I'm trying to write a grub.cfg completely from scratch that will boot one of several FreeBSD systems off of a single ZFS pool named tank with a set of root file systems named root1, root2, root3.

When I look at the official GRUB2 docs, there is one example in 5.3

menuentry "FreeBSD" {
          insmod zfs
          search --set=root --label freepool --hint hd0,msdos7
          kfreebsd /freebsd@/boot/kernel/kernel
          kfreebsd_module_elf /freebsd@/boot/kernel/opensolaris.ko
          kfreebsd_module_elf /freebsd@/boot/kernel/zfs.ko
          kfreebsd_module /freebsd@/boot/zfs/zpool.cache type=/boot/zfs/zpool.cache
          set kFreeBSD.vfs.root.mountfrom=zfs:freepool/freebsd
          set kFreeBSD.hw.psm.synaptics_support=1

I figured that freepool is likely the ZFS pool name which I would replace with tank. I suspect that the x@y syntax is the way to refer to a file y on the file system x of the pool selected by the search. Then I would replace this with /root1@/boot/kernel/kernel. Sadly, the x@y syntax is undocumented and I don't want to just try with fingers crossed, but rather understand and know what I'm doing. Can anyone shed light on this?

  • Maybe for comparison the menu entry in these last forum posts... the "@" is "alone" there...
    – user44370
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


You are right, anything before @ is the ZFS dataset name (aka filesystem name) with a / prefix. For example the file /boot/kernel/kernel in file system zroot/ROOT/freebsd-10 can be refered with /zroot/ROOT/freebsd-10@/boot/kernel/kernel in GRUB.

You can also learn this by using the GRUB command line (pressing c if you are in the GRUB menu). ZFS support in GRUB 2 supports directory listing, so you can use ls command or TAB to explore this internal structure of ZFS in GRUB 2.

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