ZFS GUI? (request for comments)


Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
Cambridge, MA
Over the years I've used all sorts of hard-drive pool management tools and file systems like Drive Bender and Windows Storage Spaces. My current home pool now runs on ZFS and the one thing that feels lacking is a solid, usable GUI for pool management.

When starting out with ZFS I evaluated FreeNAS and Napp-it (on OmniOS) and settled on the latter. Gea is super responsive and helpful and has done an amazing job with Napp-it, but I'm a person who builds UI for a living and I feel like the usability of all these GUIs is unbelievably lacking. There's too much of a learning curve. ZFS is honestly not all that complicated and a person should be able to dive into a GUI to do pool management without a PHD. I'm convinced that everything I use my pool for could easily be configured from a dead-simple GUI.

Is there an audience for something better or do people feel like the tools available are catering to their desires just fine? If there's a huge amount of pent up frustration with the lack of easier tools, I might be interested in taking a stab at solving this problem, but first I'd like to gauge if I'm just missing something.

The idea that's rattling around in my head is a client/server app. The server would sit on top of any ZFS-capable system and serve up ZFS commands through an HTTP API. The server could complement existing systems (ZoL, FreeNAS, OmniOS). The client would be a web GUI and could be served up from anything, e.g. a Linux container, and would interface with the server. Such a setup could cater to people with standard setups (e.g. FreeNAS, Synology NASes, all-in-Ones, etc), but you could also adapt it to local-only ZFS arrays by just running everything on that machine.

I'm looking for any kind of feedback you all have.