Installing Manjaro into an existing ZFS pool


I'm new to the forum. I'm a musician and a YouTuber, making videos about open-source software & Linux-based music production ( like this one: )

I'm looking into trying Manjaro as I want to use KDE5, but Linux Mint no longer supports it.

I'm running Linux Mint 18.3 on a ZFS root right now.

I'd like to be able to create a new dataset and install Manjaro there so I can dual-boot.

Is there anything I could use to help me along the way?

I guess I could install Manjaro on anything (a USB HDD) temporarily and then just copy the data into ZFS like I did with Linux Mint, but maybe there's a better way? Could the Manjaro Architect be useful?

Thank you for your great work, and I hope to see you around :slightly_smiling_face:

Discussion about this here ...

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Support for ZFS, including installing into an existing zpool is hopefully coming to Manjaro Architect in the near future.

As I am typing, @sueridgepipe just posted the link to the thread where we have been working on it.

If you don't want to wait, you can either do it manually as described high level in that thread or make an ISO with zfs support and copy the new m-a code into it.

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Thanks a bunch! I'll dig that thread up.

Since your last post, a version of the m-a with ZFS support has been created for testing. You can see the information here:

With that package, it should be as simple as building an ISO with ZFS support, install the m-a package from the unstable repos and running m-a.

In the zfs section of m-a there is an option to import an existing zfs pool.

Keep in mind, I am probably the only one who has done any real testing on that so some caution is recommended.

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Whoa, that sounds great.
I guess I should backup my ZFS pool before attempting this, right?

Let me know if you hit any snags or have any problems.


I haven'ttried the new Manjaro Architect, as I don't know where to get it, and I wanted to try what I already tried before first.

Here's what I did so far:

  1. Installed Manjaro from live USB using M-A to another USB temporarily
  2. Created a new ZFS dataset for the system root
  3. Copied everything with from the temp isntall to the ZFS dataset with rsync -a
  4. Installed zfs-utils, zfs-dkms and linux419-zfs (as I have the 4.19 kernel used in the Live USB system and the one copied to the zfs dataset)
  5. Imported my ZFS root pool
  6. Chrooted into the newly copied system
  7. Made sure I can access the ZFS pool from within that
  8. Installed the same zfs-related packages in chroot too
  9. Copied the root /etc/fstab entry from my existing Linux Mint installation running on ZFS root.
  10. Installed grub2 in chroot
  11. Run update-grub in chroot

Now I'll see if I can boot Manjaro from the ZFS root. I don't think I'll have a single GRUB installation listing both systems (I wish I had that, but seems to not be the case).

That looks like a lot more work than creating an ISO and installing manjaro-architect-dev would have been :wink:

Did you edit mkinitcpio.conf and add zfs support?

I have actually abandoned this idea.
I've moved my current system off of ZFS and managed to install Manjaro on EXT4 alongside it.
My data is still on ZFS though.
I'm taking a good look at Btrfs, since it's Linux native.

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