    - An update script that automatically creates a boot environment prior to updating

    - A mediocre choice of display manager and their own customer desktop environment that was neither in my opinion terrible nor interesting.

    Trident is alas gone but all the pieces remain and work fine.



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