Setup LXD with Ubuntu's ZFS on root

29 January 2020

I want to have a head start to make sure Ubuntu 20.04 works flawlessly by the time it releases. I am however making some bold moves, like setting up ZFS on Root during install which is currently marked as EXPERIMENTAL.

TODO zfs on root screenshot

After the installation is done, we can check that the installer creates two pools:

$ zpool list
bpool  1,88G   178M  1,70G        -         -     0%     9%  1.00x    ONLINE  -
rpool   472G   118G   354G        -         -     0%    25%  1.00x    ONLINE  -

For development, I use LXD, a very nice and well thought system container manager, installed through the Snap Store:

On Ubuntu (at least), LXD detects that the system is ZFS-ready, but I need to manually inform it about the dataset I want to use, so I create a dataset on rpool to keep things tidy:

sudo zfs create rpool/LXD

So then I just run lxd init and fill in the required information:

$ sudo lxd init
Would you like to use LXD clustering? (yes/no) [default=no]: 
Do you want to configure a new storage pool? (yes/no) [default=yes]: 
Name of the new storage pool [default=default]: 
Name of the storage backend to use (btrfs, ceph, dir, lvm, zfs) [default=zfs]: 
Create a new ZFS pool? (yes/no) [default=yes]: no
Name of the existing ZFS pool or dataset: rpool/LXD
Would you like to connect to a MAAS server? (yes/no) [default=no]: 
Would you like to create a new local network bridge? (yes/no) [default=yes]: 
What should the new bridge be called? [default=lxdbr0]: 
What IPv4 address should be used? (CIDR subnet notation, “auto” or “none”) [default=auto]: 
What IPv6 address should be used? (CIDR subnet notation, “auto” or “none”) [default=auto]: 
Would you like LXD to be available over the network? (yes/no) [default=no]: 
Would you like stale cached images to be updated automatically? (yes/no) [default=yes] 
Would you like a YAML "lxd init" preseed to be printed? (yes/no) [default=no]:

After this, LXD has made use of the dataset:

$ zfs list | grep 'rpool/LXD'
rpool/LXD                                          960K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/containers                                96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/custom                                    96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted                                  480K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/containers                        96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/custom                            96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/images                            96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/virtual-machines                  96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/images                                    96K   339G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/virtual-machines                          96K   339G       96K  none

If I launch a container:

$ lxc launch ubuntu:18.04
Creating the instance
Instance name is: fleet-terrapin            
Starting fleet-terrapin

The datasets will look like:

$ zfs list | grep 'rpool/LXD'
rpool/LXD                                                                           452M   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/containers                                                               20,0M   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/containers/fleet-terrapin                                                19,9M   338G      432M  /var/snap/lxd/common/lxd/storage-pools/default/containers/fleet-terrapin
rpool/LXD/custom                                                                     96K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted                                                                   480K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/containers                                                         96K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/custom                                                             96K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/images                                                             96K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/deleted/virtual-machines                                                   96K   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/images                                                                    431M   338G       96K  none
rpool/LXD/images/979ff60086ca9fb1c93d3131f8eca291820a524f0bd0b7d621a3c2f5f41ef185   431M   338G      431M  /var/snap/lxd/common/lxd/storage-pools/default/images/979ff60086ca9fb1c93d3131f8eca291820a524f0bd0b7d621a3c2f5f41ef185
rpool/LXD/virtual-machines                                                           96K   338G       96K  none

And launching a new container based out of the same image, should be a lot faster.