[FFe] Remove zsys from installer

Bug #1968150 reported by Jean-Baptiste Lallement
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)
Fix Released

Bug Description

Zsys is in very low maintenance mode (critical bug fixes only) and must be removed from the LTS.
However ZFS and encrypted ZFS are still available as an installation option but the package ZSys is not installed.
The ZFS layout remains unchanged.


description: updated
Revision history for this message
Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

FFe granted.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

This change landed but the bug number wasn't referenced. :-(

ubiquity (22.04.13) jammy; urgency=medium

  * Remove Zsys on ZFS installation. ZFS is still available.

 -- Jean-Baptiste Lallement <email address hidden> Thu, 07 Apr 2022 11:09:39 +0200

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Renne (renne) wrote :

Two weeks ago I had to install the NVidia GPU driver to disable the Optimus NVidia GPU to save power on my laptop. After the installation of the NVidia driver (Ubuntu Desktop 21.10 amd64) X didn't work anymore. Ubuntu booted into the emergency/rescue system at any reboot.

Zsys saved my day by just reverting back to a snapshot before the NVidia driver installation.

I highly suggest to make Zsys stable to improve data integrity on Ubuntu installations.
I hope I cant get Zsys working on the 22.04 installation this week.

Revision history for this message
Peter Goodall (pjgoodall) wrote :

Zsys has been occasionally very useful, and very often a pain. Get someone from outside the team to look at gc. I would very much like an equivalent functionality in Ubuntu.

Revision history for this message
d (agentefilemonpi) wrote :

I second the comments from my fellow users. zsys has been very useful when an update has messed things up and has allowed a quick way to undo and revert the change. It is going to have a detrimental impact in how the distro is used in my case.

Revision history for this message
Kristijan Žic  (kristijan-zic) wrote :

I'd like to caution against removal of zsys, it's pretty much the biggest differentiating feature between Ubuntu and other distros. It has saved my installation and data multiple times. I'd advise to restart the development of zsys and make it stable. I'd be willing to work on a gui front end for it with someone if Ubuntu commits to developing and supporting zfs and zsys, hopefully even defaulting it.

Revision history for this message
roland aus köln (devzero-c) wrote :

i also don't understand why zsys in unmaintained and being remove from ubuntu. it's absolutely useful and for me, it's also the most differentiating feature between ubuntu and other distros, too.

please don't remove/abandon it

Revision history for this message
idoit (idoit) wrote :

I would also like to ask for Zsys to be part of Ubuntu. Quite frankly, for me, this is the only competitive advantage that Ubuntu has over other distros! Please don't take it away!

Revision history for this message
Niccolò Belli (niccolo-belli) wrote :

What a bad decision... I've basically moved all my servers to Ubuntu because of zsys (the only real difference between other distros) and now it's basically abandonware. Not only it's not being installed by default anymore, it also doesn't work anymore (see #1992590). You can't expect users to take Ubuntu Server seriously with such a lack of direction.

Revision history for this message
Some Guy On The Net (lockszmith) wrote :

What would be a KPI that matters enough to help make the decision to reignite the project?

Management decides to move a project to low maintenance mode, and then (surprise, surprise) blames low-maintenance mode to decide to kill it.

All of the comments above reflect why the people who use ZSYS truly believe in it's value.
Continue work on it, and you will see ZFS with ZSYS become a reckoning force in Linux distros.

The fact that it's not easy at times and a lot of people stick with it shows that the value here is tremendous.

I believe every single one of us here have worked with the original maintainer over at GitHub, and continue to root for it.

Revision history for this message
Kip Warner (kip) wrote :

"However ZFS and encrypted ZFS are still available as an installation option but the package ZSys is not installed."

Could you tell us how we can find or enable it? When I ran the installer I did not see anything to do with ZFS.

Revision history for this message
John Erling Blad (jeblad) wrote :

This is surely going to create problems, at least on my computers. It is beginning to be a kind of tradition this, sudden changes in Ubuntu/Canonical commitment to their own plans.

Sorry for the rant, I don't like this.

Revision history for this message
Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

ZFS is the future.

It is more reliable, and allows one to optimally use theirs to full potential without being limited by re-partitioning.

ZFS installation options are present with and without encryption in Jammy desktop installer, and the legacy desktop installer in Lunar, with the critical bug https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/zsys/+bug/1993318 fixed up. Said bug has caused us concern during Kinetic release week, and we made the decision to temporary hide the encrypted zfs option in the Kinetic desktop released ISO. One can however use Jammy desktop installer and then dist-upgrade.

zsys is a great tool for managing snapshots and rollbacks. It is available from the ubuntu archive with `sudo apt install zsys`. And all other pieces of integration remain in place to support it (i.e. grub / systemd). It is not currently installed by default, because it requires infrequent manual actions from the user to manage certain snapshots that are not automatically reclaimed. Hopefully these aspects of zsys will be improved in the future -> for example allow installation of zsys with automatic snapshoting turned off, but allow one to opt into it.

Separately even on non-zfs installations LXD uses zfs as the default storage pool format.

There are ongoing plans and efforts to continue develop, support and expand zfs use in Ubuntu and elsewhere.

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