Basic Maintenance Best Practices

Hello folks,

So I am in month 3-4 of ZFS usage and loving it. I wanted to see what folks would recommend as best practices for maintaining the filesystem.

Here’s what you are working with:

  • a single laptop hard drive with 500GB
  • OS: NixOS 24.05
  • Encrypted ZFS
  • 10 or less snapshots
  • 3 datasets
  • Local Backups are taken from snapshots using Borg backup to a hard drive before shut down
  • Cloud Backups are taken from snapshots using rclone to Backblaze before shut down.
  • how we got here: @mercenary_sysadmin kept talking about ZFS so I did a “ready, fire, aim” with my personal laptop after double-checking my backups via test restores

As always, happy to clarify something that’s asked, just know I might be failing to read the “Face toward enemy” label on the equipment.

1 Like

Sounds good so far.

  • Have you set up sanoid to manage your snapshots for you?
  • Have you looked into using ZFS replication in your backup/restore strategy?
  • Do you have any kind of ZFS boot environment set up?

I like this approach (backup on shutdown). I am using ZFS on a drive on my desktop so will look into this too. May not be worth it for me because all data (docs/pics/media) are smlinks to my NAS or accessible via app. I am using ZFS on desktop for snapshots and data integrity - all important data is on my NAS which has ZFS snapshots, send/recv backup etc. etc. to another NAS which is only turned on for backup.

I am looking for a tool that reports SMART changes or zpool status errors and will put up a desktop notification and perhaps live in the system tray. I may write this myself but not put in any research time to find such a tool yet - but feel this would go well with ZFS on desktops.

Off topic: I use a remote desktop to LibreOffice container via Docker to edit documents. I access photos via Immich app, and media via Jellyfin (both hosted on primary NAS). I am trying to treat primary desktop OS as disposable expect home folder, which is backed up to NAS.