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I am running Ubuntu precise 32 bits:

$uname -a
Linux thorin 3.2.0-30-generic-pae #48-Ubuntu SMP Fri Aug 24 17:14:09 UTC 2012 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux
  1. What is the command line to format an external USB HDD in ZFS ? (I am not interested in multi-disk pools for the moment).

  2. Is it advisable to use ZFS with a 32-bit kernel? (the instructions on ZFS on Linux call for a 64-bit kernel but Ubuntu precise has a recommended 32-bit kernel).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, first off you need to ensure that you have zfs installed on your system.

On Ubuntu you can run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zfs-native/stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-zfs

Then you can follow through with the "Getting Started" in the official ZFS documentation:

The reason "ZFS on Linux" recommends 64 bit is because of kernel compatibility. See:

There is also an article here that shows formatting the disks, etc.

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