Warning: This document is for an old version of zrepl. The main version is stable.



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 https://www.freshports.org/sysutils/zrepl/
MacOS brew install zrepl Available on homebrew
Arch Linux yay install zrepl Available on AUR
Fedora dnf install zrepl Available on COPR
CentOS/RHEL yum install zrepl Available on COPR
Debian + Ubuntu apt install zrepl APT repository config see below
OmniOS pkg install zrepl Available since r151030
Others   Use binary releases or build from source.

Debian / Ubuntu APT repositories

We maintain APT repositories for Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives. The fingerprint of the signing key is E101 418F D3D6 FBCB 9D65  A62D 7086 99FC 5F2E BF16. It is available at https://zrepl.cschwarz.com/apt/apt-key.asc . Please open an issue in the packaging repository if you encounter any issues with the repository.

The following snippet configure the repository for your Debian or Ubuntu release:

apt update && apt install curl gnupg lsb-release; \
ARCH="$(dpkg --print-architecture)"; \
CODENAME="$(lsb_release -i -s | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]') $(lsb_release -c -s | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')"; \
echo "Using Distro and Codename: $CODENAME"; \
(curl https://zrepl.cschwarz.com/apt/apt-key.asc | apt-key add -) && \
(echo "deb [arch=$ARCH] https://zrepl.cschwarz.com/apt/$CODENAME main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zrepl.list) && \
apt update


Until zrepl reaches 1.0, all APT repositories will be updated to the latest zrepl release immediately. This includes breaking changes between zrepl versions. Use apt-mark hold zrepl to prevent upgrades of zrepl.

Compile From Source

Producing a release requires Go 1.11 or newer and Python 3 + pip3 + docs/requirements.txt for the Sphinx documentation. A tutorial to install Go is available over at golang.org. 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 https://github.com/zrepl/zrepl.git
cd zrepl
sudo docker build -t zrepl_build -f build.Dockerfile .
sudo docker run -it --rm \
    -v "${PWD}:/src" \
    --user "$(id -u):$(id -g)" \
    zrepl_build make release

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

mkdir -p "${GOPATH}/src/github.com/zrepl/zrepl"
git clone https://github.com/zrepl/zrepl.git "${GOPATH}/src/github.com/zrepl/zrepl"
cd "${GOPATH}/src/github.com/zrepl/zrepl"
python3 -m venv3
source venv3/bin/activate
./lazy.sh devsetup
make release

The Python venv is used for the documentation build dependencies. If you just want to build the zrepl binary, leave it out and use ./lazy.sh godep instead. Either way, all 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 then continue with the usage chapter.

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