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SGI Releases XFS For 2.3.99pre2 99

Everybody and Their Dog writes, "SGI announced the availability of XFS for linux 2.3.99pre2, via their CVS. Timely in light of the Journaling ReiserFS controversy, and ext3 delays. " A lot of people sent this in -- good to see SGI following through on their promise.
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SGI Releases XFS For 2.3.99pre2

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It seems from the SGI website that there is quite a number of people working on this.

    I thought that a filesystem doesn't need to be very OS specific, Linux is quite similar to other UNIX systems. Does anybody know why it takes so long porting the code?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is interesting, because it shows the type of audience Andover is targetting. It's about time it was exposed for what it is. Ok so here goes this link [] contains what appears to be a high-level marketing report into slashdot and how they can get more money out of it. While slashdotmarketing [] appears to be a secret forum for andover and slashdot marketing people to discuss tactics. I bet they wish I hadn't noticed that one !!!

    Anonymity has its advantages.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm. Damage control anyone ? It sure looks real to me. I cannot imagine anyone with enough time on their hands to waste making up something like that. Just how stupid do slashdot think we are anyway ?
  • "6851 - fatboy (Me)"

    My user ID is an order of magnitude lower than yours. It would have been lower, but I was boycotting usernames along with JWZ [] and many others (anyone remember those days anymore, or did everyone finally leave for Advogato []?)

    Though I'm a hard core Linux advocate, even I'm beginning to tire of the extreme Linux bias here. I'd like to see something that hasn't already been hashed over two dozen times since Chips and Dips. That is part of the reason I did the Buddying up to BSD series on []. Some of us really need to get our heads out of the sand. If Microsoft had pulled this XFS thing we woulda been screaming vaporware the whole time, but mention Linux and Open Source and we roll right over.

  • Actually, five. If you're not scared of getting code from a cvs tree, look into gfs.
  • Err... I work at Sun and I'll agree the Solaris scales well. It scales to 64 processors very well right now. However, Irix scales to much larger CPU numbers presently. I don't know about HP-UX, AIX, or Tru-64. Somebody have experience with those?
    The biggest problem I've seen so far with WinNT scalability is the programs. Few of them are written with scalability in mind. More Unix apps seem to be coded with massive machines in mind. Is that M$ fault? I don't know.

  • ,
    He's saying that there are nothing but Linux articles on this site, and
    I had this conversation with a friend recently who said he has stopped reading Slashdot because he has stopped learning anything about "real world" software that is used by the majority of the business world (and not as their web servers).

    There are plenty of windoze oriented forums, no need to turn ./ into yet another one. The focus of /. has always been Linux, free software and cool geek stuff, in that sequence. If your friend expected /. to be a news site oriented toward the business world, he is clueless.
  • by jd ( 1658 )
    Too slow! Pre3 has been out for several days, if not a week or so. :)

    (Can someone set up a real-time Linux kernel to monitor for new Linux patches? :)

  • Yeah, too bad Dominic left Be :-(
  • Industrial strength? Hmm, what industry would that Be(tm)? The MP3 collectors industry? :-)

  • by Utter ( 4264 )
    First of all, this was posted as a SGI news. Secondly, why should you decide which Linux news is interesting? I find this news item the most interesting on /. today.

    As a little rant over Freshmeat is that they tend to post changes in software X v 0.1.x from author Y. Author Y is probably going to dump development in a couple of months since his interest in further developing the software has disappeared.

    /. is Linux centric accept that or go somewhere else.

  • Don't feel bad spiralx, it happens. I slipped in to AC mode a few months back and posted the most most outlandish thing I could think of. Everybody agreeded with me.


  • by fatboy ( 6851 )
    Have you ever noticed the UserID #'s of the people that bitch about /. being too nice to OSS/Free Software?

    161364 - Joe E Sunshine
    69750 - tommck
    6851 - fatboy (Me)

    Gee, can you say newbie.
  • Well, I don't know the history behind this, but I'm certainly using Reiser on LVM across multiple disks here.

    I'm not using any software raid though, so I can't comment on that... Using LVM with software RAID always seems so convoluted and byzantine to me anyway...

  • by K. ( 10774 )
    There's no evidence that XFS on Linux is in any
    more of a usable state than reiserfs. *And* they
    haven't released it as a patch. Audit anyone?


  • spiralx wrote:

    My only PC at home at the moment is a crappy old P133 with the majority of its components broken and no net connection. It's practically impossible to use at all, which is why I haven't bothered.

    Nothing wrong with running full-blown Linux installations on a P133.

    I've been using a P133 for two years running X-Window, Gnome, plus many other cpu or memory hogs and I've never had performance problems. I have 64MBs of RAM which is not an extraordinary amount.

    I guess it depends on how much you expect.

  • 3? don't we have already 4? ext3 reiserfs xfs (sgi) jfs (ibm)

    so long ...

  • Funny, I swear Linus pronounces it as "Lin-nucks" in the famous AU file.

    So do the folks at CNBC.

    Personaly, I feel more like this:

    "How do you pronounce Linux?"
    "IT DOESN'T MATTER how you pronounce LINUX!"
  • And 97 out of 100 don't need anything but a serial port you can attach a terminal to once in a while if/when something goes wrong nad it stops talking to the network.
  • Did you know that "first post" is just an anagram for "fist sport" ?

  • Yes. Let Malda and the rest of what is Slashdot expand the breadth to be inclusive of all things general and bland. Let it be lacking in direction, and focused on nothing. Let it be just like CNN [] .

    Perhaps that's a little too broad. How about an all-encompasing computer-oriented news page like the almost forgotten c|net []?

    Er. That's not much better, it seems. What sayeth of something that deals almost entirely with open source-related news? No, wait, you're already here [].

    Unfortunate though it may (or may not) be, Linux has the most attention these days. Not just in the media, but in the minds of users. You want more BSD news? Submit more of it. Or start getting your fix from a BSD-specific page [].

    Point is, if you don't like Slashdot, try to change it. If you can't change it, find somewhere else. If you can't find somewhere else, grab the code [] and create something more to your liking. If you can't do that, hire someone who can. If you can't afford to, perhaps your desired news isn't as important to the world as you might think.

    As an aside, I really don't see your reason for concern. Slashdot never claimed to be business-oriented. And if there's a real-world computer issue that involves money, there's someone out there attached to it like a leech, sucking it for all the juicy bits it has, and printing them. Try PC Week [] if you want to see what "real-world" business uses today. Me, I want to know what they'll be using tomorrow.

  • You are behind the times.
    I've been running 2.3.99-pre3 for about a week!
    It runs really SCHWEET!
  • I'd like everything to be ready today too, but. . . so it goes. I was pretty surprised when I learned that 2.2 didn't have USB. I think that's a more significant improvement for the average Linux user than any journalling filesystem would have been.

    What's new about ext3? Well, its a jfs-from-scratch that's compatible with the most common linux fs.

    The XFS approach is necessarily different from ext3 and reiser, because they're porting existing code.

    Everyone has different ideas about the Right Way, which is why you get different versions of things. How many text editors came with your linux?

    This pain will fade too.
  • It looks like the three filesystems correspond to three different mindsets.

    1. Get it done (ReiserFS)
    2. Do it the way we've always done it (XFS)
    3. Come up with our own new & good thing (ext3).

    I haven't looked at ext3 or reiserfs as closely as XFS, but XFS has some killer features, including guaranteed bandwidth for multimedia files. Plus, it's stood the test of time. If I had to pick one, I know which one.
  • Although I would really prefer not to, I have to agree with the author of one of the previous posts: A journaling filesystem is a good thing, and I'm glad to hear about it. Learn to use the Preferences page, uncheck the topics you don't want to see on MySlashDot, and live happy! Me personally? I could live happy forever without ever hearing CmdrTaco blather about some piece of Star Wars nonsensabilia, so I *uncheck* the Star Wars box! Simple! Easy! Fun!! Try it! It's *ever* so much more fun than whining. Well, probably not for you and the other semi-pro whiners....
  • If someone posted defamatory statements or inside info about a company that shouldn't be leaked out, that company could sue Slashdot to get the names or IPs of the person who posted the messages. With the Anonymous Coward system, Slashdot retains legal safety from having their servers raided for such info. A court who attempts to do so anyway may given Slashdot grounds for a serious civil lawsuit. The worst that can legally happen is that they are asked to remove the comment from the archives.

    Yeah, AC trolls suck hard, but their abuse of the system and the community isn't worth the legal trade-off. I really like the idea of a FIRST POST filter, but the emphasis on on-line rights means that a censorship filter won't be put in place. People will continue to enjoy their "right" to ruin the experience for those of us who actually care about the site and like to use its forums for what they're intended for.
  • If you read the press release, it doesn't look like XFS is anywhere near as stable and ready for inclusion into 2.4 are ReiferFS. There are plenty of warnings about "don't smoke near this code" and a good list of features that are missing from the filesystem. This include RT I/O, Guaranteed Rate I/O, and ACLs.

    ReiserFS may have some performance bugs, but it doesn't seem like people are afraid of its fragility like SGI is of their Linux XFS code. This code will probably NOT see inclusion into kernel 2.4.
  • I`ve been using reiserfs for some months now (~3)and its been rock solid! I mean, sometimes when it gets really late at night, I really just hit the power button without any shutdown because I want to go to sleep and nothing else. In the morning you just boot up, and thats it.

    Just yesterday I had to reinstall win98 and it somehow hosed my lilo, which cant be resurrected by all means. And now I have this perfectly working installation and cant get to it ( Imean not easily).

    I mean: hey, try reiserfs. I`d even put it on a small, low volume production server, you just have to remember not to use it with software raid5 (raid 0 and 1 are OK afaik).
  • It's yet to be seen if XFS will be stable enough to actually be included in the 2.4 kernel.
  • There are plenty of windoze oriented forums, no need to turn ./ into yet another one. The focus of /. has always been Linux, free software and cool geek stuff, in that sequence. If your friend expected /. to be a news site oriented toward the business world, he is clueless.

    Let me just remind everyone of what's at the top of the page... "Slashdot: News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters". This does not say "Slashdot: Linux/OSS/GNU News For Nerds...". Slashdot needs more articles on other topics.

    And, to those who point to my preferences... I do not even select specific topics. I have all things enabled, and I have my threshold at 0.


  • Ahh.. yes, another Anonymous Coward getting his testosterone up from the knowledge of anonymity...

    I am not a "suit" as you call it. I am a rather season software architect working at an internet startup company.

    If you were "smart enought to fit into the technical crowd" yourself, you'd be less afraid of letting me know who you are.


  • If this were called or something of the sort, I would agree. But, it's supposedly covering topics ranging from Macs to Mainframes to games, etc. Yet, all the news that ever seems to appear is about the same very small set of topics.

    I like this site, don't get me wrong. I just think it could use a little less of a skew in one direction.


  • You're missing the point. He's saying that there are nothing but Linux articles on this site, and I have to agree with him. I had this conversation with a friend recently who said he has stopped reading Slashdot because he has stopped learning anything about "real world" software that is used by the majority of the business world (and not as their web servers).

    Slashdot has nothing but articles about Free Software, Open Source, Linux, etc. Someone needs to put the focus on a couple of more topics here.


  • I know that your article wasnt attacking linux, but, you should check linux out and see what all of the hype is about... there is a reason behind all of the zealots :)
  • What do you consider a "large number of CPUS".

    As far as I'm concerned, right now they both don't scale well to anything over 4cpus. There is support for 8 and 16 with NT but that's with NT Datacenter blah blah blah. Solaris is one of the only operating systems I've seen that scales *well*. Starfire says it all.

    - Ed

  • XFS contained a fair bit of proprietary code from vendors other than SGI. All of that had to be searched for, removed, and replaced. Not a trivial task.

    In speaking with an SGI rep last week, he said that the cleaning out of proprietary code didn't take as long as convincing SGI's lawyers that the proprietary code had, indeed, been stripped out of XFS. The company brass and engineers have pushed to open source this since it was announced last year. It's not their fault it has been delayed so long.

  • I agree. I think the process for deciding what get's posted and what doesn't is really biased. Maybe we need to involve the meta moderators in this, or have some sort of voting system so that people can decide what catagories of news they are interested in.

    As it stands right now, I'm finding that Slashdot is slowly becoming less useful and interesting to me, because of the seemingly arbitrary system used in deciding what is newsworthy. Anyone else agree?

    I also get annoyed (selfishly of course) when I report an article that gets rejected, and then see it appear a week later.

    Maybe we need a new website to report the news Slashdot owners don't seem to care about... Anyone interested in working on that project? We could just use the list Slashdot gets from submitters, so we wouldn't need to create a new submission system. Then we could impliment voting to see what people really care about.

    In the Slashdot FAQ it says that there are no plans to put the inbox on the web, but maybe they'll be a page showing rejects. I think this should happen so that people can decide for themselves if Slashdot is really showing news we care about. We could also use this list to create an alternative to Slashdot.

  • What do you consider a "large number of CPUS".

    16 or 32. I'm not a big Solaris fan (though my job is administrating Sun boxen, oh well), but damn it can scale. The current state is that NT can't scale, and neither can Linux.

    When I said Linux doesn't scale well, I meant in comparison to commercial Unices (mostly Solaris), rather than NT. That's something that'll have to be fixed if Linux is ever going to hit the really high end hardware (don't look at me, I like C++ and Python).
  • I'm glad these journaling filesystems are coming out. It's one of Linux's biggest weaknesses (besides poor scalibility to large numbers of CPUs), and somewhat of a selling point for NT vs. Linux (at least that's what I've heard - NTFS is journaling, right?). So removing that problem will be nice - fscking 18 gig disks when the power goes off suddenly sucks. :)

    BTW, something people said in the summary makes me somewhat nervous about using reiserfs (follows). Personally I'll probably wait for ext3, since it's just ext2 (which we know is ok) with an extra inode for journaling data. I like the simplicity too.

    Hans replied that a lot of people wanted a journalling filesystem, and that their latest patch against 2.3.51 was surviving all their in-house torture-tests. Alexander replied, Torture-tesing is no good against somebody who is hunting for races... Get into sufficiently evil state of mind and try to go through the code. Thinking "how could I exploit it". And yes, it requires understanding of what kind of calls can be forced out of VFS. Really. Been there, done that, found quite a few local DoSes and several root exploits. On ext2.

    Eh. Time for breakfast.
  • Personally I would be much happier if the SGI people would spend their effort on ext3, which seems to be aiming for some of the same goals.

    SGI had had XFS for a long time (1994?), and AFAIK it's one of the most stable high-performance filesystems out there. I think it's a great feat to Open Source something like this, which must have taken an enourmous amount of development work. Thus it wouldn't have made a lot of sense to re-introduce all their results into a new fs, because theirs was already working.

    The biggest problem is that it took too long to get it out. The announcement concerning OS XFS was nearly a year ago IIRC. In the meantine Reiser and Ext3 took a lot of the limelight. I don't know the reasons why it took so long, probably having to remove patented IP or something like that. But it's a good thing it's getting close to completion.

    I'm looking forward to using the same filesystem at home and at work. And I hope sgi continues pushing Open Source (OS Optimizer anyone?), and hopefully a bit faster than with XFS.

  • Well actually, I do troll [] fairly often, but that was just something that popped into my head. The word "Slapmeat" kind of appealed to my sense of humour, but I didn't really think it would anyone elses. Ah well, shows how wrong you can be :)

  • Really! Thank you for that expert knowledge! Sorry about the sarcasm, but I had realised that on my own a while back...

  • It's not that I don't want to it's more that I can't :( My only PC at home at the moment is a crappy old P133 with the majority of its components broken and no net connection. It's practically impossible to use at all, which is why I haven't bothered. In fact, it's still sitting at my new flat in pieces, because it's not worth reassembling it... Thank God for my net connection here at work, even if it is slow as hell.

  • Yeah, I know Linux will run on it, but with no CD-ROM, no mouse, no modem it's going to be a pain to get it on there and next to impossible to use X stuff, since IIRC there aren't all that many keybaord shortcuts. One thing (well, pretty much the only thing) I'll say about Windows is you don't need a mouse to run 99% percent of non-game apps.

    Anyway, when I can finally afford it, I'll get a new PC and install Linux on it. Until then I can't be bothered...

  • You're a funny guy!

    - Steelie

    What do you do to limit yourself TODAY? *hick*
  • I understand what you mean, but, even considering you're not on a linux-centric news site (you sure are), it's an important event for Linux !

    Linux stories would have a place even on a non-linux-centric "news for nerd" site, right ?

    And this story is everything but an insignifiant anecdote ! Linux cruelly misses a new filesystem, that is a journaling and 64-bit fs, allowing more than 2 Gb per file : this is really needed for the entreprise.

    A story about a filesystem that fills this gap is just an important story !

  • Unfortunately, it would be pointless, the post you complain about would already get around it, while "first" and "post" may both appear in a perfectly valid post. It would be a pointless and unwinnable arms race taking away coding time that could be used for much better ends.
  • No, I actually do see your point and agree with it somewhat, but its not applicable to this particular article.
  • Well, Slashdot is de facto mainly about Open Source software. Its not meant to act as a source of news on software in general. But then, using any one website as ones only source of news is just plain daft.
  • Unfortunately, not much of the code in any of these is (or will be) reusable by any other.

    And being able to pick the best out of three bad fs in a year isn't as good as being forced to use the single good fs in six months... Ahh well.

  • The site says that it will be releasing a beta in "a few months" and that it is "extremely unstable". So I guess it depends on your definition of "almost". I'd put my money on Reiserfs before XFS, but that's just me.
  • What new things does ext3 have? It's ext2 with journaling, ACL's and half-assed capabilities. Reiserfs does seem to have some different aims (though I don't know that they're worth dividing developer time over) but ext3 looks like XFS with half as many features planned, and backwards compatibility. But the point is, it's not time to worry about getting an fs with the right mindset when such an important feature is missing altogether. Just slap anything on that's stable, and worry about the rest later (that's what ext3 /should/ have been). You try to add every imaginable feature at once like XFS is, and you'll just deliever all of them late. Especially if you're tearing developers away from the project that might actually deliver on time. But I guess 2.4 is out of the question now anyway. *grumble*

    Anybody know what's up with IBM's JFS?

  • As the site says, "A beta release is planned in a few months and at that time we will release an xfs rpm". Now maybe I'm presuming too much in saying that 2.4 will probably be out in a few months... But even if it wasn't, that's for a *BETA* release of XFS, not something likely to be included in the official stable Linux kernel.
  • crappy old P133 with the majority of its components broken and no net connection.

    I use a 486 66 at home to run linux - not a problem, in fact if you are using the machine to learn about linux then it is better, IMHO, to use a low-powered machine as it will prevent you from being distracted by fancy GUIs.

  • Hey, I thought Guaranteed Ratio IO wasn't going to be put in at all? Have things changed?!?


    From the Announcement:
    Many of the more advanced XFS features are yet to be completed:

    • Guaranteed Rate IO
    • Direct IO (Raw I/O)
    • Real time IO
    • Delayed Allocation
    • Integration with Volume Managers
    • Access Control Lists.
    • etc...

  • But isn't it what it's supposed to be?

    And it's not all linux an OSS.

    Have you set you preferences right?

    I get science, online rights, bsd, amiga, Be, Mac
    politics, technology news when I open my /. page.

    And the slashboxes gives me the rest....

    Have a look at your preferences!

  • Well I'm very happy that there is yet ANOTHER filesystem for linux, but did everyone forget that there's 2.3.99pre2?? I mean is 2.4 going to be released before the end of spring? I'm excited because not only is there USB support maybe they'll come out with a new penguin... maybe make him like dance for the 2.4 or something ... maybe I should just go and make a new penguin.

    But anyways 2.4 we're waiting ... I'm excited, but like a little child I can't wait ... so I'm going to compile 2.3.99 :-) ... why you ask? Because I can ... :-)

  • For all the things mentioned in a previous post you don't need X. Linux!=X

    Unlike some windows fans will tell you 99 out of 100 servers do NOT need anything but a mda adapter.

    There is another possibility: I use a 386 laptop with linux 2.0.0 (never bothered to upgrade) for programming micro controllers and for controlling my parallel port rom-emulator.

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • The only problem would be that your post wouldn't get on slashdot neither would mine because it contains both first and post.......

    Or a message saying something like: 'I didn't know anything about a journalling fs at first, but after reading the following article posted at this site [] it became very clear to me.'

    This is the same problem you see with all that censorware, a search for keywords just wouldn't work.

    Grtz, Jeroen

  • You are forgetting the IBM JFS for Linux, it's under GNU GPL. Why should the SGI people waste time on ext3 which is a mere patch on ext2? XFS is superior in every way (if they ever finish porting it).
  • AC1:I'm not sure about whether bypassing the notes system like this is a good idea, but I guess the slashdot idiots are not as savvy as they like to think. What security do we have here ?

    AC2:Fuck all. (Security through obscurity, if you like) Don't post anything here that you wuldn't be happy with the whole world seeing. Particularly, I have no real knowledge about Cosby and Theo's abilities to monitor posts by internal IP addresses, so write every word here as if you knew they were going to read it (you're a fucking dumbass with a stupid hat, Rob :-))

    The phrase 'be careful what you wish for' springs to mind...

    Very interesting and disturbing stuff in there...A very elaborate troll, or the second face of slashdot?

  • the new one fits Linux and Slashdot better.
  • has it ever occured to you that I might be interested in some of the linux-articles? If it hasn't, please do read my post again, preferably the sentence: "linux is good, but it's not everything", which was sort of the point of posting this post in the first place.

    That was at least what I was trying to say, although whiners about whiners always tend to skip the parts of a "whining" post that make sense, and, hence, just don't get it at all.

  • Jeez, even the Soviet Union weren't this quick in coming out with official denials :-)
  • mention the holy word "Lee-nooks"

    Offtopic, I know, but this is set to become the next "Gnu/Linux", isn't it? If Linux goes mainstream, we're fundamentally going to have to get used to people pronouncing the word "Lye-nucks". Nobody's going to care; they're just going to give you the sort of funny look that Stallman gets these days for "Gnu/Linux".

    Obviously, this is going to get annoying for the Sainted Finn, as it means that he will be addressed as if he were that Peanuts character, but I would guess that after years of living in America, he's got used to that by now.

    Sadly, the battle which would be necessary to preserve the integrity of "Lee-nooks" isn't worth fighting. I happen to know that the head man at Glenmorangie puts the stress on the second syllable, but if you want to get your whisky without asking twice for it, you'll put the stress on the third.

  • This is a joke - for Apri Fool's Day. Look at the dates leading up to it.

  • Irix scales well as well. Mmm... Origin 2000...
  • This has already happened. Suse Linux 6.3 has
    included the nonjournalling version of ReiserFS
    as a module. Suse Linux 6.4 contains an updated
    journalling version of ReiserFS, I presume.

    How to switch (non-root) partitions to ReiserFS
    has been one of the most frequently asked questions on de.comp.os.unix.linux.misc and many people, including me, are running some of their partitions from Reiser (me: about 50 GB MP3 partitions)

    © Copyright 2000 Kristian Köhntopp
  • OK, that shouldnt' be too much difficulty once you've done the counting for the guarantee . . .

    but it occurred to me later that to get what I wanted, the cap would have to limit kernel swapping for the process, too . . .
  • This stuff existing isn't enough to make Linux rival its commercial competitors: mainstream Linux distributions need to include a jfs and use it as standard.

    The same goes for LVM.

  • Does anybody know what the differences, in terms of functionality (not how it works), between journaling and the FreeBSD softupdates.

    For those of you who do not know, softudates keeps the filesystem sane by doing metadata updates in memory, then pushing them to disk later. This allows you to coallesce these opperations. The filesystem in guaranteed to be correct, but not always up to date. The upside is that doing mostly metadata operations is very fast (rm -rf /usr/X11 is ~2 sec) and that in the case of a crash or power failure, fsck is not needed.

    (not trying to start a war, just curious)
  • XFS contained a fair bit of proprietary code from vendors other than SGI. All of that had to be searched for, removed, and replaced. Not a trivial task.
  • we now have three unstable unusable ones

    Huh? 99% of all my disk space is now ReiserFS (kernel 2.2.14). I wouldn't call it unstable or unusable. In fact, it has been rock solid for about 2 weeks now. Yeah, I even sync and sysctl-reboot my box, just to watch Linux come up again in 15 seconds (not counting the sluggish BIOS/SCSI POST cycle). Yep, that's 15Gig being 'fsckd' in 3 seconds (replaying the last journal entries).

  • And also a bloody good way to DoS the system too. Every new sid that does not exist in the database will create a new story with comments. Some script-kiddie with a perl script and a dictionary can kill MySQL pretty bloody quickly with that.

    Oh, and I just checked with CmdrTaco and his reply "Its (sic) intentional". Woops, let's see how scalable setup is now....

  • It's a controversy because there are people on kernel-dev who feel both ways. There are people who believe that we need a journaling fs now, and believe (despite the code inaccuracies) that ReiserFS should go in with an "experimental" tag as a result. If no one on kernel-dev had expressed that, and everyone had agreed wholeheartedly with Linus, /then/ there would be no controversy. But there was, at least some, and has been more in the past. Get over the anti-/. stuff already.
    ~luge(relevant KT threads are here [])
  • The advantage is that we should soon have 3 different versions and we can pick the best option. Ideally, they should all be stealing the best bits from each others' code in any case :)
  • AC wrote :

    "Or look at samba 2.x only way to get that from $GI is to pay their $2000+ yearly samba software support"

    Oh for heavens sake. I was involved in the pricing discussions at SGI on this point. I was pushing for them to charge *more* than they do !

    Supporting a new protocol is *hard*. Tech support staff need training, engineering infrastructure needs building....

    For most commercial companies, spending $2000 for a year tech support for a file server is *peanuts*. Remember that's with no client access license restrictions - as many clients as the file server supports. And IRIX servers support *lots* of clients :-).

    My personal opinion is SGI are *undercharging* for Samba :-).


    Jeremy Allison,
    Samba Team.
  • Ext3 can be used, infact i have been using it for three months, The reason its not in the kernel yet is because its simply not to the point where the developers feel its done and userspace tools are not done. But to be compleatly honest, It's been running fine without userspace tools on my box here.
  • 19932845 Mar 23 23:52 linux-2.3.99-pre3.tar.gz
    21544357 Mar 30 19:49 03302000linux-2.3-xfs.tgz
    Finally! A filesystem which is larger than the whole OS! :)

    From the announcement: "A complete linux 2.3.99pre2 tree including the XFS filesystem is available forcvs checkout."

    If I understand the above correctly, the Filesystem is 21544357 - 19932845 (= 1611512) .. which is considerable less than the kernel.

    Sorry if i misunderstood anything.

    Rune Kristian Viken
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - - arcade@efnet
  • That's more or less what SGI's guaranteed rate I/O (grio) does. It's on the XFS todo list, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • Hey, just because it is not a server OS, don't knock the FS. It is more industrial strength than ext3 I'll tell you that. May not quite be up to XFS standards in terms of features, but comes close in terms of speed, integrity, and stability.
  • If you want industrial strenght file system check out BFS. Fully journeled, hits 90% of the media's capacity for througput, and has database capabilities. Too bad its not attached to a server OS. (We media people like it too, though :)
  • Open Source development is as much about giving developers freedom and relative equality when it comes to design and implementation decisions as it is about fostering cooperation and reuse of code. It's an important feature of open source development that branches and .. (roots? tributaries?) can exist - if I don't like the way Foo is going, I can either take Foo and branch off of it, or make my own Foo work-a-like which adheres to the same open interface/protocol standards as Foo. If it makes sense to do so, I (or someone else!) can fold my changes into Foo, and Foo will be the better for it.

    This is analogous to the notion of competition of many companies with many products vs a single total-market-dominating-monopoly, or even the notion that a more diverse gene pool makes for a species more able to adapt to environmental changes.

    While the immediate effect may be a scattering of resources (eg, coder hours),
    1. in the long run, it is better,
    2. three times the coders doesn't mean it will get 'finished' even two times as fast.

  • A plethora of strong opinoins is what makes a contraversy.

    There is a plethora of strong opinions concerning the inclusion of reiserFS, thus there is a reiserFS contraversy.

    What would you rather have it called... T reiserfs strongly worded discussion, the reiserfs mild issue or some other suitibly politically correct euphamism?

    To talk about 'i don't like that line about the resier fs "conttraversy"' is so inane.

  • I notice one of the features of the XFS port listed as unimplemented as yet is the guaranteed data rate stuff. Anyone able to confirm if any of the other filesystems support a similar feature?

  • Instead of one solid stable journaling fs, we now have three unstable unusable ones. Reiserfs seems to be the furthest along, but it's still not good enough to ship, and LKML is saying it won't be put into the official tree until 2.5 (ditto ext3, and according to this article, probably XFS too). Isn't open source supposed to be about cooperation and reuse of code? There's no especially compelling technical reason to have three different jfs for Linux, and there's certainly no reason to work on three when we don't even have one yet. Personally I would be much happier if the SGI people would spend their effort on ext3, which seems to be aiming for some of the same goals. But I guess I'm utopian like that ;)
  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <> on Friday March 31, 2000 @05:59AM (#1159267) Journal
    What I'd really like is to be able to *cap* the amount of IO that a process and its descendants can use. On old laptops, I'd like to cap cron and the sluggish updating that happens. On my desktop, I'd like to limit dpkg to 20% or 30% of disk (and core memory, as well) as it takes over on this old machine.

    OK, I'll settle for a new machine. :)
  • The lack of journaling is one factor preventing me from recommending wholeheartedly the idea of deploying linux in our student labs here. Students will reboot machines willy-nilly and lockups/hard crashes do occur. UFS logging has made such events relatively pain free under Solaris, and I'd like to see similar code existing under linux (if for no other reason than I'd like to feel secure during beta testing of software :). It would also put a nail in the coffin of people claiming linux isn't enterprise ready as it doesn't have a journaled FS.

    BTW, it was refreshing to see some differences of opinion being expressed by the ReiserFS people without resorting to flames and name-calling. Pity the rest of the internet can't follow suit...

  • I'm not concerned. As people are apt to state in this forum, there a bunch of perspective Journaling FSs out there. Here's how it will work: survival of the fittest. If XFS wins, it will be by the merits of the code which will be GPLed. I don't care what development model they use, as long as the code is GPLed, and the best there is!

    The loose allegation that they might take GPLed patches and integrate them into the closed tree is just that: a loose allegation. Plus it doesn't make sense - if their code bases are similar enough so that they could apply verbatim patches to a closed tree, then why not just GPL the closed-source version too? I mean, they obviously can appriciate that the "All bugs are infinately shallow" principle carries over to IRIX as well as it does Linux. If, on the other hand, the code bases are so divergent that they would want to keep seperate implementations, the verbatim patches wouldn't work.

    Also, this disturbs me:

    Hence, the support from the original author, SGI, will most likely degrade over time since the stated goals from SGI do not run in parralel with the stated purpose of GPL (everyone is on equal footing--I show you all of my code, you show me all of your's).

    Who cares? The point where "the community" decides that SGI isn't doing the best job with their code maintainence, it's GOOD that a fork occurs.

    SGI's just a company - who released large sections of code under the GPL. That people within the community would treat regard their olive branch with fear and disrespect simply because they are a company rather than an individual simply seems to me as a lack of perspective about the freedoms that the GPL provides. If it makes you feel better, think of allowing companies like SGI to make kernel contributions as tricking them into giving up time and resources.
  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Friday March 31, 2000 @10:59AM (#1159270)

    Full journalling of everything, but without the journal?

    Instant crash recovery without having to replay a log?

    Backward compatible with ext2, supports all ext2 features

    Similar speed to ext2 - hardly any penalty for being failsafe

    A *small* patch to ext2 and only about 20k extra runtime code

    Well, that's what I've been designing the last couple of years and coding the last few months - it's called Tux2 and I'm going to announce it soon on linux-kernel. It still has a couple of bugs, apparently races, but now I'm going to play the open source card and get help scratching those itches.

    If you're interested in helping out, email me at: phillips (at) bonn-fries (dot) net

    Programmers only, please :-)

  • by EvlG ( 24576 ) on Friday March 31, 2000 @06:00AM (#1159271)
    Does this patch support big files (ie, greater than 2GB?) This is something that is going to be a roadblock for big business to use Linux.

    On a side note, checked out the RedHat products page lately? They list RH6.2 EE Optimized for Oracle8i. All well and good, until you see they added 64 bit filesystem code for big files, raw disk IO for Oracle to write to, and Vectorerd IO to improve performance.

    Is this stuff contributed back to the main kernel?
  • by mjh ( 57755 ) <> on Friday March 31, 2000 @09:29AM (#1159272) Homepage Journal
    So please don't tell me that ext2 is somehow 'more stable' than reiserfs.
    You're not using a fair definition of stable. Does ReiserFS offer better reliability than ext2? Of course. Is ReiserFS more stable than ext2? Probably not.

    Stability is a measure of whether or not the product does what you expect it to do. Which is to say that stability is inversely proportional to the number of outstanding bugs.

    So what that ext2 doesn't offer journaling. What's important is how many more bugs does ReiserFS have? That makes ReiserFS less stable than ext2. And how many of those bugs in the ReiserFS code will cause the kernel to crash? That's the measure of stability that needs to be taken into account. From a top level point of view, yeah, ReiserFS may offer better reliability. But if it causes too many kernel crashes than it is less stable.

    Or course, ReiserFS allows you to recover from all of those kernel crashes better than ext2. But that's not the point. Ext2 doesn't cause the kernel crashes in the first place, and is therefore more stable.

  • Ext3fs - Progressing with the lightning speed of a concussed tortoise on LSD. Ext3 is a great idea, in theory, as it's backwards compatiable with Ext2. However, unless it picks up speed, we won't be seeing the next patch until well into the next decade. I know Alan Cox is busy, and only has one brain (the size of a planet), but if he's having problems with working on it, what's stopping him putting it on SourceForge and using it to build interest and developers?

    Umm, isnt it Steven Tweedie who's working on ext3?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 31, 2000 @08:11AM (#1159274)
    At the SGI road-tour, one of the things brought up is that while maintaining a commerical XFS and a "GPL" XFS, SGI would prefer to maintain just one source tree. Hence, while being forkable into a true GPL project, SGI won't be the one's maintaining such a GPL-like project. Instead, what they described sounded more similar to Netscape's handling of MPL'd code. For those that don't know, Netscape released Mozilla under the NPL (Netscape Public License) which gave Netscape certain privilages that others didn't recieve. Unlike GPL which should put everyone under equal footing. Since Netscape prefers that all Netscape code be covered by the NPL, it was stated that MPL code submittions would be rewritten by Netscape so it could be added as concepts implimented via NPL code. SGI's handling of GPL will be similar. They will accept *input* on concepts, even the code. But the only code that will be integrated into the "commerical-able/close-able" tree will be what they write themselves. This might work in the short term for minor performance and feature enhancements. But major over-halls and the concept of security patches tend to be hard to re-impliment. Major over-halls tend to be too extensive to replicate without looking into the other's code. Security patches tend to be very specific changes that if reimplimented a different way may produce another security consern that hasn't gotten the level of peer review that the open-source patch has. So, as the Linux community over-halls the code with major changes or impliments security related changes, I believe the relationship between SGI's close-able effort and the Linux community's true GPL changes will end up having to fork. Hence, the support from the original author, SGI, will most likely degrade over time since the stated goals from SGI do not run in parralel with the stated purpose of GPL (everyone is on equal footing--I show you all of my code, you show me all of your's).

    There is a couple ways that SGI could attempt to keep this event from occuring (all of which are undesirable but possible). One, and probably the most desirable, is to ask the submittion author for permittion to permit them to also add the code to a closed tree as-is. Second possiblity, is to integrate GPL'd submittions into the closed tree despite such actions being a violation of the GPL. While SGI over-all is a fairly honest company, individual employees have a conflict of interest in that they have their work done for them in GPL form and a method of hiding that they are stealing instead of reimplimenting it by hiding the verbatem copies into a closed tree. It would be all too easy for an individual employee to end up doing this and very difficult for the Linux community to audit for it. The third possiblity is to gain "open source hot-word compliance" while not actual encouraging third party changes. This is the method that nVidea & Intel has provided drivers under and the way Caldera has made their user-space file system kernel extentions available. Put simply, don't document or document the code so poorly that a programmer would prefer to do a ground up rewrite than to try to make sense of the existing code. (There is also the possible change that SGI could give up on maintaining a closed-source tree in parralel which is the whole reason for all of these issues but such a change on SGI's part is not realistic.)

    Btw, to be fair to SGI, I feel that IBM's closed and GPL JFS [] offering to Linux will most likely suffer the same issues.

    I believe that despite the speed at which XFS is being ported that ext3 will remain a preferable short term solution and that reiserfs which doesn't suffer the closed & open issues will be a preferable long term solution.

    In terms of the closed source CXFS offering that will be coming from SGI, I would encourage people to look at GFS (Global File System) [] as an open source alternative which may eventually surpass the SGI offering in some areas.

  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Friday March 31, 2000 @07:11AM (#1159275)
    I have to disagree with most people here and say that reiserFS is damn stable for my uses. I have 4 HDDs all running ReiserFS on my server, and it's also running on my workstation. Just for shits and giggles, I powered it up and down, up and down, several times during a kernel compile. Well, the .o files were (as expected) mangled - some were 0 bytes, others were.. well, half-baked. That, and /tmp was a mess. But the filesystem survived. I did that six times. Then I got ambitious and crashed the system during a journal replay. This time I got some more, uhh, interesting errors, but everything mounted OK and AFAIK everything was intact.

    Now, compare this with the 'stable' ext2. Try doing the above with that. I'll tell you what happened - the metadata got corrupt and I lost entire directory trees. So please don't tell me that ext2 is somehow 'more stable' than reiserfs. For filesystem integrity, they got ext2 beat. Benchmarking is always a point of contention, so I'll skip it (I believe the best benchmark is lifting a machine 2 meters off the ground, dropping it, and noting how big of a dent it leaves).

    That being said, I find it interesting that people here dismiss out of hand the possibility that politics play a part in what goes into the kernel and what doesn't. As if OSS developers were somehow immune to human emotion...

  • by sinator ( 7980 ) on Friday March 31, 2000 @04:20AM (#1159276)

    The line about the "reiserfs controversy" irks me. Sounds a little like sensationalism. How is making a (wise) decision not to include reiserfs into the kernel tree a controversy?

    To sum up the link, reiserfs has some goofy buffering behavior (among other things), the reiserfs people say "it works better now", Alex Viro points out the fact that the code hasn't been updated in years in some spots (or to paraphrase him, "you don't fix things unless they break compile") and tells the reiser people to clean up their act before distribution on the main tree. Other Linux powers-that-be agree, saying yes, it should be cleaned up, in its current state it's better for 2.5 inclusion.

    1. It is not a controversy when there are options. The reiser people have several choices
    2. They can clean up their code.
    3. They can distribute as a patch seperately.
    4. They can fork their own kernel and distribute with the reiserfs included.
    5. They can fork their own kernel and distribute the reiserfs patch seperately.
    6. All or none of the above.

    With so many options I don't understand why it's considered 'controversial' unless /. has been hit by Jon Katz Syndrome. [] With open source you can solve a controversy before it starts. Scratch your own itch and all that?

    That having been said, I am happy to see a (proven) journaling filesystem be put out. I have used SGI's for quite some time and have always been impressed with their filesystem performance. Moreover, in the days of 30,40,70 gigabyte hard drives, fsck times after unplanned power must be kept to a minimum. (Pre-emptive responses to the cluebies who say "if you want to preserve 50 gigs of data, use a UPS": the UPS may blow up too ;-)

    I also am interested in XFS handling large files (64-bit file support); I work with digital video for streaming, and those files get real large, real fast. Seeing a file larger than 4G will make my day.

    I highly recommend anyone, people who agree or disagree with me, download the XFS source and look for themselves. Nothing sexier than looking at lock code for hours on end.. ;-)

  • by rutger21 ( 132630 ) on Friday March 31, 2000 @04:20AM (#1159277)
    19932845 Mar 23 23:52 linux-2.3.99-pre3.tar.gz
    21544357 Mar 30 19:49 03302000linux-2.3-xfs.tgz

    Finally! A filesystem which is larger than the whole OS! :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 31, 2000 @04:08AM (#1159278)

    Is it Slashdot? Is it Freshmeat? No it's the new combination of the two, Slapmeat! Where every single release of a piece of software that mention the holy word "Lee-nooks" somewhere in the documentation (if there is any - hey, it's Open Source, right?) gets a whole article devoted to it.

    Read in wonder people cutting and pasting "Informative" lists of features from the linked site. Gasp in awe at peoples "Insightful" comments about how great this is for the "movement". Sit stunned at the "Interesting" posts declaring that this version is the best yet!

    Yes, it's Slapmeat, where anything goes!

  • We now have FOUR (count them!) journalling file systems. This makes it more journalled than Peypes Diary.

    So far, we have:

    • ReiserFS - with no less than two hashing functions, now. Reasonably stable, and I've never lost any data under it, except once, when I mounted a journalled reiserfs partition using a non-journalling version of reiserfs. It mangled the partition to the point where neither I, nor the developers, could fix it. It's ingenious, and novel, but it's far from being an athletic sprinter in terms of development. But as complex projects go, it's still a very impressive demonstration of Open Source development. It does have one serious glitch - IIRC, it won't work with RAID or LVM. At least, earlier versions didn't. The journal would be corrupted, IIRC, because it assumed the ReiserFS partition existed as one physical unit. (Please, if anyone knows more, feel free to correct me on that.)
    • Ext3fs - Progressing with the lightning speed of a concussed tortoise on LSD. Ext3 is a great idea, in theory, as it's backwards compatiable with Ext2. However, unless it picks up speed, we won't be seeing the next patch until well into the next decade. I know Alan Cox is busy, and only has one brain (the size of a planet), but if he's having problems with working on it, what's stopping him putting it on SourceForge and using it to build interest and developers?
    • IBM's JFS - IBM have followed the 386BSD model, AFAICT, in that they released a working base and have been adding, debugging and patching from there. This kind of layer-on-layer development can produce a good product more quickly (in theory) than vertical construction (see XFS), but it also tends to drag in crud, as getting the layers to mesh can be a royal bugbear.
    • SGI's XFS - SGI have followed closer to the model used with the Linux kernel - developing working subsystems and adding them in. This gives you less crud, but also gives you a slower start, as it takes longer to reach a point of being able to do anything "useful".

    All the above systems, with the possible exception of ext3fs, journal ONLY metadata. IIRC, ext3fs journals everything.

    Between support for RAID, LVM's and journalling, Linux is industrial strength, as far as filesystems go. It's the match of any commercial system, now.

    What we need now, though, is some kind of mandatory access control system. (See the Ask Slashdot column.) I've been thinking hard about that, and it should be possible to implement with code already in existance. With that, Linux'll have everything needed to be a practical system in everything from small office to top security establishments.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer