Windows – Access a ZFS volume in Windows

windows 7zfs

You'd think this would have been asked but I can't seem to find it so…

Let's say I have a ZFS setup in this enclosure (8 bay USB3 JBOD):
https://web.archive.org/web/20111018042134/http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid-/tr8uplusb.html

Now, I'm going to be running it on my Mac direct attached but I'd like to be able to access the files when I boot into Windows as well. With HFS+ volumes Apple was kind enough to provide a means for doing this. However, I can't find one for ZFS.

The only solution I've come across is using Open Solaris in a Virtual Machine to mount the drives. However, I've also heard more than a few nightmares about doing this and it leading to massive failures… Yeah, kind of the exact opposite of what I want.

So, essentially, what is the current best means of accessing a ZFS volume attached to Windows? I'd be happy with read-only access if necessary.

Oh, intended OS is Windows 7.

Best Answer

There is no OS level support for ZFS in Windows.

As other posters have said, your best bet is to use a ZFS aware OS in a VM.

Options are:

  • Open Solaris
  • FreeBSD
  • Linux (through zfs-fuse, or zfs-on-linux)

One other possibility is to get hold of a small low-powered computer (say an Atom based system) to connect to the drives and act as a network head unit to the disks sharing the data out through the network through a standard protocol like CIFS (Samba). Then you can run the ZFS aware OS direct on the metal.