ZFS Bootable clones

Bootable clones

Based on ZFS snapshots & clones. Allows kind of Factory-reset.

bootclone command helps managing bootable snapshot clones.

 GNOS Core will automatically create a bootclone named factory-core, it can be used for repair & maintenance operations as a rescue shell.

Also a snapshot named factory-install will be created once the installer terminates, it can be made bootable using bootclone:

sudo bootclone create factory pool/root/gnos@factory-install

A ZFS clone persists changes, if you want to reset it you have to delete it (without -s option) and create it back from its origin.

bootclone list # here you will notice ORIGIN is pool/root/gnos@factory-core
bootclone delete gnos-factory-core
bootclone create gnos-factory-core pool/root/gnos@factory-core

Note ZFS_DATA_DSET and all datasets with a defined mountpoint will be mounted, whatever bootclone you boot.


See BOOTCLONE in  Configuration file format / Storage_options.


  create NAME [SRC]  Create clone, SRC supports @snapshot
  delete [-s] NAME   Delete clone and origin
  detach [-s] NAME   Detach clone from origin
  update             Update managed grub.cfg
  help               Help

  -s                 Also delete origin snapshot

  /etc/bootclone.conf                      Configuration
  $BOOTCLONE_MNTP/grub/grub.cfg            Managed grub configuration
  $BOOTCLONE_MNTP/grub/bootclone-head.cfg  Managed grub header template
  $BOOTCLONE_MNTP/grub/bootclone-foot.cfg  Managed grub footer template

  $BOOTCLONE_TYPE  "zfs" OR "ext"
  $BOOTCLONE_ROOT  Root-repo dataset, relative to root pool
  $BOOTCLONE_MNTP  Grub-boot mountpoint
  $BOOTCLONE_HEAD  Grub header, relative to $BOOTCLONE_MNTP
  $BOOTCLONE_FOOT  Grub footer, relative to $BOOTCLONE_MNTP
  $BOOTCLONE_BOOT  [ext-only] Boot-repo path, relative to $BOOTCLONE_MNTP

SRC is a root ZFS dataset, eg pool/root/gnos, if omitted, a snapshot of the current state will be created.


# Bootable clone from current state
sudo bootclone create my-1st-bootclone

# Bootable clone from previously saved state
sudo bootclone create my-2nd-bootclone pool/root/gnos@my-1st-bootclone


Note At boot, if you use CRYPTO_ROOT without a plain boot partition, you have to unlock the pool first.

Press Esc to enter the grub menu, it will automatically include a menu entry for the bootclone.

Select the target bootclone and press Enter, then you can press Esc again to enter the bootclone’s grub menu.


To tweak the 1st level grub menu:

# Check config
cat /etc/bootclone.conf

# Mount 1st level grub: `$BOOTCLONE_MNTP`
sudo mount /mnt/bootclone-boot


# Update 1st level grub
sudo bootclone update