Restore a new ZFS install from a config file made on a UFS install

  • I just got a used Dell r210 ii to load pfSense and the install and restore from backup was delightfully smooth. I was super nervous about it so I thought best not to throw too many variables in and just did the classic UFS restore, but now that I'm up and running and cause I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm thinking I should redo the whole process and turn my new install into a ZFS one.

    My question is, can I restore it with the config backup generated on my old UFS install? Is there an easier/better way than just reinstalling from scratch?

  • Rebel Alliance Netgate Administrator

    The underlying file system will have no impact on the backed up config file.

    You might want to try our new Config Backup (have a copy of it locally and use the online version to restore).

    Follow the instructions below, as this might be your first time before doing any changes I would get a local copy downloaded in case there is a setting missed (password or key).

  • Thanks! I know this is a broad question, but would you recommend I redo my new setup now to ZFS now that I'm running on a backup (the original machine)?

  • Netgate Administrator

    UFS is still the default and recommended install FS type. However it's likely we will move to ZFS at some point.

    Right now UFS is far more widely tested, because it's the default, so you're far less likely to hit some obscure edge case issue.

    ZFS does have significant advantages; better resilience to power failure, system snapshots. It does use more memory though, in some cases a lot more. You shouldn't attempt to run it on a low RAM machine with a large drive.


  • I would be running it on a Dell r210 ii with 8gb of ram so I think that would be plenty, however I'm far from a power user and am worried I'll experience more headache with idiosyncrasies of the new file system that benefit I'd derive from it. Thanks for your input...

  • Netgate Administrator

    In all probability you would not experience any issues with either filesystem. If you can run ZFS more people running it to expose any issues that might be there is good. 😉


  • I'm a glutton for punishment so I'll probably give it a try;)