EFI and ZFS

by Juliet Kemp

I have a 1TB RAID array that has to be moved from my one remaining Solaris machine (which will no longer boot) to a Linux machine. I was expecting that - as with the other disk which has undergone the same process - this would appear as a SunOS usr disk and partition, which I could then mount read-only and dump elsewhere before reformatting the disk as ext3 & dumping it back again.

Not So.

fdisk -l gives me:

Disk /dev/sdc: 983.5 GB, 983542530048 bytes
256 heads, 63 sectors/track, 119108 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16128 * 512 = 8257536 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1      119109   960490751+  ee  EFI GPT

This was a surprise as I had to reformat this disk about a year ago & I do not recall doing anything peculiar to it. EFI, from an initial poke around, seemed to be an Intel PC disk format, which was further surprising since, as you may recall from the first para, this disk came from a Solaris box. However, apparently Solaris 10 uses EFI labels on disks by default, which sounds like a probable/plausible explanation.

The next and more important question: am I going to be able to access this data from the Linux box? Initial answer seems to be no (see the discussion of platforms near the end); there is however a FUSE port - although presently only in beta.

Conclusion: first, another go at resurrecting the extant Solaris box; next, dig into FUSE. Other thoughts, experiences of FUSE/ZFS, or options I've missed are welcome...

(For anyone out there muttering about backups: yes, this data is in theory backed up. However, restoring it is proving a challenge as Bacula keeps falling over while it's creating the file tree. I'm not keen to do the wipe-reformat-restore thing unless I'm confident that the restore will work and at present I'm not.)


3 Comments

WilCo
2007-03-15 10:36:32
You might try Solaris 10 x86, perhaps running under the free VMware Server? I wouldn't be suprised if the OpenSolaris guys have a LiveCD you might be able to use. (Yes, in fact, there are at least 2: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/downloads/)
Ricardo Correia
2007-03-15 16:32:29
Hi Juliet,


As the author of ZFS-FUSE and having tried to use a ZFS disk created in Solaris with it, I can tell you that it should work fine as long as you activate the Linux EVMS functionality.


On my limited tests, that was the only way I could use Solaris formatted disks with EFI labels.


Good luck :)

Nick
2007-03-15 21:31:39
First use live cd, otherwise install Opensolaris on a machine. ZFS is mad easy to import if you transfer the raidset to another machine. I had a 6partion raidz setup where one partion was on the boot drive (along with OS) boot drive got corrupted just installed opensolaris on a new HD, imported the rest of the drives as a dirty mirror, and Added the new HD. Presto change O, ZFS is amazing tech, so much better from other software raid solutions. By the way I recommend Nexenta (gnusolaris.org) its easier to use that then learn the solaris.