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Oct 10, 2022
May 19, 2022
Oct 10, 2022
Oct 10, 2022
May 19, 2022
Oct 10, 2022

Honeydew - 1.0.1

Jonathan Vasquez (fearedbliss)


A simple snapshot cleaner for OpenZFS.


To start using the application, all you need to do is run:

./honeydew -p <pool name>

By default, the cut off point for what snapshots are considered old will default to 30 days before today's date. You can use many of the options documented below to modify the behavior (Including the ability to list snapshots that should be excluded (and thus protected) from deletion). For more information, you can run: ./honeydew -h for a detailed list of parameters as well.

For example, if we wanted to clean a pool called tank, use an exclude file called excluded_snapshots that contains a list of snapshots to exclude (one per line), we want to show what snapshots will be removed, and what snapshots are excluded, and we want to set an arbitrary date in the future that will make all of our snapshots old (and thus you are basically saying: delete all the snapshots except the ones I've excluded), you can do so as follows:

./honeydew -p tank -e excluded_snapshots -s -x -d 2099-01-01-0000-00

If you wanted to only remove snapshots that have a particular tag, you can use the -l option. For example, the following command will also only delete snapshots that have the ANIMALS tag:

./honeydew -p tank -e excluded_snapshots -s -x -d 2099-01-01-0000-00 -l ANIMALS


For simplicity, there is only one snapshot format accepted, which is in the following format:

YYYY-mm-dd-HHMM-ss-LABEL => 2020-05-01-2345-15-CHECKPOINT

The following command will yield a correctly formatted date (BSD/GNU date):

date +%F-%H%M-%S

You can then concatenate the label.



DATE="$(date +%F-%H%M-%S)"

zfs snapshot "${POOL}@${SNAPSHOT_NAME}"

The above should yield a snapshot similar to the following:


The snapshot cleaner will silently skip any snapshot that doesn't follow this naming convention. This allows you to use the snapshot cleaner for simple time based snapshotting, but also allows you to use zfs snapshots in an out-of-band way for different use cases, without the cleaner annoying you that those other snapshots are in an invalid format (example: using poudriere jails with zfs, or just taking snapshots in your own format). You will only receive a warning if your snapshot appears to be in the correct format but has an invalid date/time. For example, tank@2022-10-09-2207-61-ANIMALS appears to be correct, but has a seconds count of 61.


    honeydew [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] --pool <pool>

    -n, --dry-run          Performs a dry run. No deletions will occur.
    -h, --help             Prints help information
    -f, --no-confirm       Deletes snapshots without confirmation. Used primarily for cron.
    -c, --show-config      Displays the full configuration options used by the application.
    -x, --show-excluded    Show snapshots that will be excluded.
    -s, --show-queued      Show snapshots that will be removed.
    -V, --version          Prints version information

    -d, --date <date>                      The slice date that you want to use as your end point for snapshot deletions.
    -e, --exclude-file <exclude-file>      Excludes the list of snapshots in this file (one snapshot per line).
    -l, --label <label>                    The label of the snapshots that should be cleaned.
    -i, --per-iteration <per-iteration>    Number of snapshots to delete per iteration.
    -p, --pool <pool>                      The pool you want to clean.


The easiest way to build the project is to have cargo installed and run: cargo build --release.


Released under the Simplified BSD License.


  • ZFS must be installed on your system and available in your PATH.


-i, --per-iteration

The default amount of snapshots that will be batched for deletion and passed to ZFS is 100 at a time. The reason for this is that I've experienced full system lockups many years ago when attempting to pass thousands of snapshots at a time to ZFS (While my system was running Gentoo Linux installed on ZFS). This may have been due to the previous Python 3 implementation of this program that used shell=True to run the ZFS command (Which would spawn a separate process through the shell, and would also have to take the shell's ARG_MAX limit into account). Although I highly doubt it. Thus I believe this is an issue with ZFS and/or Linux at the time which may or may not still exist. Regardless, take care when increasing the amount of snapshots to delete per round. The lower the batch, the more stable it will be.


Before opening a PR, please make sure the code is properly formatted and all tests are passing. You can do this by running: cargo fmt and cargo test respectively.


A simple snapshot cleaner for OpenZFS.







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