[talk] ZFS v UFS on APU2 msata SSD with FreeBSD

Felix J. Ogris fjo-lists at ogris.de
Sat Jun 1 19:02:00 EDT 2019


I have been running FreeBSD with ZFS on a Crucial mSATA SSD for 4.5 years now. Started with an APU, I recently upgraded to an APU2. Smartctl reports 34 power cycles, and more than 36700 power on hours. My APU/2 runs the latest FreeBSD amd64 12-RELEASE and serves as a typical dialup router with ppp, pf, ftp-proxy, isc-dhcpd, and named. It also runs musicpd to stream Internet radio and MP3s to internal clients, as well as samba, nginx, and avahi-daemon to stream TV shows recorded by webcamd+tvheadend to our TV set. For fun, ctld exports one ZFS volume via iSCSI to an occasionally powered on VM on a Linux box running qemu+kvm.
ZFS ARC compression fluctuates around 1.7:1 to 1.8:1. Currently, 90 megs of RAM are free, while 150 are swapped out. Swap behavior on FreeBSD 12 seems to have improved compared to 11, where >1000 megs of swap accumulated over runtime. For me, ZFS is a must on such a small and loaded machine, which runs 24/7. Snapshots give me incremental backups; haven't had any inconsistency issues nor long fsck checks after a power reset; the periodic zfs scrub notices me when it's finally time to buy a new SSD.
Despite PC Engines asks users of FreeBSD based operating systems to use the legacy BIOS, I successfully flashrom'ed v4.9.0.5. However, the APU2 or more likely the em driver seem to very picky about network cables. I had no luck with old CAT5 cables or when selecting 100 MBit link speed manually. Use CAT5e cables at least and make sure autoneg works on all connected devices.


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