I can't access my zfs pool on Debian as it's saying that my version is too old:

root@Microknoppix:~# zpool import
  pool: WD_4TB
    id: 12726205736285302822
 state: UNAVAIL
status: The pool is formatted using an incompatible version.
action: The pool cannot be imported.  Access the pool on a system running newer
    software, or recreate the pool from backup.
   see: http://www.sun.com/msg/ZFS-8000-A5

    WD_4TB                                                       UNAVAIL  newer version
      disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0184707-part1  ONLINE

In addition, the provided sun's link is broken.

I've installed the latest zfs-fuse via:

root@Microknoppix:~# apt-cache madison zfs-fuse
  zfs-fuse |   0.7.0-12 | http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing/main i386 Packages
  zfs-fuse |   0.7.0-12 | http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ unstable/main i386 Packages
  zfs-fuse |    0.7.0-8 | http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ stable/main i386 Packages
root@Microknoppix:~# apt-get install zfs-fuse=0.7.0-12
root@Microknoppix:~# zfs upgrade
This system is currently running ZFS filesystem version 4.

But upgrading didn't help much.

How I can access my pool or how to upgrade zfs to the recent version that would be compatible with above pool?

  • 1
    Your pool uses a newer version than your current version of ZFS or the pool uses features not available in your ZFS version. zfs upgrade doesn't help, you would need a zfs downgrade which is not implemented (and probably never will). Try using the same software that created the pool (e.g. FreeNAS, SmartOS, FreeBSD, etc.) and you'll have more luck. Or wait until Debian's version gets updated to support your pool's features.
    – Marco
    Oct 7, 2014 at 19:06
  • @Marco: Thanks. Is there any way of installing the newest version from the sources. Would that help? How do I know which feature is missing?
    – kenorb
    Oct 7, 2014 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


Uninstall zfs-fuse and install ZFS on Linux: http://zfsonlinux.org, and for Debian specifically: http://zfsonlinux.org/debian.html

The instructions from the links above are pretty straight forward, however, a couple of caveats I ran into that aren't mentioned:

  • /etc/hostid file wasn't there which resulted in a failed initramfs image build, the fix is easy: hostid > /etc/hostid and choose to install maintainers /etc/hostid further in the process.

  • make sure build-essential package is installed

  • increase vmalloc size to at least 512M

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