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Data Storage Red Hat Software Upgrades Linux

Fedora 16 To Use Btrfs Filesystem By Default 198

Posted by timothy
from the taking-a-bold-line dept.
dkd903 writes "According to proposals for Fedora 16, Btrfs will be the default filesystem used in that release. The proposal has been approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In Fedora 16, the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs will be a 'simple switch' — it means that major Btrfs features such as RAID and LVM capabilities will not be forced onto users."
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Fedora 16 To Use Btrfs Filesystem By Default

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  • by Denogh (2024280) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:11AM (#36387620)
    Oh wait... I'm a dummy that can't read.
  • Sources for this? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dan Dankleton (1898312) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:15AM (#36387656)

    Surely there could be a better source for this than one blog post (I know, high UID so I must be new here.)

    But linking to something like http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/F16BtrfsDefaultFs [fedoraproject.org] or http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.devel/149196/focus%3D149215 [gmane.org] to lend a little authority might have been nice...

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:24AM (#36387774) Homepage

    Yes, and? I thought it was well known that fedora is the test bed for RHEL.

  • by Zoidmann (869204) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:26AM (#36387796)
    It seems like they haven't: https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/FAQ#When_will_Btrfs_have_a_fsck_like_tool [kernel.org]

    Hopefully they know something about it being released soon since making the decision to use it.
  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:39AM (#36387976) Homepage Journal

    Pretty sure default filesystem != mandatory. They're not going to suddenly drop support for ext*.

    No, but you may have to know how to get it.
    If you install from a LiveCD, which is the default method of install, and the only one you'll see unless you dive deep down on the Fedora site, you have to use the file system they give you. You can change partitioning and much else, but not the file system type. If you do, the installation will fail, telling you that you have to use the same file system as the CD image.

    To get an image that lets you choose the file system without erroring out if you do, you have to (at present):
    - Instead of "Download Now", click "More option"
    - Instead of one of the many options listed there, click "All download methods" hidden on the bottom right.
    - Choose one of the packages under "Install Media" section.

    If you don't, you can, at present, choose any file system you want, as long as it's ext4. Presumably, with F16, it will be btrfs.

    This jumping through hoops seems to be deliberate by Fedora to get people to not use the full install DVDs, but install through a LiveCD instead.

    As I need extended metadata support for Samba to support full CIFS compatibility including advanced permissions, there's really only one performance file system to choose: xfs

    Btrfs won't be touching my machines until it's forked away from Oracle.

  • by BrentH (1154987) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:42AM (#36387994)

    The fact that you don't see how a filesystem integrated snapshot function could make a difference tells me that you've never used anything like that. And your alternative of managing partitions and 'backups' tell me that you certainly have never tried to manage anything like this on a scale beyond your own machines.

    Let me tell you, ZFS-like snapshots are the best improvement to computing since proper multi-user systems. It makes managing file security and integrity so, so much easier, and at almost no cost. (and by ZFS-like I mean with the ease and speed of ZFS, I've not yet seen much numbers on BTRFS performance)

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:46AM (#36388030) Homepage Journal

    . The btrfs command-line tool is, well, rather incomplete and somewhat buggy, like e.g. when I query 'btrfs fi df /media/Storage2' -- with Storage2 being the raid1 pool -- it reports the size and usage of the smallest disk on it, not the whole thing. I don't understand why.

    With RAID 1 (simple mirroring), your volume is limited to the smallest of the components. A 40 GB and a 2 TB drive put together yields a 40 GB RAID 1 volume.

  • by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:56AM (#36388148) Homepage

    Much like ZFS, mdadm will simply be replaced with another set of commands. If a drive crashes and the array is not correctly set up, you will also lose data and it will be a pain in the butt to repair it (I've done ZFS recovery of a corrupted pool, no fun). Again, RAID (or any software checksum based alternative) is not a backup. You should have hourly/daily/weekly snapshots and backups depending on the importance of your data.

    The good thing about ZFS and Btrfs vs RAID is that they fail graciously. Most of the time it will be able to indicate which files are corrupt, allow you to mount read only and at least copy portions of it over so there is some more intelligence built-in than a simple XOR but that's just the progression of technology.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @10:13AM (#36388356) Homepage Journal

    With RAID 0 you get twice the amount of the smallest unit.
    Using a 40 GB and an 2 TB HD will give you an 80 GB RAID 0.

  • by cratermoon (765155) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @10:22AM (#36388490) Homepage

    It says right here on the btrfs wiki [kernel.org]: "While Btrfs is stable on a stable machine, it is currently possible to corrupt a filesystem irrecoverably if your machine crashes or loses power on disks that don't handle flush requests correctly. This will be fixed when the fsck tool is ready. "

    So I'd say yah, that's a pretty important piece to be missing if you're talking about making it the default for a distro, even one as free-wheeling as Fedor.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @10:33AM (#36388672) Homepage

    So, I'm a Gentoo Dev and I'd qualify that statement a little. Gentoo tends to make a lot of stuff available very early, but it doesn't tend to go all-in with experimental stuff for the base user experience. The default Gentoo stable experience is legacy Grub, for example. And Gentoo hasn't bought into Unity/Systemd/etc. Although, there is talk of adding systemd to the list, and Chrome OS is a Gentoo-based distro that uses unity - so clearly it can be done.

    Gentoo tends to be about giving users a default experience that is reasonably stable, but making it a lot easier for users to branch out and try different things, while still keeping much of the update automation in place.

    Gentoo tends to be less about the polished desktop experience, so I suspect we'll always lag something like Ubuntu in that regard - at least when it comes to ripping apart everything and trying something new.

  • by Mullen (14656) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @10:37AM (#36388754)

    I have seen this issue with other filesystems. It comes from when the hard drives *lie* to the RAID or I/O controller stating that they don't buffer or are not buffering when in reality, they are. It's really frustrating since you can't trust the drives have written out the data.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday June 09, 2011 @12:34PM (#36390748)

    ZFS still has a lot btrfs doesn't:

    64 bit CRC support so disk corruption is caught.
    RAID 5/6
    Block level deduplication
    Encryption

    ZFS also replaces the LVM layer, making write performance on raid-Z a lot better than a filesystem + LVM layer.

    This isn't to say btrfs is bad, but until dedupe is added, it will be a generation behind the competition.

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