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Novell Moves Away From ReiserFS 404

Posted by kdawson
from the first-domino dept.
VSquared56 writes, "Novell announced a shift in the default filesystem from ReiserFS to ext3 for users of its SuSE Enterprise Linux. This news comes shortly after Hans Reiser's arrest, though Novell says the decision was being considered long before. Though Novell will continue supporting ReiserFS 3, it claims ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4. What implications will this have for SuSE users, and ReiserFS's future as a whole?"
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Novell Moves Away From ReiserFS

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  • Hurm (Score:5, Funny)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:27AM (#16442851) Journal
    What implications will this have for SuSE users

    Well, just a guess . . . but they might have to use a new filesystem!
    • by Chapter80 (926879) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @10:23AM (#16443613)
      I wonder if Reiser 4 "file" system is hidden inside of a cake.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by philwx (789834)
      Well, they had to make up a question (no matter how vague) to get this article on slashdot.
    • by mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:18PM (#16444143)

      Did Novell ever get around to porting Novell Storage Services [NSS] to Linux?

      NSS was the B-Tree successor to the old allocation table NetWare file system, and it had all the permissions and attributes that were unique to the Novell World:

      Read
      Write
      Create
      Erase
      Modify
      File Scan
      Access Control
      Supervisor
      So did Novell ever get around to porting an R/W/C/E/M/FS/AC/S file system to Linux, to be used in place of the standard Unix RWX/RWX/RWX file system?

      And if so, is anyone out there using it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by T-Ranger (10520)
        Yes, and yes. It comes with Open Enterprise Server and remains closed source. Its primary usage would continue to be, Id wager, in a 1:1: replacement servers for old Netware systems; e.g. desktop office support.

        Its interesting that a lot of "high-level" CMS's all implement their own ACL system, but for users/groups as well as content (files). For all the interesting and directly-usefull-to-users apps Novell is building (e.g. Beagle) I've been thinking that it would do them good to build some libraries and p
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:29AM (#16442861)
    "Rats are the first to desert a sinking ship"?
  • by xquark (649804) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:34AM (#16442883) Homepage
    I think is to have a poll as to measure people's opinions
    about the guy's innocence. With options such as
    1. He is innocent
    2. He is guilty
    3. Cowboyneal did it etc..
    • by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:45AM (#16442927) Homepage
      4. The bitch set me up (Marion Barry)
      5. The glove's too tight (OJ)
      6. Is that Chewbacca here? (Chewbacca defense)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Is that Chewbacca here? (Chewbacca defense)

        Turn in your nerd license, that's not how the defense works. Here's how:

        "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a wookie from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about that; that does not make sense. Why would a wookie, an 8 foot tall wookie, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall ewoks? That does not make sense! But more importantly, you have to ask yourself, 'what does that have to
      • by identity0 (77976) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @06:19PM (#16446721) Journal
        7. "I'm just a patsy-OH NO I'VE BEEN SHOT!" (Oswald defence)
        8. "You want the Truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!" (A Few Good Men defence)
        9. "I'm telling you, it wasn't me! It was a one-armed man! You've got to believe me!" (The Fugitive defence)
        10. "These are not the evidence you are lookiing for" (Obi-wan defense)
        11. "That depends on what the definition of 'kill' is." (The Clinton defence)
        12. "Putting this 'evidence' out for anyone to read is helping our terrorist enemies." (The Bush defence)
    • by dvice_null (981029) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:31AM (#16443123)
      I think anyone capable of writing a filesystem is capable of killing a person. But also anyone writing an open source software is too kind to kill a person.
  • xfs for ever (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eneville (745111) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:35AM (#16442885) Homepage
    why not move to xfs? it's a very good performance file system. unless there a rumours of the author being a murderer of course.
    • by arth1 (260657) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:44AM (#16442925) Homepage Journal
      why not move to xfs? it's a very good performance file system.


      XFS is high performance especially for large files and multitasked access.
      reiserfs (3) is high performance especially for small files and singletasked access.
      JFS is also a good journalled file system with many nifty features, although perhaps not as mature as XFS.

      unless there a rumours of the author being a murderer of course.


      Neither X nor J have been accused of murder, to my knowledge.

      All hail J.

      Regards,
      --
      *Art
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ozmanjusri (601766)
      why not move to xfs?

      Both XFS and EXT3 are more of a step sideways than a step up. I'd love to see a mainstream Linux distro adopt Sun's ZFS as its default filesystem.

      • by arth1 (260657)
        I'd love to see a mainstream Linux distro adopt Sun's ZFS as its default filesystem.

        Oooh, imagine a Zettabyte pr0n collection!
      • by Znork (31774)
        "ZFS as its default filesystem."

        While ZFS looks impressive on a featurelist, I really dont like the monolithic one-size-fits-all cram approach. The current linux capabilities with the device-mapper and stackable block devices are vastly more flexible in the long term.
    • Re:xfs for ever (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cortana (588495) <sam@robots.[ ].uk ['org' in gap]> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:22AM (#16443075) Homepage
      There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.
      • Re:xfs for ever (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:33AM (#16443129) Homepage
        For the record, I was also quite underwhelmed by XFS. The Gentoo people, I think, wrote that XFS is primarily to large files and *only* if you have an UPS (and proper shutdown control). The problem is that it (quite aggressively) cache write-data; I have seen data disappear which was written nearly 2 hours before. I am quite happy with ext3. Reiserfs had a nasty tendency to slowly deteriorate over time, becoming slower and slower.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by arth1 (260657)
        There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.
        That's what backups are for. Seriously, with XFS you run a very real risk of zeroing out a file if the file system isn't shut down properly. But with reiserfs, you run a very real risk of losing the file system. In over a decade, I've never seen that happen with XFS -- only zeroed out files.

        Regards,
        --
        *Art
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cortana (588495)
          Actually, the zero-filled files is a misfeature of XFS. Having a UPS will not save you. There are two XFS problems:

          1. Power loss can destroy your filesystem. Solution: do not use XFS or ReiserFS without a UPS.
          2. An unclean shutdown can leave you with zero-filled files. AFAIK this is a design flaw in XFS or, depending how you look at it, a tradeoff of data integrity for performance. If you don't like the tradeoff then your only choice is to use another filesystem.

          Source: http://linuxmafia.com [linuxmafia.com]
          • Re:xfs for ever (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Rob Kaper (5960) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @09:31AM (#16443391) Homepage
            What good is a UPS going to do in the case the machine powers off because of a problem with the power unit, a motherboard short circuit, and so on? Any filesystem with serious data loss on a power failure is not acceptable, period.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by MightyYar (622222)
              Any filesystem with serious data loss on a power failure is not acceptable, period.

              That may be true in your application, but some might be willing to take that risk in exchange for performance.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              "Any filesystem with serious data loss on a power failure is not acceptable, period."

              I seriously doubt that I would care if my squid proxy box lost the filesystem with the cache on it.

              It is entirely application-dependant.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by tcgroat (666085)
              What good is a UPS going to do in the case the machine powers off because of a problem with the power unit, a motherboard short circuit, and so on?

              The UPS covers the power line problems, which are the leading cause of system outages. To protect against the less frequent hardware failures you need properly engineered redundancy for every critical component. That's why "enterprise-class" data storage costs so much more per GB than the disk drives on sale at retail store. An alternative is to not use any wri

          • Re:xfs for ever (Score:5, Informative)

            by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @10:09AM (#16443565)
            AFAIK this is a design flaw in XFS

            No, this happens because it's the way XFS does journalling.

            XFS journalling isn't as good as the one in ext3, from users' POV. Ext3 default journaling mode takes care of the relationship between metadata and the data associated to that metadata (and here let me remember that journalling/softupdates is a way to avoid corruption of the *metadata*, if you lose data because of a power cut that's fine, but it's not fine that the filesystem gets damaged and needs fsck because the metadata got corrupted)

            IOW: when ext3 is going to write metadata to the disk, it looks first to the dirty data cached in the memory and writtes the data *before* it writes the metadata.

            XFS journaling, in the other hand, does *not* care about writing the data before the metadata. Why? Well, because journalling is about keeping the metadata safe so you don't need fsck. This means that in case of a power cut, XFS may leave the contents of a "file" (metadata) unscycrhonized with its data. Because of that, the metadata may be pointing to random free zone of the disc with confidential information (passwords) which was deleted but it has not been overwritten, so XFS sets it to zero for safety. Ext3, on the other hand, will never left your data "unscychornised" with your metadata. The file may get corrupted because the program that was manipulating it was stopped in the power cut, but the relationship between the data and the metadata is always coherent.

            Ext3 journaling mode may be considered an "extra", and it *does* pay a performance disadvantage because of this. If you want ext3 to behave like xfs (and get better performance), mount your fs with the mount option "data=writeback". Reiserfs in the other hand historically had a similar journaling method as XFS (just like JFS), but the suse guys created a journaling mode similar to the default one in ext3 which AFAIK is not enabled by default (at least on mainline) and gets enabled with "data=ordered"

            Is the XFS journaling mode worse? Well, for desktop users, who would rather have syncronized their data and their metadata, clearly yes. This is why XFS is just not the best FS for desktops - its a wonderful FS, but just not "optimized" for desktops. NTFS journaling does the same that ext3 does, BTW, and it's for a reason.
        • Re:xfs for ever (Score:5, Insightful)

          by udderly (890305) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:56AM (#16443247)
          That's what backups are for. Seriously, with XFS you run a very real risk of zeroing out a file if the file system isn't shut down properly.

          OMG, are you kidding? If it was NTFS or FAT, people on /. would be going crazy about it. It would be more famous than the BSoD.
      • by eneville (745111)

        There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.

        i cannot see why the filesystem would be zeroed, perhaps a while, which would make sense, since a open(), seek(), write(), close() can result in a file full of zeros, if only part of it is written then that makes perfect sense.

        are there any documents or reports of the file system being zeroed? i've never h

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Reverend528 (585549)
        only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.

        A similar thing happened to me, but it was just one file, /dev/zero. I even tried switching filesystems, but that didn't fix it.

      • Re:xfs for ever (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rg3 (858575) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @10:08AM (#16443549) Homepage
        It's interesting that you mention that. Some time ago, I used ReiserFS as the filesystem on my laptop computer (I only have one partition, not counting swap). The performance was alright and it always took some seconds to mount the partition (this is a known thing for ReiserFS). So, more or less, my experience had been fine. One day, I was trying to view one JPG file and the program was unable to open it, so I wondered why. After examining the file, I found out that while the file size was alright, its contents were all binary zeros. I discovered similar things for a handful of files in my system, many of them in my home directory, I supposed because that's where the biggest part of the disk data is located and if a problem arose, it's probably going to be there.

        At the beginning I suspected something had gone wrong while copying the data to an external USB hard drive and back to the newly formatted ReiserFS partition. But, some weeks later, I discovered a similar situation in a file I had created recently (after the data move), and that had been available there for many days. I am only a desktop user and I lack evidence on what caused this, but I tested my harddrive to see if it had bad sectors or behaved poorly for some reason, and nothing turned up. I fsck'ed the partition and everything was alright. I suspected this problem was due to ReiserFS, so I took the decision of switching back to ext3 with dir_index activated, and the problem hasn't reappeared again. I suspect I hit a bug in the ReiserFS code, and I lost my data in one or several of those ocasions when I left my laptop alone for some time and it powered off suddenly when it ran out of battery. This happened more times since the switch to ext3, but I haven't lost any more files since then.

        I know this can be a particular case which may not represent the behaviour of ReiserFS, but as I read your comment I thought I had to share my experience too.
      • Re:xfs for ever (Score:4, Informative)

        by fire-eyes (522894) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @10:09AM (#16443559) Homepage
        Yup, no surprise there. XFS caches writes very agressively in ram, around 50MB if not more, for long periods of times. So it "feels" fast but really isn't in some aspects.

        So you pop the power off and *wham* bye bye cached data. This is definately not any kind of fun.

        XFS was written for environments where the power just dooes not go out -- datacenters, people with a very good UPS etc. I generally recommend XFS for people with lots of large files, but if they don't have a good power backup, I change my mind.
    • Re:xfs for ever (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AusIV (950840) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @10:23AM (#16443615)
      Neither xfs nor jfs partitions can be reduced. This may not be a big deal to compaines who just add disks and expand their partitions, but I know that I lost about two hundred gig worth of data that would probably still be around if I could have reduced my jfs partition. After that I tried to install ReiserFS then Reiser4, and after a little bit of trouble with those, decided I'd use Ext3 because it just works. Even if its performance isn't as great as some other file systems, I don't know too many people who have lost data because of flaws (or "features") of the filesystem.
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:36AM (#16442895) Homepage Journal

    At least that's what happens to a sinking ship. A maintainer going missing does not quite instill the users with confidence, especially when it is happening due to reasons other than flagging interest. Most commercial distributions have SLAs which sort of work against such brilliant work by an individual contributor - they just can't depend on the whims of a person or his fate.

    One of my friends once told me that "Extraordinary hackers are people with socially acceptable problems". In fact to achieve what they feel they must, a lot of them give up a lot - health, social lives and financial security. But because a few do that, does not mean FOSS programmers are crackpots [gmane.org]. And I say this as a son who's home (which I can because my commits go to a public CVS) watching over a sick father.

    So as understandable as it is that commercial vendors might want to switch away, but that doesn't mean anyone gets to shine a torch or make jokes [reboot.net.au] into somebody else's darkness.

  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by lintux (125434) <slashdot AT wilmer DOT gaast DOT net> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:44AM (#16442923) Homepage
    This news comes shortly after Hans Reiser's arrest
    That news was this week. This news from SuSE, however, is very old [wordpress.com] already and apparently they indeed decided about this before Reiser got arrested.

    It's also interesting how people now explain the blood on Reiser's shirt in this comic [geekz.co.uk], while this comic also predates this whole arrest story. :-)
    • by Monoman (8745)
      Mod the parent up. This was pretty well known before the Reiser arrest.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This 'story' should be pulled. It is not true to say that they announced this after the arrest - therefore there is no story.
  • arrest aside... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous MadCoe (613739) <maakiee@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @07:54AM (#16442965) Homepage
    It seems that ReiserFS really depends on 1 guy. For any company this is a risk. It sounds reasonable to me to stay away from products and features like that.
    • by Bronster (13157)
      Hans Reiser really hasn't been supporting Reiserfs (v3) for a while now, most of the work has been coming out of SuSE anyway. At least, the patches we've been running (mostly merged into mainline now) have been coming from them, and we're not even a customer.

      I guess we won't be bugging Hans about issues for a bit now. Hope he's innocent and it gets resolved quickly - must suck for everyone involved right now.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``It seems that ReiserFS really depends on 1 guy.''

      What about all the paid developers working for Namesys?
  • by linuxpoweredtrekkie (659492) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:00AM (#16442985)
    Several commenters appear to think that this is due to the arrest of Hans, In fact it was announced over a month ago, before any of the stories about Hans broke. The original announcement is from the 14th september http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-factory/2006-09 /msg00542.html [opensuse.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:05AM (#16443005)
    When it comes to performance between the filesystems (reiser vs. ext3 vs. xfs) then I don't have much to comment, but with regards to security... I've used reiser for quite some time but in the end threw it away because it just couldn't cope with what I wanted..

    First your average backup. Yes, I'm well aware that you can always tools like tar but really.. Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup. Yes you can use tar, but I don't consider this decent. I'm talking about tools like backup/restore (ext3) or even native "ports" like xfsdump/xfsrestore. Easy, fast and reliable. Make a whole dump (or increamental), you can then either restore the whole session or use an interactive shell to merely grab the file(s) you're after. Naturally it also supports commandline parameters. And Reiser? IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong please) its even longer around than xfs, and even xfs managed to get me something decent for making backups...

    Last but not least; crash recovery. I know, this is threading on thin ice since these results cannot be reproduced perse but the whole nature of reiser makes it good and bad for workstations (like SuSE). The good part is its speed, the way it caches and writes data in such a way where it tries to store things in one specific part makes it faster. I can't comment if reiser really is faster than others, I never noticed it. But the bad part is also that if you have a crash on your hands (just turn of your computer right now. No, not a shutdown but keep the powerbutton pressed untill it goes "poof") and reboot chances are very high that you just lost valuable data.

    The theory behind journaling should give you some protection against this, and normally it does, but its my experience that whenever something like this happened on a box which was using reiser I lost just too many files. Several files in /etc used to become corrupt, binaries started going haywire and the worst part: because the index wasn't affected it was quite hard to detect these bad files.

    Eventually I moved to XFS myself and never bothered looking back. Its not perfect, absolutely not since on XFS you too can experience situations like I just described. But in that same environment where I sometimes had to endure a powerloss I noticed that the frequency in which my data became corrupt was far and far less than with reiser. So my conclusion: reiser isn't the best when it comes to keeping your data safe. Its also a conclusion which has been backed up by other people who experiences the same problems in a more or lesser degree.

    So my comment: finally Novell is coming to its senses. IMO they should have done this years ago, either going to XFS (my favorite) or ext3 where the latter is ofcourse the most logical choice considering how this evolved from ext2 (which, strangely enough, used to be the default on SuSE. I never did understand why they'd move away from it).
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @09:09AM (#16443299) Homepage Journal
      Let me start by saying I'm not disagreeing with you, just pointing out that different people may have different experiences (AKA YMMV).

      ``First your average backup. Yes, I'm well aware that you can always tools like tar but really.. Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup. Yes you can use tar, but I don't consider this decent. I'm talking about tools like backup/restore (ext3) or even native "ports" like xfsdump/xfsrestore. Easy, fast and reliable. Make a whole dump (or increamental), you can then either restore the whole session or use an interactive shell to merely grab the file(s) you're after. Naturally it also supports commandline parameters. And Reiser? IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong please) its even longer around than xfs, and even xfs managed to get me something decent for making backups...''

      I believe backup tools that depend on the specifics of filesystems are a bad idea.

      When you go looking for filesystem-independent backup tools, I'm sure you'll find plenty (the recent thread here on Slashdot may be a good starting point). I myself keep most of my data in Subversion repositories and databases; backups are made through the appropriate backup tools. Whatever is left on the filesystem is synchronized between a couple of computers using rsync.

      ``The good part is its speed, the way it caches and writes data in such a way where it tries to store things in one specific part makes it faster. I can't comment if reiser really is faster than others, I never noticed it.''

      In the tests I ran, it wiped the floor with ext2 and (OpenBSD) ffs, especially when extracting lots of small files. I have no idea how it compares to more modern filesystems like XFS, ZFS, etc.

      ``But the bad part is also that if you have a crash on your hands (just turn of your computer right now. No, not a shutdown but keep the powerbutton pressed untill it goes "poof") and reboot chances are very high that you just lost valuable data.''

      Although I have lost files on ReiserFS partitions, I've lost way more on ext2 and (especially) HFS+ partitions.

      ``The theory behind journaling should give you some protection against this, and normally it does, but its my experience that whenever something like this happened on a box which was using reiser I lost just too many files. Several files in /etc used to become corrupt, binaries started going haywire and the worst part: because the index wasn't affected it was quite hard to detect these bad files.''

      Often when files seem to be missing after a crash, fsck has been able to recover them for me. This goes for ext2, reiserfs, ffs, and hfs+. Reiserfs is the only one of these on which I have never gotten the filesystem so broken it couldn't be fixed anymore.

      In case people are wondering where I get my data from: I work with a lot of old hardware which sometimes fails, laptops that run out of battery or are dropped on the floor, accidentally unplugged power cables, and the occasional unclean shutdown.
    • RTFM (Score:4, Informative)

      by mikaelhg (47691) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:40PM (#16444241)
      Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup.

      See Solaris ZFS Administration Guide, Chapter 6 Working With ZFS Snapshots and Clones [sun.com].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by segedunum (883035)
      Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup. Yes you can use tar, but I don't consider this decent. I'm talking about tools like backup/restore (ext3) or even native "ports" like xfsdump/xfsrestore.

      What? That's why you have LVM and snapshots. Am I missing something here? Backup features in the filesystem is generally a bad idea.

      The good part is its speed, the way it caches and writes data in such a way where it tries to store things in one speci
  • by dannycim (442761) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:07AM (#16443007)
    Geez, now blood's found in his car, and with the passenger seat missing [mercurynews.com], history of abuse, guy is arrested with $8,900 and his passport on him...

    If he were a famous football player, he'd have a chance, but I don't think a filesystem developer can muster up a "dream team".

    I expect other distros will knee-jerk too.

    $ mount /dev/hda3 on / type reiserfs (rw)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gothmolly (148874)
      Nothing to do with reiserfs, but that is a stunningly crappy article. Nina "kicked him out" ? What sort of language is that? Also, weird non sequiturs in the article make it difficult to determine what was imporant and what wasn't - "also included was a receipt for a syphon pump". Maybe he had a snickers bar wrapper in his pocket too? Ooooh!

      Lastly, this just shows how you SHOULDNT buy stuff on credit cards or ATM cards, they pulled his records and found what books he bought.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by NDPTAL85 (260093)
        What, everyone is supposed to use cash on the off chance that they might kill their spouse so that it will be harder for the police to figure out if you really did it or not?

        Even for slashdot thats some fucked up logic.
  • Come on now, just cause someones charged with murder, should that really stop the progress of technology? I can see changing the name if he's convicted, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty...
  • by mcbridematt (544099) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:30AM (#16443119) Homepage Journal
    it claims ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4.

    Gee, ext3 must've matured a lot in the past few years. I stopped using extX filesystems long ago because they lost files after power cuts waay too easily. ( I could bork an old RedHat install simply by pulling the plug/rebooting several times ). Moved to reiser then xfs and barely lost anything if I had to force a reboot.
    • You didn't have a UPS that could last through an install? Or you were just showing off?
    • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @09:45AM (#16443457)
      I stopped using extX filesystems long ago because they lost files after power cuts waay too easily.


      That's still better than reiserfs, which does not need a power cut in order to lose data. I still recall a comment from a tech support area I used to frequent: "reiserfs runs really fast until it crashes and you lose all your data. As a result it has a lot of ex-users who are now sadder but wiser."

      It is also important to remember that ext3 can be configured for a number of different points along the speed/safety tradeoff, so any stories about problems (with speed *or* safety) should state which mode they were using.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:49AM (#16443209) Homepage Journal
    ``ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4''

    Huh? In whose benchmarks? What about space usage? What about plugins for arbitrary attributes?
  • What implications will this have for SuSE users, and ReiserFS's future as a whole?

    Assuming this wasn't a rhetorical question, I'd say the answer is that the ReiserFS will be impacted only slightly by Novell's decision. The far bigger impact will be from a criminal conviction. Free Software is about community and community is all about those subjective intangibles like reputation, "coolness", and mob effects.

    Whether we like it or not, this highlights a serious problem with the development model. Likewise,

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @09:25AM (#16443359)
    Editors, if you're the ones doing it, please stop. If submitters are doing it, please edit their submissions. We don't need this Roland Piquipaille/Ric Romero style of foolishness, i.e. "Blah blah has happened to company FOO, what do you all think?" Posting it for discussion on Slashdot IMPLIES you're going to get a million different viewpoints, none of which are really important to the submitter. You'll get the viewpoints anyway, you don't need to "prompt" us for them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by volkris (694)
      That has been annoying me for years.

      Well, I suppose I have to admit a touch of amusement... I can point at it and say that computer people are dumb.

      But overall, annoyance.
    • MPU (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ignignot (782335)
      I'm tired of this crap. I have a feeling that editors just feel that they have to add something to submissions, so they add in "what do yall think???" at the end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 75th Trombone (581309)
      I tag every single story I see like this "dontaskquestions". Do the same and pass it on.
  • by Jeff Mahoney (11112) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:07PM (#16444091)
    I wrote the original email proposing that SUSE switch from reiserfs to ext3. At the risk of triggering responses of "The lady doth protest too much," I'll restate a few statements I've made elsewhere in response to common questions:

    1) The decision has *nothing* to do with Hans' situation. The email was released on the same day as the initial story broke, but it was pointed out to me after I had sent the email. I was concerned then, correctly as it turns out, that people would consider the two issues intertwined. They're not. My proposal was based on technical and maintainability reasons alone. The timing is an extremely unfortunate coincidence.

    2) SUSE is *not* dropping reiser3 support. This change only affects the default. It doesn't change our support of reiser3 at all. We still support four major file systems: ext3, reiserfs, xfs, and ocfs2. Our installer offers other file systems as well as a convenience, and users are free to use any of them. So, if you're committed to reiser3 or xfs, nothing is stopping you from continuing to deploy systems using them.

    3) Many benchmarks show reiser3 as performing better than ext3, and this is mostly true. What isn't shown in those benchmarks is that if you're operating two or more reiser3 file systems in parallel, performance will degrade for both of them due to the use of BKL everywhere. ext3 (and other file systems) will don't degrade in that case. I've also read reports that there is a bit of research going on into making ext3 locking finer grained. I don't have any sources to cite, but any reduction of critical sections without reducing reliability is always a good thing.

    People refer to reiser3 as a modern file system, but I'd call it progressive. Reiser3 has served us well for years, but it's showing its age. The basic idea behind reiser3 is still sound, and when extended with integrated integrity checking and better b-tree locking borrowed from years of database research, it would perform extremely well. The problem is that adding the first is a huge disk format change, which means it's no longer reiser3. Adding the second is a hugely invasive change that would throw out a good chunk of the existing code -- again, essentially creating a new file system. It would be like people saying, "I like my ext3 file system, but I don't like the code. Let's start over." Combined with a small development community, it's a recipe for instability and there are more interesting problems out there.

    I've posted some more lengthy comments here: http://linux.wordpress.com/2006/09/27/suse-102-dit ching-reiserfs-as-it-default-fs/#comment-28534 [wordpress.com]
  • Wasted space (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kimvette (919543) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:48PM (#16444291) Homepage Journal
    ReiserFS is touted to be a zero-slack filesystem, whereas ext3 still ties up entire blocks (groups of sectors, usually 4K, 8K, 16K depending on formatting options) on, say, a 1k text file, or a file which spills over into a tiny fraction of another block. When you have thousands of files which take up only a portion of a block, resulted in a lot of wasted space (how many files are exact multiples of the block size?). Some may argue "yeah, but disk space is cheap" but even so, 750GB drives are the largest we can buy now (yeah I know, RAIDs, but the point still remains), and if you fill it up doing projects and need just 80MB additional space to complete a job, a 300MB of allocated space is unused portions of blocks (slack), it sucks knowing that you could have finished a job if the filesystem weren't so inefficient.
  • Rubbish (Score:4, Insightful)

    by segedunum (883035) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @01:19PM (#16444459)
    Ext3, in contrast, is stable and likely will match ReiserFS's performance advantages "soon."

    Rubbish. Ext3 has never been able to match Reiser's performance on small files or in other areas, and the notion that ext3 is going to match it is absurd. Even ext4 is not likely to catch up. A lot of ext developers have bizarre ideas about how their filesystem compares to Reiser, XFS or even JFS in a lot of areas. Ext is simply a stable and solid, but badly evolved, filesystem and it is a filesystem that generates an awful lot of disk activity.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @01:53PM (#16444667) Homepage Journal
    it claims ext3 .. will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4.

    This simply won't happen. There are lots of choices in filesystem development, and if your application doesn't match the choices that were made, then that filesystem won't be best, or "match" the specialist that did make matching choices.

    There is no way that Extn will ever match, for example, ReiserFS' performance on working with a directory full of ten thousand 700-byte-long files. ReiserFS will do directory-related things faster, and tail-compression will save you space (and therefore give you even more performance, thanks to caching).

    I don't have a problem with SUSE picking something else, though, because my whole point is that, no matter what FS you pick, if the default configuration is that the installer just formats the whole disk as one filesystem, then no filesystem is going to be ideal in all cases.

    Of course, the Gentoo Ricer approach is to break your disk array up into little pieces, so you're using performance-over-safety filesystems on the RAID0 parts, using safety-over-performance filesystems on the RAID1 and RAID10 parts, and compromise filesystems on the RAID5 parts -- and within each group there is a variety of different formatting and mounting options used. (Not to mention a little tmpfs here and there; not everything has to survive a reboot.) Yeah, df lists 20 different mountpoints, every part of the hierarchy "optimized" (*cough*) for what it gets used for.

    Now I just need some good-looking stickers to put on the outside of the case, and it'll be even faster! Yeah, next weekend I'll probably spend a few more hours changing something, but for the next 5 days I'll be pretty smug about every millisecond I save.

  • I can relate (Score:4, Informative)

    by Trogre (513942) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @06:52PM (#16446955) Homepage
    Late last year I was researching Reiserfs and Ext3 to see which would be best suited for my new server.

    Resierfs looked like the clear winner for two good reasons:

    1. Reiserfs is faster. Much faster than ext3 in nearly every scenario. Large files and small files.
    2. No inode problems. If your users fill your HD with hundreds of thousands of tiny files you're not going to run out of inodes before you run out of disk space. This is something that needs to be anticipated (at the cost of more disk space) at filesystem creation time in ext3.

    Reliability for both filesystems was pretty much the same from all accounts.

    But in the end I went with ext3 for one and only one reason: Recoverability.

    Reiserfs had no, or very few decent, recovery utilities. If a filesystem corruption occurred (and it seemed that the probablity of such corruptions was equal for both filesystems), then data on an ext3 fs stands a much better chance of being recovered than on a reiserfs one.

    Of course that was late 2005; that situation may have changed by now.

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