Linus Torvalds once again expressed his negative thoughts about ZFS and the reasons behind in a mailing list.
Linus Torvalds shared his opinion about the ZFS in a mailing list. Torvalds expressed his disliking ZFS and his worries about the licensing issues. His comments about ZFS was targeting Linux distributions, kernel developers and maintainers rather than individual Linux users.
What is ZFS?
The Z File System (ZFS) was developed by Oracle in 2001. It was designed to be a next-generation file system for Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris. ZFS went open source back in 2003. But Linux distributions can’t support because of the contradiction between open source licenses. ZFS is open source under Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) 1.0 whereas Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0.
Linus Torvalds said,
“If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can’t maintain it, and I can not be bound by other people’s kernel changes.
And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it’s ok to do so and treat the end result as GPL’d.
Other people think it can be ok to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it ok, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.
And I’m not at all interested in some “ZFS shim layer” thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle’s interface copyright suits (see Java), I don’t think it’s any real licensing win either.
Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.
The benchmarks I’ve seen do not make ZFS look all that great. And as far as I can tell, it has no real maintenance behind it either anymore, so from a long-term stability standpoint, why would you ever want to use it in the first place?”
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