Note: check out the Tutorial if you want a first impression of zrepl.

User Privileges

It is possible to run zrepl as an unprivileged user in combination with ZFS delegation. Also, there is the possibility to run it in a jail on FreeBSD by delegating a dataset to the jail. However, until we get around documenting those setups, you will have to run zrepl as root or experiment yourself :)


zrepl source releases are signed & tagged by the author in the git repository. Your OS vendor may provide binary packages of zrepl through the package manager. Additionally, binary releases are provided on GitHub. The following list may be incomplete, feel free to submit a PR with an update:

OS / Distro Install Command Link
FreeBSD pkg install zrepl
Others   Use binary releases or build from source.

Compile From Source

Producing a release requires Go 1.9 or newer and Python 3 + pip3 + docs/requirements.txt for the Sphinx documentation. A tutorial to install Go is available over at Python and pip3 should probably be installed via your distro’s package manager.

Alternatively, you can use the Docker build process: it is used to produce the official zrepl binary releases and serves as a reference for build dependencies and procedure:

git clone
cd zrepl
sudo docker build -t zrepl_build -f build.Dockerfile .
sudo docker run -it --rm \
    -v "${PWD}:/go/src/" \
    --user "$(id -u):$(id -g)" \
    zrepl_build make vendordeps release

Alternatively, you can install build dependencies on your local system and then build in your $GOPATH:

mkdir -p "${GOPATH}/src/"
git clone "${GOPATH}/src/"
cd "${GOPATH}/src/"
./ devsetup
make vendordeps release

Build results are located in the artifacts/ directory.


It is your job to install the apropriate binary in the zrepl users’s $PATH, e.g. /usr/local/bin/zrepl. Otherwise, the examples in the Tutorial may need to be adjusted.

What next?

Read the configuration chapter and optionally create the runtime directories. Afterwards, continue with the usage chapter.

Reminder: If you want a quick introduction, please read the Tutorial.