I have a zpool, with some datasets, mounted to this zpool. The zpool was created by specifying zpool create criteria, using 6 drives as a raidz2.

Once the datasets are created using zfs create I access them straight by the path that was specified in the create command.

I then config samba to share that directory to the path that it was created on.

Once Samba is configured for a basic writable share, I then write to it from any Windows system. I normally have zero issues with this, however one in particular (mentioned at the end) has me wondering.

So, notice, didn't create any zvols, or format anything.

My question is; Should I be formatting this ZFS filesystem? Maybe as possibly ext3/4? I believe that since zfs is block write you don't need this? Is this a technology gap in my thinking? I.e. am I then doing it correctly by straight writing to it on a windows system via a standard mounted share, and or via e.g. \\SERVERNAME\shared-pool?

The details of the above mentioned issue is; I am suffering some kind of sparse-file write issues from a windows app, to this ZFS array mounted using samba. This mounting question is one of the points of research I'm doing to make sure I cover all bases, in-case this can/how be related. I can see how it might be an issue if I don't have a particular file system formatted, to handle correctly these types of file attribute allocations. However, correct me if I'm wrong, I thought I remember in the past you don't need to lay any kind of file-system into a ZFS, its done automatically on create.

This sparse-file write problem has been a blocking issue for 4 months now. If any reference to that you can check here http://www.freefilesync.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1650#p13710 https://lists.samba.org/archive/samba/2017-February/206580.html

  • I would advise you to clarify what your real problem is beforehand. Test Samba without ZFS to see if all goes well or not. It would also be good to get more details on what sparse-file write problem means exactly and if you checked your system's logs when it happens. – Julie Pelletier Feb 15 '17 at 3:41
  • Thanks, and Right, as far as that i have 4 posts going already, one at arch linux zfs bug repot, one at the freefilesync author who says its samba, and im posting to the samba general mailing list for aid from them. Nobody is really sure, but alot are quick to point out some tech other than their expertise, until i got to samba lists. ill include reference in the main post I just want to know, under general circumstances, and have heard otherwise, if you supposed to "format" a zfs file system, as a step, after creating, or not, before using it? – Brian Thomas Feb 15 '17 at 7:19
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    What would you format? You're already using the file system, right? From reading your links, you might try going back to a RAID-0 setup on ZFS and seeing what happens. – Andrew Henle Feb 15 '17 at 11:26
  • I'm not sure but yesterday I decided to test on a sparse zvol, then I realized I "had" to format it, so I formatted it out of /dev/zvol as ext3, which is giving me same error. So in this research, I'm seeing all new ways to access zfs,so wondering if there's something I'm missing. Raid0, oh, yeah no it wasn't raid at all, but yeah I'm not losing the redundancy, nor the 6TB backup data if possible. This needs to be rectified in its normal raidz2 setup. So can I lay in an ext3 format on those blocks so that it may support the dos attribs? – Brian Thomas Feb 15 '17 at 22:50
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    A zfs file system never need to be formatted, whatever meaning you pick for "format". A zvol usually need to be formatted unless it is accessed as a row device. – jlliagre Feb 19 '17 at 13:29

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