ZFS: cannot snapshot, out of space


Well-Known Member
May 19, 2019
Hi guys,
I wanted to make snapshots of one of my VMs. However, even though my zpool has still enough space left (so I thought), I cannot do any snapshots. Proxmox aborts with the error "cannot snapshot: out of space". I know that other users had similar issues, however I don't understand it in my case.

Info about my zpool:

root@pve1:~# zfs list -t all
NAME                                    USED  AVAIL     REFER  MOUNTPOINT
fass                                   6.71T  2.07T       96K  /fass
fass/vm-104-disk-0                     6.71T  6.20T     2.58T  -
fass/vm-104-disk-0@now                    0B      -     2.58T  -
fass/vm-113-disk-1                     3.10M  2.07T     2.58T  -
tank                                   13.6T  12.9G     33.6G  /tank
tank/subvol-101-disk-0                 1.91G  2.09G     1.91G  /tank/subvol-101-disk-0
tank/subvol-101-disk-2                 65.5G  12.9G     65.5G  /tank/subvol-101-disk-2
tank/subvol-105-disk-0                 1.01G  1.04G      984M  /tank/subvol-105-disk-0
tank/subvol-105-disk-0@Inital          50.1M      -      734M  -
tank/subvol-107-disk-0                  993M  7.03G      993M  /tank/subvol-107-disk-0
tank/subvol-108-disk-0                 5.58G  10.4G     5.58G  /tank/subvol-108-disk-0
tank/subvol-110-disk-0                 14.8G  12.9G     11.8G  /tank/subvol-110-disk-0
tank/subvol-110-disk-0@before_upgrade  54.1M      -     10.1G  -
tank/subvol-110-disk-0@gitea_1_9        785M      -     10.9G  -
tank/subvol-110-disk-0@gitea_1_9_0     5.31M      -     9.94G  -
tank/subvol-111-disk-0                  402M  12.9G      402M  /tank/subvol-111-disk-0
tank/subvol-113-disk-0                 51.6M   972M     51.6M  /tank/subvol-113-disk-0
tank/vm-100-disk-0                      967G   630G      348G  -
tank/vm-100-disk-0@snap01              1.75G      -      348G  -
tank/vm-102-disk-0                     51.6G  28.8G     35.6G  -
tank/vm-104-disk-0                      957G   497G      339G  -
tank/vm-104-disk-0@Clone               9.40G      -     35.3G  -
tank/vm-104-disk-0@repair02            89.5G      -      341G  -
tank/vm-104-disk-0@manual              1.02G      -      341G  -
tank/vm-104-disk-1                     11.5T  6.06T     5.42T  -
tank/vm-104-disk-1@Clone               81.4K      -     81.4K  -
tank/vm-104-disk-1@repair02            9.35G      -     5.42T  -
tank/vm-104-disk-1@manual              81.3M      -     5.42T  -
tank/vm-106-disk-0                     68.7G  14.2G     60.8G  -
tank/vm-106-disk-0@setup               6.55G      -     11.9G  -

and free space:
root@pve1:~# zpool list
fass  18.1T  5.16T  13.0T        -         -     4%    28%  1.00x    ONLINE  -
tank    29T  13.3T  15.7T        -         -     6%    45%  1.00x    ONLINE  -

root@pve1:~# df -hT
Filesystem                        Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev                              devtmpfs   32G     0   32G   0% /dev
tmpfs                             tmpfs     6.3G  1.6M  6.3G   1% /run
/dev/sde2                         ext4       85G  4.4G   77G   6% /
tmpfs                             tmpfs      32G   60M   32G   1% /dev/shm
tmpfs                             tmpfs     5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs                             tmpfs      32G     0   32G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sde1                         vfat      511M  132K  511M   1% /boot/efi
tank                              zfs        47G   34G   13G  73% /tank
tank/subvol-108-disk-0            zfs        16G  5.6G   11G  35% /tank/subvol-108-disk-0
tank/subvol-101-disk-0            zfs       4.0G  2.0G  2.1G  48% /tank/subvol-101-disk-0
tank/subvol-107-disk-0            zfs       8.0G  994M  7.1G  13% /tank/subvol-107-disk-0
tank/subvol-111-disk-0            zfs        14G  403M   13G   3% /tank/subvol-111-disk-0
tank/subvol-105-disk-0            zfs       2.0G  984M  1.1G  49% /tank/subvol-105-disk-0
tank/subvol-101-disk-2            zfs        79G   66G   13G  84% /tank/subvol-101-disk-2
tank/subvol-110-disk-0            zfs        25G   12G   13G  48% /tank/subvol-110-disk-0
fass                              zfs       2.1T  128K  2.1T   1% /fass
tank/subvol-113-disk-0            zfs       1.0G   52M  973M   6% /tank/subvol-113-disk-0
/dev/zd144                        ext4      4.0T  2.7T  1.2T  71% /mnt/atmosphere
/dev/fuse                         fuse       30M   32K   30M   1% /etc/pve
tmpfs                             tmpfs     6.3G     0  6.3G   0% /run/user/0

The VM I want to make a snapshot of is VM104, whose image is on the "tank". I don't understand why my tank is already almost full. I always thought the snapshots don't consume memory; e.g. on my NAS, which also runs ZFS, I have 2 TB used out of 6 TB, and I can make hundreds of snapshots from that data. What is the difference?
Last edited:
as you can see

tank                                   13.6T  12.9G     33.6G  /tank

tank is basically full (all physical space is either used, or reserved). for regular zvols (which reserve their volsize), taking a new snapshot needs at least as much space as all the data currently stored in the zvol that is not yet referenced by any other snapshot.

before taking the snapshot, you need space for:
1. all the data referenced by the current snapshots
2. the full reservation of the zvol

in order to take the snapshot, you need space for
1. all the data referenced by the current snapshots
2. all the data only referenced by the new snapshot (which is everything currently stored in the zvol, minus everything from 1)
3. the full reservation of the zvol, since you can completely overwrite it with new data not yet accounted for in 1 or 2


The Proxmox community has been around for many years and offers help and support for Proxmox VE, Proxmox Backup Server, and Proxmox Mail Gateway.
We think our community is one of the best thanks to people like you!

Get your subscription!

The Proxmox team works very hard to make sure you are running the best software and getting stable updates and security enhancements, as well as quick enterprise support. Tens of thousands of happy customers have a Proxmox subscription. Get yours easily in our online shop.

Buy now!