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I have an Acer EasyStore with a RAID5 mdraid array I use for storing my home files (photos, movies, etc), and I want to migrate it to ZFS with Ubuntu (the native kernel module from zfsonlinux.org).

I hear that ZFS needs a lot of RAM, but the EasyStore only has 2 GB. The RAIDZ will be three 1.5GB disks, and I'm wondering if ZFS won't work with 2 GB of RAM. What problems, if any, am I likely to see? Performance isn't a concern, as long as it can stream HD movies in real time, which is basically the use case this computer sees.

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 13 '12 at 0:09

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Yes, my ZFS NAS runs fine with just 2 GB of memory. The performance isn't stellar (which may be more to do with the network, or the CPU), but it can certainly stream HD films. –  sblair Dec 13 '12 at 0:31
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It will work, even with a small RAM footprint. ZFS uses RAM as a caching layer and for some of the advanced features like deduplication. Don't expect any boost in performance over what you have now, though.

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That's fine, I only want it for the improved RAID capabilities, checksumming and various other features. Thank you. –  Stavros Korokithakis Dec 12 '12 at 11:40
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