When setting up a ZFS pool on an encrypted CoreStorage volume, a manual typing of the password is required each time for mounting the volume (due to the problem of OS X thinking that the password is incorrect despite the volume mounting successfully, and hence refusing to save the password in the keychain).

If I want to move my entire /Users to the encrypted ZFS volume, is there any way to get that volume to mount properly early enough in the boot process so as to allow regular login?

I'm on 10.8.3, Zevo 1.1.1

  • ...and of course googling this issue brings up this page as the top result! – Josh Hunt Apr 17 '13 at 14:11
  • Are you using a ZPOOL on a file on the volume? ZFS normally takes the whole volume for itself. – Alex Apr 17 '13 at 19:50
  • @Alex I don't intend to use files to store the filesystems, but entire volumes. – GJ. Apr 17 '13 at 22:45
  • Off-topic from Core Storage but of interest: recently (but not frequently) in ZFS-related channels in IRC there's discussion of ZFS-crypto and the like. – Graham Perrin Apr 19 '13 at 20:25

With reference to the linked question (the comment there from the opening poster here) …

In brief:

Unlocking the Core Storage LV, importing the ZFS pool and mounting the ZFS file system

I know of no way to force Mountain Lion to use the Core Storage volume encryption key (VEK) in a way that will allow the ZFS pool and file system (based on the Core Storage logical volume (LV)) to import and mount – automatically – in a way that is comparable to the FileVault 2 experience.

In other words:

  • the current operating system seems to require manual intervention by a different user whose home does not use the combination of Core Storage and ZFS

… part of that bullet point might provoke, from someone else, a more thoughtful approach to intervention; a better answer to part of the question!

ZFS for /Users

With or without encryption:

  • if you plan to use ZFS for /Users you should first have an administrative user whose home is not in that area.

Consider at least:

  • safe boot of the operating system, which might be required when least expected/desired; and the related limitations of current implementations of ZFS for OS X (example: safe boot and ZEVO Community Edition 1.1.1).

ZFS for home directories with Mountain Lion, or words to that effect, could be a good separate question.

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