For past 15 years, basically my entire linux life, I’ve been happily installing distros on ext4. It has yet to fail me.
I don’t know anything about filesystems beyond their names and rough feature set. My use of ext4 is limited to creating a partition, installing and OS to it and forgetting it exists.
But In have a new laptop coming in, and I was checking out ZFS as possible candidate for future filesystem on my personal machine.
There are aLOT of stuff on using NixOS on ZFS, but compared to ext4, it seems needlessly complicated and I’m not grokking it in one go.
This is my machine:
- Single 512G SSD
- 16G RAM
- Regular laptop with regular developer work
These are my criteria:
- Encryption (I don’t want to have unencrypted machine any more)
- That’s it. Ext4 is fine, but I’ve heard too many good things about ZFS over years.
These are my questions:
- Will ZFS even be a good fit/improvement for my use-case?
- How complicated is the setup? ( I found this and this to be simpler steps, but not sure if they’re still ideal ways to go)
- What kind of performance impact should I expect? I’ve read ZFS requires more RAM than ext, and considering this machine has non-upgradable memory I want to be future proof (5-8 years expected machine lifetime)
- What kind of maintenance overhead should I expect? In past 15 years I remember exactly 0 interaction/maintenance done on ext4 partitions beyond initial mkfs, but ZFS has extensive suit of tools that I’m not sure I’ll be up ti learn anytime soon)