Does the graphical installer support advanced ZFS setups for VDEVs and SPAREs?


New Member
Jun 28, 2021
Hi everyone,

I'm planning to setup a new server containing 8 HDDs, of which 2 will be used as SPARE and 6 to create 3 RAID1 VDEVs added to one and the same pool in the end. The graphical installer is able to create ZFS with different RAID levels and seems to detect based on the chosen level and HDDs how many VDEVs with how many HDDs to setup. For example, when choosing RAID1 with 6 HDDs, the installer creates one VDEV containing all 6 HDDs. OTOH, when choosing RAID10 with the same HDDs, it creates 3 mirror VDEVs having 2 HDDs each and adds those to the pool. That setup make sense and in fact is what I hoped to see.

Though, the 6 HDDs could have been setup using e.g. 2 VDEVs with a mirror of 3 devices each. As can be seen for RAID1, the installer is capable of assigning more than one device to some mirror in general and ZFS is able to handle that as well. In the end, there doesn't seem to be any influence on the concrete VDEVs created by the installer. Additionally, I don't see any options to configure e.g. spares at all.

So, am I missing something or does the installer simply not support such complex setups (yet)? I just want to make sure to not miss any advanced-advanced view somewhere or something like that. :)

Last edited:
The Installer is pretty basic compared to what ZFS can offer. Most of the time you have 2 separate boot drives and choose ZFS RAID1 in the installer.
Stuff like compression and ashift can be selected right away.

More complex stuff must be done via the CLI, like adding spares.
You can add a spare to a pool at any time, using: zpool add myPool spare /dev/disk/by-id/your-disk-id

So, if RAID-10 (striped mirrors in ZFS wording) suits you, choose that in the installer and afterwards add the 2 other HDDs as spares to your pool.
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