It’s possible to send data of a pool over a network to another system. Snapshots are the basis for this replication (see the section on ZFS snapshots). The commands used for replicating data are zfs send and zfs receive I found a lot of information on freebsd handbook and oracle website and a awesome script at jeppson techblog.

First steps

Setup passwordless SSH access between sending and receiving host using SSH keys

~# ssh-copy-id someuser@backuphost

Use ZFS Delegation system to allow a non-root user on each system to perform the respective send and receive operations. On the sending system:

~# zfs allow -u someuser send,snapshot mypool

Mount the pool, the unprivileged user must own the directory, and regular users must be allowed to mount file systems. On the receiving system:

~# sysctl vfs.usermount=1
vfs.usermount: 0 -> 1
~# echo vfs.usermount=1 >> /etc/sysctl.conf
~# zfs create recvpool/backup
~# zfs allow -u someuser create,mount,receive recvpool/backup
~# chown someuser /recvpool/backup


The unprivileged user now has the ability to receive and mount datasets, and the home dataset can be replicated to the remote system:

~$ zfs snapshot -r mypool/home@monday
~$ zfs send -R mypool/home@monday | ssh someuser@backuphost zfs recv -dvu recvpool/backup