Solaris ZFS Administration Guide

Snapshot Space Accounting

When a snapshot is created, its space is initially shared between the snapshot and the file system, and possibly with previous snapshots. As the file system changes, space that was previously shared becomes unique to the snapshot, and thus is counted in the snapshot's used property. Additionally, deleting snapshots can increase the amount of space unique to (and thus used by) other snapshots.

A snapshot's space referenced property is the same as the file system's was when the snapshot was created.

You can identify additional information about how the values of the used property are consumed. New read-only file system properties describe space usage for clones, file systems, and volumes. For example:

$ zfs list -o space
rpool              25.4G  7.79G         0     64K              0      7.79G
rpool/ROOT         25.4G  6.29G         0     18K              0      6.29G
rpool/ROOT/snv_98  25.4G  6.29G         0   6.29G              0          0
rpool/dump         25.4G  1.00G         0   1.00G              0          0
rpool/export       25.4G    38K         0     20K              0        18K
rpool/export/home  25.4G    18K         0     18K              0          0
rpool/swap         25.8G   512M         0    111M           401M          0

For a description of these properties, see Table 6–1.