Looks Like Ubuntu 23.10 Will Bring Back ZFS on Root Installation Option

The option will be marked as an experimental feature in the Ubuntu 23.10 release.
Ubuntu 23.10 ZFS

After removing ZFS support from its new Ubuntu Desktop installer in Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster), Canonical appears to have found a way to bring back this popular feature with the next Ubuntu release, Ubuntu 23.10 (Mantic Minotaur).

Ubuntu 23.04’s new installer is written in Google’s Flutter SDK and it’s based on Ubuntu’s Subiquity server installer, which, unfortunately, does not have ZFS support yet. Those who wanted to install Ubuntu 23.04 on an encrypted ZFS root would have to use the Legacy ISO images.

But the good news is that the upcoming Ubuntu 23.10 (Mantic Minotaur) release, due out on October 12th, 2023, will bring back ZFS support in the main ISO image that uses the new Flutter-based installer.

However, ZFS will be offered as an experimental feature. Users will be able to enable ZFS on root from the same place they accessed the feature in previous Ubuntu releases, namely by clicking on the “Advanced features” button when choosing the type of installation they want to perform.

I do hope that that ZFS on root will work as expected for those who want their Ubuntu installations with a ZFS file system, but for now the feature does not appear to work on my machine using the latest daily build ISO image. Most probably, ZFS support will be functional in the final release.

For now, Ubuntu 23.10 is powered by Linux kernel 6.3, so ZFS installation should work. However, OpenZFS does not yet support the latest Linux 6.5 kernel series, which Canonical plans to add by default in the final Mantic Minotaur release. Hopefully, OpenZFS will support Linux kernel 6.5 by then.

Ubuntu 23.10 is one of the most anticipated Ubuntu releases in a long time as it will come with the latest GNOME 45 desktop environment and Linux 6.5 kernel series by default. Another interesting feature of Ubuntu 23.10 is the ability to unlock your encrypted installation without typing a passphrase on TPM 2.0-capable hardware.

The beta release of Ubuntu 23.10 will be available for public testing on September 21st, 2023.

Last updated 8 months ago

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