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Silicon Graphics

SGI Layoffs Hit XFS For Linux Project 57

Andrew Klaassen writes "Layoffs at SGI yesterday hit, among other things, the XFS for Linux project. Project lead Steve Lord writes, "We do intend to keep working on XFS linux, and I do intend to work really hard to get it into the distributions and Alan and Linus's kernels, [but] it will take us a little while to regroup our efforts and to work out our priorities on the project...." He also mentions that LinuxCare will no longer be helping out with funding for the port."
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SGI Layoffs Hit XFS For Linux Project

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've been using XFS for the last 4 years (on SGI machines), and reiserFS for one year. Nothing compares to XFS, it's simply great. I would really like to see it in kernel releases (not patches)
  • The good thing about Open Source is that, as Eric Raymond noted in "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," you don't need to spend any money on it at all! Volunteers around the world can do the work on it for free.

    Well, the source is still out there, let's now get to work on it!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    <i>lets guesstimate there are about 20,000 concerned Unix users who decide "Oh what the hell it's only a $2 pay pal donation" </i>

    Its GUESSTIMATE. Poster above pointed out, it NEVER happened before. Ever heard of conversion ratio? Out of 20k UNIX guys who CONCERNED maybe 1-5% will PAY. So you end up needing a MILLION people concerned just to SUPPORT _ONE_ programmer. And to be frank, I wont work for $40k, and no good coder (who charges money) would.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People should really stop using Sourceforge. They've burned hundreds of developers already, and I fear that it's not going to stop.

    I personally don't use them any longer, but my projects remain empty and orhpaned on their server, because they've refused to delete them at my request, citing that I no longer own them.

    Misrepresentation at it's best.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well this is going to be my test case for seeing how committed SGI is to Linux (and even Irix for that matter). I think the NT/MS cabal inside SGI is far from dead (I wonder how many ofthem got laid off).

    The plan: Irix on huge 64 way CPUs like video library servers etc. Then NT or Win2K on all workstations ...

    -- this allows SGI to focus on hardware and on tuning Irix for huge systems ... cutting the workstation OS development to the bone

    The other plan: Irix on big iron plus Irix and Linux on workstations. For management this is just too "niche" and too "alternative" - they can't see a way to make money on it. They don't seem to realize that with 2 or 3 more pebbles on the balance it's going to tip or that with 2 or 3 more drops of ink the water is gonna change color: It would be very easy for some of the big players to make Windows into the niche OS. IBM says they'll drop a billion, SGI could afford 20 million I'm sure, and there are other interested parties ... even Sun (as long as they could somehow keep linux eating away at MS but out of their own core market)

    But I think they like what they have now: they will all stay in bed with MS but unlike 5 years ago they all have the *potential* to slap MS around at any moment. MS is going to be a much more willing partner. All they have to do is find a million each and recreate something like Eazel (Eazel was very close to creating a killer desktop app): smooth and integrate something like OpenOffice and Nautilus/

    Of course lurking in the wings is KDE and KOffice. What about throwing 10 million at that and then market the hell out of it and see it start to gnaw at the desktop markets (it *IS* already gnawing in far away places like rural Brazil, Thailand, China, the Mexican school system etc.). There are a couple of alternative desktop players waiting in the wings should MS behave badly. They can be called out and ramped up in 6-12 months easily ...

    My main point is that any of these companies *could do just that* but choose not to because right now they have the best of both worlds for the time being: an escape route and a more compliant monopolist OS vendor.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    damn it to hell. I've been using XFS since feb. 20th and its great. I've been waiting for kernel 2.4.5 to come out and for SGI to then come out with a patch so I could update my live cds I've been making. xfs 1.0 rocks. so now when the stupid nvidia drivers lock my computer I don't lose any data :) I've tried reiserFS and it sucks compared to XFS. for all those wanting to know how good XFS is word of mouth does it no justice. its just like when you first hear about linux your unsure till you try it then its the greatest thing in the world. you won't regret it. in order to get XFS running on Debian you can (use WOODY but I'd suggest UNSTABLE because they update the xfsprogs like crazy.)download the xfs 1.0 patch from SGI web site oss.sgi.com patch 2.4.3 compile XFS support in. don't forget to compile the mkfs tools. have about 4 or 5 floppys with you of them make a rescue disk and a root disk using the old potato disk images. copy you 1 meg kernel (that's how big XFS make it no matter what) to the rescue overwriting the default named Linux on the floppy it'll fit along with scsi and raid if needed also. it'll fit don't I've done it. so now you should have two disks a rescue disk and a root disk and now on the third disk copy the mkfs.xfs file to it. make sure you have the base2_2.tgz from debian web site along with the drivers.tgz on a zip driver or cd would but fine or on a windows partition just not on your linux since it'll be erased also you'll need to get ppp 2.4.1 to be able to dial out to do an update download it off debians ftp site. the rescue disk allows you to be able to use the other terms via alt+F2 mount the third disk you can run linux file on fat formated floppys so don't worry your use mkfs.xfs to make the XFS check the SGI web site FAQ for details at oss.sgi.com. but you should back you linux partition because in order to have XFS you must overwrite your EXT2 partition. after you've made the partition mount it by hand using mount -t xfs /dev/YOURHARDDRIVE /target use /target and not /root. then go back to the first term alt+F1 and continue installion. lilo does work with XFS as a root linux partition, but I haven't tried it on a partition that is the root partition on on the hard drive I have a windows partition before it I don't see why it wouldn't work though. after you've installed the base system update everything using dial out or lan and before doing anything first read the xfs FAQ at oss.sgi.com. I know I'm rambling but anyone that knows how to use Linux should not have any problems, if you are new to linux sgi has a red hat 7.1 installer you can use but you have to download the 650 meg iso they have. I hope I've given somebody an idea howto install XFS on debian. or you could wait for the guy at http://debianboot.digitaltux.com/ to finish making his debian install disks. have fun LBJM
  • What makes you think so? Go to freshmeat and pick 20 random pieces of software out of the appindex. How many will be commercially funded? How many will be written by people whose day job is software development? How many would die if the project lead lost his current day job? My guess is not many. Nor will this project die. The special circumstance here is that the code originated as closed code inside sgi. That won't matter, of course, now that it's been released. These guys got fired, not killed.
  • Why the zx10?
    If going with SGI, look at the 330 series.
    or if you need more gusto, the 550 series.
    They both run linux and are fast.
    Its faster than an Octane in tests that I have run.
    The HP systems are also pretty sharp. I haven't benched them against the 330 or 550 but I know that they seem to keep up.
  • Hosting a popular site costs thousands of dollars a month in bandwidth alone.

    No it doesn't, at least not in the UK, and I'm pretty confident US bandwidth is cheaper than here. How much bandwidth do you expect to need? For a couple of thousand pounds a month, you'll get a 100Mb/s pipe direct to a LINX [linx.net] backbone provider in Telehouse. For a few thousand more, you get gigabit (yes, true gigabit internet access). I couldn't believe how cheap bandwidth had become when we were looking at it over the past few months.

  • Quick note (yes and off topic) -

    Last I heard - Linus won't accept kdb or any kernel debuger into the source.

  • I really hope someone will pick up maintaining XFS as a full-time project.

    Hel-loooooo! SGI laid off one of their fulltime developers, it didn't pull the plug on the whole thing... but what am I thinking, this is /., the piece basically says "XFS is dead, it won't be developed anymore", no matter what's actually written.

    You have to wonder what the editors are smoking here. Yes, Russell Cattelan is no longer being paid by SGI to work on XFS. Yes, SGI is having financial trouble, but that's hardly news. Yes, SGI is no longer paying LinuxCare to work on this either. Yes, the guys that SGI is still paying to work on XFS will have a harder time, this is not the kind of project where someone comes and says "hmm... this is wrong, let's fix it here and there". Does this mean that XFS is dead? No. Precisely because SGI is having financial trouble is why they are doing this. Big Iron is not sexy anymore, at least not for the reasons it used to be. And SGI is a Big Iron company. Six Origin 3000 systems represent 40% of their volume sales in the last quarter. See the problem here? SGI needs a fast source of money. And small systems is such a source. Since SGI is not going to compete with Gateway and the like, they need to focus on another market. According to the current SGI vision that market is comprised of Itanium based boxes running Linux. But that alone isn't enough (VA, Penguin and whoever else do the same). They have to have an edge. That edge is XFS. Not the XFS you can check out of CVS, but the Cluster version. The version that exists on their MIPS based boxes now. See the big picture already? SGI needs XFS, so stop crying wolf.

    On a side note, it's interesting that other sites picked up on this post here. (That thought is terrifying, since it means other sites give /. credit as a "news" source). I wonder how this will impact SGI's share prices. I mean, the very well researched piece says "SGI ... layoffs ... Linux" (who the fsck cares what XFS is?), and it's being repeated like that elsewhere. Boy, I don't want to be in Steve Lord's shoes now... but that leads to another thought: will Steve think it twice before posting anything else like this to the mailing list? I mean, he's been quoted here two times already. Will he think "no, I better not send this, it might end up in /." That can't be good. Just as hollywood stars think it twice before saying something lest it show up in the Enquirer...

  • Scale - you're missing the scale issues.

    Figure a coder makes US$40,000 a year minimum. That's a LOT of Paypal donations - I've never heard of anything like this happening. This doesn't include the other expenses folks have that are usually supplied by an employer like machines, bandwidth, conferences with hotel & travel, books, etc.

    Hosting a popular site costs thousands of dollars a month in bandwidth alone. Great you'll offer up your server - howzabout when it's a few meg for the installable and a few thousand folks dl it, gonna keep offering it up? Whattabout when the script-kiddy vermin start trying to take you down?

    Finally what's this about lost code? It's all Open Source - none of the projects you've listed have lost any code. What they've lost is momentum and what was in folks heads, the reasons why decisions were made and the intimate knowledge of the code being worked on day in & out.

  • Earlier this year, Nautilus 1.0 was released. On the same day Eazel laid off some developers; later it went out of business.

    SGI's XFS for Linux reached 1.0 a few weeks ago and now some of its developers have to leave.

    Guess what will happen when they finally make the 1.0 release of Mozilla?
  • How 'bout you give us a chance to have a holiday weekend, then merge & test the code, and then offer your 2.4.5 patch, ok? :)
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @06:46AM (#197304) Homepage
    I'm sure that by now you're tired of hearing corporate-speak about Linux projects, but I want to reassure you about XFS for Linux.

    I'll preface this by saying that I cannot actually speak for SGI, but I can tell you my impressions as an employee and an XFS for Linux developer.

    I sat in on a teleconference yesterday, and from everything I know, XFS for Linux is not going away. Yes, there were staff reductions, but SGI is still funding XFS for Linux, it is still very much an alive project. I hope so, I was hired to work on it, and I'm moving across the country for this job in 1 week. :)

    Since linux-xfs seems to be slashdotted, here's the post from Steve Lord:

    So, yes, SGI had layoffs yesterday, and yes the XFS on linux project took a hit because of this. However, we do intend to keep working on XFS linux, and I do intend to work really hard to get it into the distributions and Alan and Linus's kernels. It will take us a little while to regroup our efforts and to work out our priorities on the project, hence my message yesterday. We appear to be building momentum in the community right now, and the last thing we need is less people to do the work, but financial realities tend to take precedence in these situations.

    (Testimonial about the great jobs done by Russell Cattelan and Martin Petersen edited).

    Here's a followup post from our marketing person, Yi Li:
    Just to add to Steve's comment, I am responsible for product managament on XFS Linux, which is continuing as before.

    We are really glad to see the growing interest and momentum on XFS Linux within the community, and we appreciate very much the time and effort from
    XFS users.

    SGI is committed to the XFS open source project, as in our other open source projects. We will be maintaining XFS on IA32 as well as developing XFS for IA64 as before.

    So, to the person who offered to take over the project, thanks, but that's really not what we need right now. :) Just keep testing XFS, submit crystal-clear bug reports, and we'll do our best to deliver a world-class journaling filesystem for Linux.
  • Figure a coder makes US$40,000 a year minimum. That's a LOT of Paypal donations - I've never heard of anything like this happening.
    Well, the moral equivalent happened to sponsor Damian Conway for a year of Perl Development [stonehenge.com]. In a few short weeks, $53,000 was raised to free him from his year's salary at the University so he could focus on Perl development.

    So, it can happen.

  • look people XFS is not going anywhere soon

    personaly its very much better design wise than reiserfs for mission critical apps and although reiserfs has some nice points it lacks in some areas being a new FS I mean the screw up over NFS servering and such

    now XFS has proved its scaleable in real envs e.g. video server tends to have ALOT of data and SGI systems power most cable operators somewhere along the line

    redhat should in MHO use XFS in 8.0 with the release of GCC 3.0

    I used it but it was a pain that it was not in the kernel so went back to ext2


    john jones

    p.s. oh please sort out rawIO linus please pretty please sugar on top

  • Kinda off topic here, but I want to suggest to you that you go back to nVidia release 0.9-6, instead of using the latest 0.9-769 release. I ran with the former for 2 months, with lockups being extremely rare. After 3 weeks of running with 0.9-796 and locking up reguarly, I de-installed it and went back to 0.9-6. I'm so glad I did.

    Just a recommendation. I find 0.9-6 to much more rock solid than 0.9-769 under any kernel, 2.2, Ext3-patched 2.2, 2.4 or XFS-patched 2.4 releases.

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • My appologies for the typos including the use of "XFS" when I meant "NFS" in a few places. This post has been moderated upto to 5, and I have received numerous direct mailings -- all positive, unbelievable! This has restored my faith in /., who I was privately boycotting until I saw the XFS /. discussion mention on NewsForge.

    What I am really "arguing for" here is not a "what is better" or a "why is ReiserFS in kernel 2.4.1+ and not XFS?" 'jealousy' attitude (as Hans Reiser recently called it ;-), but a simple "call on RedHat and VA Linux to start looking at XFS." I do not think it is my business to question Linus non-inclusion of XFS in the kernel, as he has a better understanding that I. All I'm asking for is the industry to start supporting something that obviously works for a good portion of us.

    Especially now in light of layoffs at SGI, which can only mean a reduction in direct support of XFS by them.

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • In addition to the "ReiserFS absolutists" who know little about XFS, it seems we also have so "SCSI RAID absolutists" here who know little about 3Ware microcontroller-driven RAID controllers [3ware.com]. So a little education is in order.

    First off, most of the "dumb, BIOS-only" IDE RAID solutions do "suck." Since they are still just a "dumb" IDE controller, they still off-load computational and other details off to the CPU, which is still, ultimately, driving the drives. So they still inherit all the limitations of IDE, including the 128GB max addressing limitation. Worse yet, nearly all of these solutions allow more than one drive per channel with just kills performance (especially in the 4 drive, RAID-0/1 implementations).

    Fortunately, 3Ware [3ware.com] and a few select others have built real host adapter solutions, except they use IDE drives. With that small exception, they are almost exactly like more expensive, SCSI-based RAID controller solutions. They have an on-board microcontroller that not only off-loads all the computational details, but drives the IDE disks directly. As such, the 3Ware card, for all intents and purposes, is a SCSI controller from the OS' perspectively, including support for upto 2TB device sizes. The OS never sees the underlying hardware itself, which also allows these devices to emulate advanced SCSI features like command queuing, threading and even sector remapping.

    The 3Ware Escalade 6000 series comes in 2, 4 and 8 channel versions, with one device per channel, at a cost of about $60/channel. 3Ware support is included in all the latest 2.2 and 2.4 kernels from most distros (and in most stock Linux kernel releases as well). Although Adaptec now has a similar, 4-channel product (that does RAID-5 as well?), I have not seen Linux support for it. In the near future, 3Ware plans on introducing a new product series with RAID-5 support (current Escalades can only do RAID-0, 1 or 0/1).

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • nVidia 1.0-1251??? I cannot find them. Latest on their site is still 9.769 for Linux.

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • by BitMan ( 15055 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @11:32AM (#197311)

    Whether you agree with it or not, RedHat and VALinux alike have spurned adopting ReiserFS despite its inclusion in the stock Linux kernel as of 2.4.1. Both vendors have courted the more "evolutionary" Ext3 kernel for 2.2 releases, but Ext3 is not the future of JFS' on Linux. As such, I offer this article in a plea for RedHat and/or VA Linux to begin consideration and formal testing of XFS as a viable JFS for their future, kernel 2.4-based product releases.

    1. Your typical dual-NFS/SMB file server administrator

      I have been integrating and maintaining production NFS/SMB UNIX servers and networks for years. As such, I ask that some of the "ReiserFS absolutists" (i.e. believe only ReiserFS should exist as every other JFS for Linux is "not as good" in their opinions) out there, who don't use Linux's kNFSd services in a heavy production environment (especially with non-Linux NFS clients) like myself, please not blindly comment on this post. Remember, every OSS project "itches a scratch," and there is a reason why Tweedie's Ext3 and SGI's XFS exist in addition to Namesys' ReiserFS (disclaimer: I know little about IBM's JFS).

    2. Why some of us went Ext3 over ReiserFS

      Because I have UNIX NFS clients, ReiserFS was quickly identified as a "non-viable solution" for my needs (not that it is not applicable in many other areas, no sir, so don't flame me!) when I first looked at JFS' in early 2000. Although ReiserFS is very innovative in design, which includes a recent DARPA grant to extend these capabilities, its lack of a traditionally keeping meta-data in the inode itself results in a host of traditional UNIX service and VFS incompatibilites. So I ended up testing the early, full data journaling (aka Ext3 "v1 mode") Ext3 releases (e.g., 0.0.2f) for 3 months on non-critical systems with great success. I eventually adopted it on my main fileservers in summer of 2000 and it has worked flawlessly since. I even had a physical disk error, which my RAID controller did not catch for 24 seconds (long story, the firmware and driver versiuons was out of sync, my fault) and I was able to drop down to the full Ext2 fsck to fix things.

    3. Ext3, the conservative solution

      For people like me, Ext3 is a nice, "evolutionary" approach to journaling that significantly reduces the variables involved -- important to some of us that don't embrace "change" so quickly (for obvious reasons ;-). Ext3 is also a quick upgrade for existing Ext2 filesystems (get Ext3 kernel, e2fsprogs aware version, create the journal file, and mount as Ext3) plus complete reversable back to Ext2 (just delete the journal file and reset some superblock variables), which meant I could "switch back at a moments notice." I find the VA Linux kernels with Ext3 added (along with NFS v3, unified IDE and other 2.4 backports to 2.2) most excellent, and longtime Linux kernel NFS guru H.J. Lu (now formerly of VA) takes the time to make the appropriate RedHat RPM kernels for us RedHat users (shortly after HJL's departure from VA, I began hosting his kernels [smithconcepts.com]). VA Linux uses Ext3 in their enterprise NAS device products (actually based on not a RedHat kernel, but SuSE!), although RedHat's adoption of Ext3 has been limited to a public beta, and installer/BOOT kernels that are simply "Ext3 aware."

    4. Ext3, not ideal for the near future

      Today, Ext3 is still a kernel 2.2-only solution. And it still "inherits" all the "limitations" of Ext2 -- so it is not ideal where features are more important that minimizing variables. Now it's not that I've adopted kernel 2.4 on my most critical services, as it is still maturing IMHO (not bashing 2.4 at all, but as more systems run it, more "issues" are identified that were not before), but it would still be nice to have on some of my more "bleeding edge" workstations. I would be satified if Tweedie would only port the full data journaling (v1 mode) capability to 2.4, although I heard he purposes held off on the kernel 2.4 port and Ext3 1.0's release until 2.4 itself "stabilized" in his view (of which, I've heard many good reasons for doing so). If anyone has any insight to all this, I'm all ears (as I can only "assume" things here from what I've heard).

    5. Re-evaluation of ReiserFS in kernel 2.4.1+

      As such, that left me with re-evaluating ReiserFS for 2.4 systems, now in the stock 2.4.1 kernel, or possibly SGI's XFS or IBM's JFS. I looked at ReiserFS only to discover that the stock kernel does not include the kNFSd workaround patches. Furthermore, many ReiserFS users were still plauged with NFS and even quote issues, even after patching. This tends to make me believe that it will still be awhile before specific Linux subsystems "better accomodate" ReiserFS completely for certain users (like myself), although it is a viable solution for most standalone workstations or Windows-centric file servers. Even I am using ReiserFS on a kernel 2.4 Netfilter firewall and Squid Proxy cache/filter, where it excels (but does no direct network file serving duties).

    6. First impressions of XFS in mid-February

      This led me to SGI's XFS. Mid February saw the release of kernel 2.4.2 and, by the weekend of the 24th, SGI had already adopted 2.4.2 as the base of their XFS development CVS repository. I was impressed with this attention to keeping XFS' development as close to the stock kernel as possible. I decided to check out the kernel, compile and test it on a few older and newer systems, and ended up writing an RPM spec file and releasing some RPMs for RedHat 7.0 at the time [smithconcepts.com] (since it has been a couple months, using 2.4.0pre kernels, since SGI had done so). Thus I began my standard "three month evaluation" of XFS in early 2001, like I did with ReiserFS and Ext3 in early 2000.

    7. What is instantly preferrable about XFS

      It did not take me long before I was impressed with SGI's XFS implementation. Most specifically:

      • Forgetting features, Linux-oriented integration was at the forefront of XFS' port. The fsck program was called "fsck.xfs" (which really did only some basic things, relying on "xfs_repair" for any rare "dirty work"), and "xfsdump" preserved advanced XFS attributes in backups.
      • The structure of XFS has remained relatively unchanged since the original whitepapers and release in the 1993-1994 timeframe. One thing that scares me about ReiserFS is the changing internal structure, not just via the extensible features of putting meta-data directly in the root tree -- which is a very interesting, advanced and novel idea -- don't get me wrong -- but I believe even Linus had to put his foot down on some of these "variables" before ReiserFS was included in 2.4.1 (as I have heard). Again, XFS' structure on Linux is that of the Irix implementation.
      • Regarding features, according to the Linux Gazette #55 review of JFS' for Linux (mid-2000 [linuxgazette.com]), XFS sported the most features -- from B+Tree directory and free block management to small data file and directories being stored in the inode itself. But it still preserved the traditional, UNIX FS inode structure that made NFS, quota and other support natural and minimal in effort.
      • The ability to move storage devices from MIPS/Irix systems to Linux systems is a big plus. Most intererstingly, this also included almost direct porting of XFS's Access Control List (ACL) capability from the Irix platform to Linux. I had personally never used ACLs on Irix before, just Solaris, and was impressed by XFS' storing of ACLs in the filesystem meta-data, instead of in separate files like Solaris (although the XFS "acl" front-end has a syntax that leaves much to be desired ;-).
      • Lastly, it looks like SGI is "thinking ahead" to enterprise NAS/SAN devices by implementing a Data Management API (DMAPI) for hierarchical storage management (HSM) subsystems. XFS excels at large file performance, hence why MIPS/Irix is a favorite platform for A/V content servers.

    8. How SGI releases XFS

      Shortly after my RPM releases for RedHat 7.0, SGI began a series of test releases for the RedHat 7.1 beta (first Fisher, 7.0.90, and then Wolverine, 7.0.91) in March and April, and eventually RedHat 7.1 itself. Like the 2.4.0pre kernel releases before them, RedHat releases XFS in a three fold scheme:

      • Tarballs from CVS, and patches from CVS again the stock kernel, which include the ability to build RPMs and Debian packages (by including the appropriate SPEC/config files).
      • [Source] RPMs for popular RPM distributions (e.g., RedHat), as SGI has a long stance of not being in the business of distributing their own full-up distro (just support "add-ons" for their hardware).
      • A modified RPM set and Anaconda installer, including a bootable, pre-mastered ISO CD, that allows XFS to be installed alongside a stock RedHat distribution. This is especially sweet IMHO.

    9. XFS Release 1.0 is a solid JFS for 2.4 file servers

      As of May 1st, XFS Release 1.0 was released. In following their three fold release venue, it includes a ~300MB additional ISO CD for installing with RedHat 7.1. But instead of patching XFS against just the stock Linux kernel, SGI took the time to take the RedHat 7.1 2.4.2-2 RPM kernel release and patch it against that (they actually did this with 1.0-Test3 as well) -- inheriting and benefiting all the patches and other kernel decisions that RedHat makes. This is very important to system administrators like myself which only trust RedHat releases and kernels for heavy file server duties (please, no flames on this -- I'll list reasons off-list, and I *DO* recommend Mandrake and, increasingly, Debian for many other purposes).

    10. Additional advantages of XFS that RedHat/VALinux should consider

      As such, I am surprised that RedHat and, especially, VA Linux have not taken a closer look at evaluating and, gulp, even supporting XFS's development on kernel 2.4. XFS is the natural upgrade for these two firms, being that both have spurned supporting ReiserFS for its non-traditional and troublesome design with traditional UNIX services and capabilities like XFS. In addition to design attitude, features and other considerations SGI has made in porting XFS to Linux as I made above, I would like also point out the following, additional considerations:

      • Again, I want to hammer home that SGI has been committed with each and every OSS project and release to base them on the "common" project releases. Not only does SGI keep their CVS repository in-sync with the latest kernel and support project releases, but they can integrated XFS with even RedHat's heavily patched kernel releases. I would personally like to hear what Alan Cox thinks of adding XFS to either his "ac" release, or pushing it on RedHat internally.
      • XFS's ACL capabilities are superb and add quite an "enterprise punch" to Linux. Not only are the XFS ACL's supported fully in Samba 2.2 on both Irix and Linux, but Steve Lord of SGI was part of the kernel 2.5 developers conference presenting the idea of adopting XFS' ACL approach in the core VFS (virtual filesystem) layer of Linux 2.5 itself (so all filesystems could benefit). This should tell everyone about the capabilities XFS brings to the Linux table for all Linux filesystems to benefit from.
      • In addition to ACLs, quota support is production quality. Not only does XFS have full, VFS-compatible quote support, but XFS is now a supported fs in the official Linux Quota project's CVS repository (and future releases). This should further drive home the fact that XFS can be and is being easily integrated into standard, stock Linux.
      • XFS is fully LILO compatible, meaning a system, with or without a separate /boot filesystem, can be completely XFS. In addition to being XFS root bootable via in-kernel compilation, the three core XFS components can be compiled as modules, and loaded via an initrd (initial root disk) instead. No "performance hidering" options are necessary for this compatiblity (unlike ReiserFS and its "notail" option).

    11. Disclosing the few disadvantages and issues with XFS

      As much of a XFS advocate as I am, I am also quick to honestly and complete disclose each and every "disadvantage" or "issue" with XFS. Note that they are few and usually non-issues in most situations, although XFS is no more of an "universal JFS for applications" than ReiserFS is (and I would and should be considered a "XFS Absolutist" if I didn't). Specifically, I find the following disadvantages to and issues with XFS:

      • Although XFS sports some excellent performance number in certain operations (especially large files and random writes), XFS' inherit design makes it horrendous at deleting lots of small files, even versus Ext2 (and specifically against ReiserFS where ReiserFS excells). This makes XFS a less than ideal JFS solution for caching/temporary/log filesystems (e.g., /tmp and /var) and applications/services (like Squid proxy cache/filtering servers) -- although I have found that a XFS /tmp and /var "feel just as fast" as Ext2 on workstations (haven't done extensive testing on servers yet). Since this is a design flaw in XFS' structure itself (although that same design allows faster operations and performance in other areas ;-), in the future, I hope both XFS and ReiserFS will be part of the same, stock kernel releases so I can use XFS on data and application partitions (like /home, /usr, /usr/local, /opt, etc...) that are XFS exported, and ReiserFS on local, non-exported support partitions (like /tmp and /var -- although I will probably leave /var/spool XFS since most operations, like print jobs, are large files).
      • The size of XFS' code base is very large, resulting in a ~1MB support module set -- too big to fit the initrd on a floppy with the kernel, or just barely small enough to fit compiled-in kernel that sports little else on a floppy. Although I'm fairly sure this may be just a short-term fact of a "first port" -- I being a true believer in "get the sucker running, then optimize code size" and XFS is currently one of those codebases where many routines are redundant throughout the code. But the size of the code base and binary does not affect overall run-time performance as various XFS benchmarks prove -- which supports my theory that the current Linux port is simply an un-sized-optimized release that will improve in the future.
      • Although XFS is fully LILO compatible, it is only LILO compatible when LILO is used in the MBR (master boot record). Those of us who like to use 3rd party boot managers and put LILO at the beginning of the root (or /boot) partition will find that this is not an option with XFS if the root (or /boot) partition is XFS. To use a 3rd party boot manager, the root (or /boot) must be Ext2 on XFS systems (although I believe ReiserFS is in the "same boat" here as well?).

    12. The final analysis

      SGI's XFS is a powerful, stable and feature-packed JFS that is mission-critically proven on Irix and now available for Linux. It brings a wealth of features and traditional UNIX fs compatibility to Linux, while only sporting a few, less than optimal attributes in some limited areas. Being that SGI has gone to great lengths to synchronize its codebase with the common codebase of the projects it integrates with, and some of these projects (notably Quota and Samba) have adopted native support for it, many XFS users are starting to question why XFS has not become an option in our favorite distributions.

      As such, I urge RedHat and VALinux, two companies who currently favor Ext3 and spurn ReiserFS for specific issues that XFS does not have, to consider beta testing and offering XFS as an option for their distributions and systems. As the 2.4 kernel matures and gains widespread acceptance, those of use who cannot adopt ReiserFS will need a solid replacement for Ext3 coming from kernel 2.2. And the additional enterprise-driven features of XFS make its consideration that more inviting.

      I thank you for your open consideration of this article.

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • It seems that what we are seeing is that traditional employment practices are becoming increasingly inappropriate for IT work. What people are (or at least traditionally were happy with) was 9-5 for 5-6 years. However, given that a project (e.g. gaming) might require several programmers, artists, UI specialists, modellers, you increasingly need multiple specialists (especially when developing really complex horizontally integrated stuff XFS->CXFS->HSM). There is just no way that a single company can keep all those experts on tap. Instead I forsee increasingly a gen/spec division like doctors where companies focus on immediate goals but second specialist staff onto strategic initiatives. While some people may decry the breakdown between corporate loywalty and personal security. in the longer term, professional societies will evolve that will cater for these highly knowledgeable specialists. Thus while you have medical colleges of XYZ, you will expect to see clusters of IJK, most probably centered around a strong academic research core. While computer complexity has yet to reach the levels of within a cell, sooner or later IT practices will have to become less proprietary (unless you're a market gorilla large enough to have all in-house talent) simply because you'll be falling behind state of the art by not keeping up with your peers.

    What will this mean for employment? Well, I suspect that the traditional continuous employment is going to be less of an incentive. Instead people will have a mix of income streams ranging from retainer (emergency response to crisis such as PHB mail-server dying), royalties (software on-sale), and development contracts (companies outsourcing non-core R&D akak paid opensource). If you look at the big motor compnaies, all they do is beat on the component suppliers and integration/design-marketing/lifestyle-branding. Already you are seeing similar differentiation between the computer companies with SGI tragetting scientific-technical/media-broadband, IBM eBusiness, Sun Infrastructure, etc ... They in turn (if they are smart) will look at creating contracts, almost like visiting professorship where they invite specialists in to achieve a certain technical goal (paid with combination of cash+options). OpenSource then becomes a way of advertising your skills as once you've gain a reputation in a specific area (e.g. ReisferFS (sp?)) people will know where to go to for improvements.

    This is good as I forsee more people in places like India benefiting from this broadening and deeping of the talent pool. Who will lose out (comparatively)? The marketing and management class as there will be less need to create MicroSerfs to reach impossible goals and then trying to flog useless products (*cough*DiVX*cough).

  • I am following the Mozilla project since 2 years now (daily cvs compile, etc.) and I have to admit that I think you are very right, sadly.
  • No need to worry. Going on past evidence, I expect release 1.0 of Mozilla to arrive some time around 2005...
  • > It's the momentum that's important not the
    > technical excellance.

    >I mean, why Linux? There are so many better
    >alternatives to Apple and Microsoft. FreeBSD for
    >the cheap guys. BeOS for the less cheap guys.
    >Linux just doesn't make sense.

    I feel You are contradicting yourself here. Even if Linux is less technically capable than FreeBSD, or BeOS which I doubt; it has clearly gathered much more mementum, and it can only gets bigger and better. So given the energy spent in Linux development, and the cumulative effect of development in free software, it's only a matter of time before it gets leaps and bounds better and in "every field" than these two OS.

    You said it yourself, it's only momentum that count !!

  • If you are worried about the implications of LinuxCare's decision to stop funding the XFS project and what it means for the future of Linux as a enterprise OS, kindly give them a call at 800-544-3746, between 9 AM and 10 PM PST M-F, and let them know what you think, POLITELY.

    Are you going to phone all the other companies with financial difficulties and let them know POLITELY what you think of them not spending their diminishing resources the way you'd like? You think it just might possibly not seem so polite to them?
  • Volunteers will work on the things that they want to work on, to the degree that they want to work on them. They aren't necessarily going to work on the things that you or anyone else would like to see done.

    A volunteer is someone who doesn't have to be there. They are donating their time and energy. They can and will pack up if they don't think their efforts are worth it. Most people will judge whether their efforts are worth it by how much the project helps THEM, not how much it helps others. This is why things like GCC get worked on so much, it directly benefits anyone who helps to create it. An open-source floral shop POS system on the other hand isn't going to get worked on by anyone for long. The people who would benefit from it don't know how to develop it, and the people who know how to develop it would not benefit from it. Very few people are going to slave and toil for others just because its the nice thing to do. If that was how people worked then the Soviet Union would not only still be around, but it would be a prosperous nation. They found out really quick that it doesn't work and ened up resorting to trying to force people to play the "from each according to his ability to each according to his needs" game. Forcing someone to play this way is the definition of slavery. It didn't work for them and it obviously would not fly here on any level.

    Relying on the generosity and good will of others for your own survival without contributing back is exactly what people living on the street are doing. If an open-source project doesn't contribute to those who develop it, it will not survive any better than people living on the street do now.

    I do hope that this is something that ESR understands. I'm assuming he does since the alternative is just too disturbing.

    Lee Reynolds
  • Tell me how FreeBSD is supposed to be significantly better than Linux in any way and I just might take you off my Bozo list. The momentum that Linux has along with its massive developer base means that as time goes by any truly significant benefits of FreeBSD have been and will continue to be rendered moot. Using and advocting something like FreeBSD just because its the obscure platform doesn't impress anyone any more than it did when Linux was the obscure platform being advocated.

    I use FreeBSD myself as well as OpenBSD and NetBSD on a Quadra 700. I've also got an HP9000 712/100 running HP-UX. Of them all I like HP-UX the best because its performance under heavy load is truly amazing. But I know that as time goes by Linux's performance in this area will overtake and suprass that of HP-UX.

    Lee Reynolds
  • Linux can't be killed by the lousy business decisions of any one company, unlike the Amiga. The Amiga was proprietary, whereas Linux is anything but.

    The success of the PC is due to the fact that it was and is an open platform. Microsoft literally rode the wave created by this open standard to where it is now. Linux is a similar wave in and of itself.

    Lee Reynolds
  • I can tell from your language alone that I've been around a lot longer than you have. I remember when Microsoft was still making Apple II products and the PC was hardly the clear winner of the desktop race that it has been for the past decade.

    You've completely missed my point to boot. Do you know what an open platform is? Microsofts products represent proprietary solutions that became defacto standards because they were tied to a hardware platform that was not proprietary.
  • IDE RAID is silly. For one thing, you need to turn off the write buffering for the IDE drive or you can corrupt data if your power fails.
    If you're using RAID in the first place, not having a UPS would be silly.
    Do the right thing and use SCSI.
    Doing the "right thing" costs money. In an ideal world, you use a hot-swappable SCSI hardware RAID device with redundant power supplies and separate UPSes running off of different power lines leaving your facility at opposite ends of the building and heading to separate substations. That's neither affordable nor reasonable for all applications. IDE software RAID is a bargain-basement solution, but sometimes that's all you really need.
  • You forgot the more vital question:

    How many would still live if the project lead lost interest, decided to work on something else, or had no time for the project any more.

    My guess is not many.

    This is exactly the question people face with XFS (though to a lesser extent because it has probably reached a critical mass) - if SGI doesn't support development any more, who will? Will it just stagnate now, remain at v1.0 forever and never make the kernel proper?
  • The sysadmins did some network moves last night, and messed it up. The xfs web site it back on
    line again. Phew!

  • I'm somewhat baffled by some of these developers lack of funding. Surely many know how good the open source OS' are, yet within the past two months we're seeing that not even free is a good enough price for many to pay. Ok so we all know how expensive it can be for hosting, development work, etc., but what amazes me is that none of these developers seem to look to the community who uses their products in order to get some financial help.

    Frankly it's simple, regardless of what anyone thinks, create a pay pal account and have donations come in for the ongoing development of software. Sure many are going to argue that removes the purpose of free open source, but the fact is, it still is free although a donation is helpful. This would not fall along the lines of shareware since it isn't coded with time based mechanisms to render obsolete after X amount of days.

    As for hosting or something similar, we know that becomes expensive as well, but there are many alternatives to going out and renting co-lo space for some of these project. Ask around, there are many people who would assist, personally if a developer asked me, I'd gladly host their site without thinking twice as a way of giving back for the software I use.

    Are things all coming down to someone not being able to afford to do something? If that's the case it's the poorest excuse in the book in my eyes. Eazel, Slackware, Mandrake (although its denied), and the list seems to get one shop longer it seems every other week. Understandably people move on from their projects, which is something that puzzles me as well. If you're no longer going to develop a certain product many use, why not put out the source for someone to continue on?

    Sourcforge is a nice repository for the code, and I'm sure the ethical developer to take over would keep copyrights in tact. It's disturbing to see something free, and kick ass become such a burden. In theory it should be the other way around... What a puzzling Internet we surf in isn't it?
  • (just noticed my subjects make little sense most times... oh well)

    Figure a coder makes US$40,000 a year minimum. That's a LOT of Paypal donations - I've never
    heard of anything like this happening.

    Lets guesstimate there are about 20,000 concerned Unix users who decide "Oh what the hell it's only a $2 pay pal donation" it could happen. The fact remains has anyone tried it, people likely have also said... "Linux sounds like a funny OS it couldn't happen, I've never heard of anything like this." get the picture?

    This doesn't include the other expenses folks have that are usually supplied by an employer like machines, bandwidth, conferences with hotel & travel, books, etc.

    Someone point me in the right place to look here. Theo Deraadt travels a'la donations sent in from people purchasing OpenBSD, and he loves what he does. Many people may not see eye to eye with him as a person for one reason or another, but he's accomplished a heck of a lot.

    Hosting a popular site costs thousands of dollars a month in bandwidth alone. Great you'll offer up your server - howzabout when it's a few meg for the installable and a few thousand folks dl it, gonna keep offering it up?

    What are you talking about SourceForge, and a handful of others offer space, and if I had to do it I would. I'm not concerned with what's coming in and out of my network since it's free. ALL FREE, an nice pipe without any concerns, and if someone were offered it without any strings, yet they still made an excuse, then they should comment on the entire scope of the problem as opposed to making it a financial thing.

    Whattabout when the script-kiddy vermin start trying to take you down?

    Been there, done that, its definitely nothing new to my site, that's the last of my concerns.

    Finally what's this about lost code? It's all Open Source - none of the projects you've listed have lost any code. What they've lost is momentum and what was in folks heads, the reasons why decisions were made and the intimate knowledge of the code being worked on day in & out.

    Maybe I should have phrased it better (little sleep does that) When projects go under, one seldom sees anything return from that project. There were plenty of minor OS' that were developed that have nothing to show for themselves, and the code may still be around, but developmental code often gets lost in the sauce. Personally I think the remains of it all should be posted should someone else have an insight to continue on with some of the work someone else never got a chance to finish
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @05:32AM (#197326) Homepage Journal
    I just finished converting my server to XFS and LVM. This is a great combination: no fscks if the UPS dies, big file systems, access control lists for fine-grained control of permissions, the ability to add grow the file system without having to recopy everything, file system snapshots for easy and consistant backups.

    I am just waiting for XFS to make it into the kernel proper (and kdb, as well. As a developer I'm drooling over getting that in place), and for the major distros to support installing to an LVM group from the start. Now that the SGI team is in scramble mode that means I'll probably have to wait longer. Damn.

    In the future, I see the average home having a data server in the basement, right next to the hot water server, the hot/cold air server, and the electricity server (breaker panel). I see this server as a faceless box, much like a breaker panel, with slots that take hot-plug disk drives. Need more storage for video on demand/music/cache (no, I'm not going to use the p-word here. Grow up.), just plug a new drive in. The system sees the drive, formats it, adds it to the arrays, and away you go. Linux is getting to where it could do that. XFS/LVM/RAID are damn important....
  • Guess what will happen when they finally make the 1.0 release of Mozilla?

    Look - AOL is bankrolling Mozilla. Even if they are continuing to use IE on Windows, the money they are investing is trivial compared to the comfort of knowing that Microsoft has no leverage in removing access to their browser.

    AOL has a yearly gross of 4-6 BILLION. The investment in programmers for mozilla is about 5-10 million. And for that, they can make mozilla stay up to date, and ready for use as AOL's browser when and if they should need it.

    And that leaves them free to use IE in exchange for being on every desktop on first boot. And that is the true value to AOL.

  • (A thousand pardons for this possible offtopic troll, but, I could not resist the venue. It seemed relevent given some of the talk about the strength of SGI's sputtering revenue stream.)

    Any word on if/when SGI's ZX10 [sgi.com] could run Linux?

    Marketing hint: I don't think I'm the only one that is dying to see a Linux desktop solution that took advantage of:
    • low cost COTS x86 hardware
    • rock solid, nonproprietary, free OS
    • but with professional level hardware OpenGL video card.

    We're looking to replace some aging RISC workstations with x86 hardware and Linux, but the last bullet is holding us back from the decision.

  • I got the impression that the ZX10 was the next level up in performance from the 550.

    For the 550: how does it compare in, say, SPECglperf numbers against the top of the line workstations like SGI/MIPS/Irix, HP/PA-RISC, IBM, Sun, etc? Linux support for consumer cards like nvidea is OK, but what about things like FireGL and oxygen hardware?

    I'd like to see top end performance, but with a low price so that $/SPECglperf for my machine is the best it can be.

    We're looking at an HP Linux system with fx5 and fx10 graphics cards that look pretty fast. I was thinking that, if history is any guide, SGI could provide the fastest OpenGL graphics solution. In this case, though, we'd like the low price, too, instead of shelling out big bucks for some RealityEngine or whatever the MIPS solution is that they offer.

  • I'm somewhat baffled by some of these developers lack of funding.

    Baffled? Have you ever used an SGI machine? they're just SHIT! They cost a fortune, they depreciate to a value of 5 - 10% of their original price in just a couple years -- AND -- SGI is *always* trying to get you to get on a contract with them so you can pay them lots of money to *DO NOTHING*.

    Lemme give you a for instance, We have a 37,000$ Octane we bought in 97 or 98 where I work ... These machines now routinely sell for 1500 - 3000$ on ebay depending on their configuration ... Worst of all, the machine has never had any proper use ... IRIX dosen't come with a compiler!! Our 37,000$ machine didn't come with a compiler, or even an IRIX cd incase we needed to reinstall ... when you finally get gcc running (which is a hack -- as (the assembler) dosen't support this architecture) it can only compile 32 bit programs, and IRIX differs enough from standard "UNIX" (mostly in kernel headers and such) that NOTHING WILL COMPILE!

    This is why SGI is going out of business -- overpriced hardware -- shitty OS -- all company policies designed to get you to buy a support contract ... [you can't even get bugfixes for the OS without a support contract! (this isn't quite true, they'll give you security fixes, but everything else your on your own)]

    Anticdote: I went to see an admin who was my superior where I work about what I could go to get my SGI's up and running and he says "Nothing, don't mess with them they're a pain in the ass." He then points to a STACK of half a dozen SGI workstations that hes not using

  • Yep - we use a 3ware controller with 5 75GB ide drives, using linux 2.2.18 and ReiserFS. Our uptime right now is 126 days - when I finished putting the hardware together. The linux distro we are using is Redhat 5.1 (long story).

    I'm really impressed by the 3ware product.


  • Personally I think the remains of it all should be posted should someone else have an insight to continue on with some of the work someone else never got a chance to finish

    I think SourceForge goes a long way towards that.

  • IDE RAID is silly. For one thing, you need to turn off the write buffering for the IDE drive or you can corrupt data if your power fails. Do the right thing and use SCSI.
  • I know that as time goes by Linux's performance in this area will overtake and suprass that of HP-UX.

    And how is it that you "know" this. My own opinion on the matter is that Linux is playing catch up and will still be playing catch up after HP-UX and other major unix vendors have moved on.

    Also, as to FreeBSD, I've found the -stable branch to be much more stable than the supposedly "stable" branch of Linux. I've had filesystem corruption problems on running filesystems (and totally swapping hardware did not help) in 2.2 kernels as late as 2.2.14. I'm still not going to trust 2.4 in production systems until around 2.4.10. The Linux kernel coding community just doesn't seem to adhere to particularly strong standards of "stability."

    I also hate the binary distribution method. There are problems that I run into with the ports tree in FreeBSD from time-to-time, but they don't compare with the glibc-du-jour headache that I get with linux (very similar to the Windoze DLL versioning problems that contribute to the instability of that O/S). Recompiling RPMs is always an "option" but since less attention is paid to people recompiling RPMs this option seems to have much more trouble than the FBSD ports tree when you have a differently configured system than the person who built the RPM.

  • I would also like to second this proposition. I attended an SGI Linux univesity road tour about a year 1/2 ago. I watched a detailed presentation about XFS and the potential benefits that such a filesystem would have on Linux. I walked away completely blown away and totally impressed by the capabilities of XFS.

    It is also important to note, XFS and CXFS (clustered XFS) will push Linux right into SAN territory. Add to that ACL's + Samba 2.2 and you have a drop in replacement for a win2k PDC. It is high time to push these capabilities in tech articles and in the press. We all hear how great of a web server/firewall/embedded OS Linux is, but I have yet to see a company try to heavily market their distro as a PDC replacement. However, XFS gives us these capabilities and more.

    The presentation which I attended was given by Laura Shepard. This same presentation was recorded and put on the web in realplayer format for all who are interested. The presentation is here [] and a powerpoint presentation about XFS is here. [] XFS has tremendous potential and I for one am grateful to SGI for releasing such a high quality product for Linux.
  • keep XFS alive. i've been using the latest release for a mp3 player in my car. works like a charm! keep up the good work!
  • I guess there's no big suprise here... In fact it's kind of sad it had to affect such a publicly visible project in order for there to be a discussion on the issue. OSS developers need to eat too. Linus and Larry Wall have good deals because people are signing paychecks for them to do OSS work. Most of us are not so lucky. We need paying jobs in order to allow us the freedom (financial and time-wise) to contribute to OSS. As much as we hate to admit it, Microsoft might be right on one issue, OSS and commercial software development are joined at the hip. Where one goes, the other will follow.


  • Does anyone know if the OpenOffice IRIX port is still going to happen after this? It appears Jeff Hanson at SGI was responsible for the project and I was looking forward to using a decent office suite on IRIX. It appears OpenOffice/StarOffice does not like to run back across from a remote X display.
  • There is one point to consider.. SGI has been quite good at creating a community of developers around XFS. This means that the folks who are laid off can find work at another company to continue work on the same project.

    This is a great benefit of open source software. In a closed source situation you could never again work on a project you've contributed your entire lifeblood to.

    Another point, if your project becomes unsupported you can take your skills AND the code to another company, or start one up on your own.

    Just a few more ways that open source is good for software developers!
  • A very good detailed (again, DETAILED!) piece : )

    I'd like to take a moment and second that plea. XFS looks like, at least on paper, as the most promising general purpose jfs in the bunch, IMHO.

    For some reason, and I strongly believe it's political, it's not in the official kernel. Even as "experimental" as reiser is. Even though SGI has declared the project stable enough for this step.

    IMHO this is the second great addition SGI has given that has been so far rejected, the first being the kernel debugger.

    Why are these projects being blocked? I have no idea. Ultimately, the user should be given the choice of whether they would like to run jfs/xfs/reiser/ext3 etc., and also whether he/she would like to debug with printk's or kdb., etc., etc.

    my two cents...
  • I've never heard of anything like this happening.

    There is a first time for everything.....

  • by zimav.com ( 455132 ) on Saturday May 26, 2001 @12:09AM (#197342)
    I really hope someone will pick up maintaining XFS as a full-time project. Currently I work far to many hours for far too little pay to do It myself. I've managed to patch linux-2.4.4 > linux-2.4.5-pre5-xfs. I'm not too familiar with the linux source tree but I'll continue my work. I've found XFS to be 100% rock solid with filesystems up to 1TB under extremely high I/O loads. I don't know about fs sizes higher, however I've also done extensive tests for files sizes greater than 200GB without any problems. I'm extremely impressed with XFS's performance in handling directories containing more than 32768 files. Also I hate to do this but I must give a plug to 3ware for their DE RAID cards, they are by far the most mature RAID solution for linux and they kick ass! So basically all I've got to say is, (from my perspective) IDE RAID+XFS kicks ass! -zim Christopher Zimmerman AltaVista Company Head Software Engineer Linux Migration Project
  • ReiserFS has already positioned itself as the default JFS for Linux, deserved or not. It's the momentum that's important not the technical excellance.

    I mean, why Linux? There are so many better alternatives to Apple and Microsoft. FreeBSD for the cheap guys. BeOS for the less cheap guys. Linux just doesn't make sense.

    -- PhireWerkz
    -- 2600 is as arbitrary as it seems.

  • Now that I'm used to getting all this software for free, I find it hard to justify paying people to 'code' it. I hope I'm not just part of the problem.

    I really need some software that just jumps out and says, "pay for me, you won't regret it. Actually you'll get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you put food on the table of a Pakistani immigrant making chump change for *insert mega-soft-corp*."

    -- 2600 is as arbitrary as it seems.

  • Is there any goodwill left? It seems like SGI's XFS is the superior journaled file system, yet ReiserFS is getting all the hoopla. Yet nobody seems to know why.

    This is a disturbing development.

  • 1.Your typical dual-NFS/SMB file server administrator
    What about Macs? Doesn't anyone use netatalk?
    A modified RPM set and Anaconda installer, including a bootable, pre-mastered ISO CD, that allows XFS to be installed alongside a stock RedHat distribution. This is especially sweet IMHO.

    BTW, for people having trouble finding it, the website is at http://http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson