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Btrfs Could Be the Default File System In Ubuntu Meerkat 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the shake-things-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The EXT family of file systems (ext2, ext3, ext4) have ruled many Linux distributions for a long time, and Ubuntu has been no exception. But things may no longer be the same for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Canonical's Scott James Remnant said in a blog post that plans are on for doing work to have btrfs as an installation option, and that the possibility of making it the default file system in Ubuntu 10.10 has not been ruled out."
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Btrfs Could Be the Default File System In Ubuntu Meerkat

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  • please... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:37PM (#32213520)

    wait until it is more stable than ext4 is right now. I picked ext4 when I installed 10.04 last week, and it caused data corruption on the first boot. Just saying.

  • ZFS comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzo&yahoo,com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:42PM (#32213580) Homepage Journal
    Alternately, you could consider using ZFS if you can live with the uncertainty of the opensolaris project. The major plus is that all the functionality is already there.

    ZFS has all the features that btrfs hopes to achieve already, plus major speed increases when using an SSD drive. When you have a read taking place in .3 ms instead of 9 ms, the speed increases are incredible.

    My hope is that ZFS can be salvaged after Oracle decides what to do with the opensolaris project. If it's on linux, even better.
  • by pwagland (472537) on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:47PM (#32213636) Journal
    From the article:

    It’s a tough gauntlet, and it would only made with the knowledge that production servers and desktops can be run on Lucid as a fully supported version of Ubuntu at the same time. I’d give it a 1-in-5 chance.

    There are quite a few pre-conditions for it to be made alpha, so it is not as likely as the summary makes it out to be.

  • features (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:52PM (#32213692) Homepage
    The main Btrfs features include:

    Extent based file storage (2^64 max file size)
    Space efficient packing of small files
    Space efficient indexed directories
    Dynamic inode allocation
    Writable snapshots
    Subvolumes (separate internal filesystem roots)
    Object level mirroring and striping
    Checksums on data and metadata (multiple algorithms available)
    Compression
    Integrated multiple device support, with several raid algorithms
    Online filesystem check
    Very fast offline filesystem check
    Efficient incremental backup and FS mirroring
    Online filesystem defragmentation
    Currently the code is in an early implementation phase, and not all of these have yet been implemented. See the Development timeline for detailed release plans.

    https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Main_Page
  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:55PM (#32213724)

    Alternately, you could consider using ZFS if you can live with the uncertainty of the opensolaris project. The major plus is that all the functionality is already there.

    Don't forget that FreeBSD has a native implementation of ZFS as well. (You can also get ZFS for FUSE, but as such it's probably not suited for a main file system.)

  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:5, Informative)

    by phoenix_rizzen (256998) on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:55PM (#32213732)

    ZFS is also available in FreeBSD 7.0 and later. It's even marked as "production quality" in FreeBSD 8.0 and later.

    It's a few versions behind (ZFSv14) OpenSolaris (ZFSv24), but on par with Solaris 10 (ZFSv15). FreeBSD 8.1 should have ZFSv15 in it by the time it's released this summer. And there's work ongoing to bring ZFSv20-something into 9.0.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @05:58PM (#32213752)

    Btrfs will be the default filesystem for MeeGo:

    http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.handhelds.meego.devel/1510 [gmane.org]

  • Re:Encryption? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:02PM (#32213794)
  • by Artifakt (700173) on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:20PM (#32213990)

    Reiser is basically out - it's simply not being developed fast enough to keep up with the curve. EXT 4 seems unstable.
          (Just my humble opinion, but I went back to EXT 3 for a complete reinstall of Kubuntu 9.4 after giving it a try for a good 3 months, and I've been installing various Linux's since stormlinux back in 2001. I haven't completely wiped an install (well, not at the cost of losing any data that might have even minimal value at all) and rebuilt from scratch in years, outside of that one case.).
            EXT 3 is sufficient for most users needs, probably 90% of users overall, but I have to respect the ones who feel its limits - they are probably right to chafe under them. People do the damnedest things with Linux, and some of those things genuinely need very specific, perhaps idiosyncratic journaling methods, and other specialised file management techniques.

  • Poor Reiser... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mangu (126918) on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:33PM (#32214156)

    He imported a Russian wife just to get rid of the old geeks-have-no-girlfriends jokes. Now he has created a brand new kind of geek joke.

  • by XCondE (615309) on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:50PM (#32214376) Homepage
    Really? Are we still doing that?
  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:56PM (#32214454)

    ...except it's not production quality. Please skim the past 6-8 months of posts to the freebsd-fs and freebsd-stable lists: you'll be surprised at the number of error reports.

    Booting from a ZFS pool on FreeBSD is also somewhat broken; users are still reporting issues with it, and booting from raidz still doesn't appear possible. Supposedly booting from a ZFS mirror works.

    Simply put: if you want to use ZFS and expect stability, run OpenSolaris or Solaris 10.

  • Re:Right (Score:5, Informative)

    by diegocg (1680514) on Friday May 14, 2010 @07:08PM (#32214576)

    Indeed. Btrfs is still making disk format changes. They aren't very serious, but hey, they are there. Not a sign of stability, no matter how much cheksumming you throw at it.

  • Re:volume management (Score:5, Informative)

    by diegocg (1680514) on Friday May 14, 2010 @07:27PM (#32214810)

    Obviously, Btrfs also does volume management without LVM. It even manages to do better than ZFS in some areas, for example Btrfs can reduce the pool capacity easily thanks to back references [kernel.org] (a new and cool fs technique which is being incorporated to Btrfs), whereas ZFS still can't reduce the capacity of a pool and it will take a lot of complexity to implement it (you really should read the link)

  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday May 14, 2010 @08:32PM (#32215444)

    Or you can run FreeBSD 8, which has ZFS and has had DTrace for a while now.

  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:27PM (#32216742)

    FreeBSD 8-STABLE is now at zfs pool version 14 and you can now boot from zfs directly if you wish so. I don't because, well I use full disk encryption with geli so I need a separate boot partition anyway. And though my laptop indeed have 4GB of memory, I still have 2.5GB free after a few hours of using Gnome, Firefox, Thunderbird, PostgreSQL and a bunch of xterm... Although I use usb keys, webcam, mouse, printer, I don't have any usb related problems so I guess I'm just lucky.

    All in all, it beats the crap out of using Linux with ext2/3/4 and LVM. Try to use snapshots on LVM and you'll quickly find why it's a bad idea. The good news is that with btrfs, Linux may catch up to where FreeBSD is now in 2-3 years time.

    Oh, by the way, as an added bonus you completely avoid the clusterfuck of alsa/pulseaudio...

  • Re:ZFS comparison (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:29AM (#32217434)

    ZFS v14 is supported in 8.0-STABLE.
    The 4GB "requirement" for things to run smooth also exists in OpenSolaris; ZFS creators said on an ACM interview a while back they weren't expecting that 64 bit computing would take several years to become mainstream, ZFS is designed to be run with lots of memory and in 64 bit, regardless the underlying operating system. That said, you can always adjust and/or disable the arc cache - I have FreeBSD ZFS fileservers running on i386 with 2G, without any major issues. Btw, I think that the arc cache is disabled by default
    I do agree that there is no easy way to do root-on-zfs on FreeBSD, but it's not like it won't run. The sysinstall is in desperate need of a major update (no geom raid support, no zfs support, no gpt support), but you CAN boot 8.0-STABLE to zfs directly. With 8.0-RELEASE, the zfs-aware bootloader wasn't installed by default, but meanwhile that was changed. Yes, the install process is mostly manual, but it's not like there is no documentation, and the process itself should be straightforward to any seasoned unix administrator.

  • by sick_soul (794596) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @05:20AM (#32218238)

    I find some of the features interesting, but until these problems are solved, I will not try it out.

    https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Gotchas [kernel.org]

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