Managing ZFS File Systems in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

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Updated: December 2014

Overview of ZFS Clones

A clone is a writable volume or file system whose initial contents are the same as the dataset from which it was created. As with snapshots, creating a clone is nearly instantaneous and initially consumes no additional disk space. In addition, you can snapshot a clone.

Clones can only be created from a snapshot. When a snapshot is cloned, an implicit dependency is created between the clone and snapshot. Even though the clone is created somewhere else in the file system hierarchy, the original snapshot cannot be destroyed as long as the clone exists. The origin property exposes this dependency, and the zfs destroy command lists any such dependencies, if they exist.

Clones do not inherit the properties of the dataset from which it was created. Use the zfs get and zfs set commands to view and change the properties of a cloned dataset. For more information about setting ZFS dataset properties, see Setting ZFS Properties.

Because a clone initially shares all its disk space with the original snapshot, its used property value is initially zero. As changes are made to the clone, it uses more disk space. The used property of the original snapshot does not include the disk space consumed by the clone.