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Reiser4 File System Still In Development

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the despite-it-all dept.

Data Storage 317

An anonymous reader writes "Reiser4 still hasn't been merged into the mainline Linux kernel, but it's still being worked on by a small group of developers following Hans Reiser being convicted for murdering his wife. Reiser4 was updated in September on SourceForge to work with the Linux 3.5 kernel and has been benchmarked against EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and ReiserFS. Reiser4 loses out in most of the Linux file-system performance tests, has much stigma due to Hans Reiser, and Btrfs is surpassing it feature-wise, so does it have any future in Linux ahead?"

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317 comments

Rename it (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41667867)

If you can find any name that's not related to murdering your wife, go for it. Bonus points if it's catchy.

Re:Rename it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667887)

If you can find any name that's not related to murdering your wife, go for it. Bonus points if it's catchy.

My vote for MRDRFS.

Re:Rename it (5, Funny)

tobiasly (524456) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668581)

REDRUMFS. As long as you don't use it for mirroring, no one will know.

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668635)

nice one. I'd use it in an instant but I don't have a FB account so that may be why I have been using ReiserFS for a while :)

Re:Rename it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668599)

REDRUMFS

Re:Rename it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667919)

If you can find any name that's not related to murdering your wife, go for it. Bonus points if it's catchy.

Blake fs? OJfs is pretty catchy.

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667981)

GNU/LinusFS2

But hey, what's in a name?

Re:Rename it (-1, Troll)

Floyd-ATC (2619991) | about a year and a half ago | (#41667997)

Can you honestly tell me the thought of murdering your spouse never crossed your mind?

Re:Rename it (4, Funny)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668083)

You're talking to people who can't find a spouse, they're totally in another world of reality. The shock of waking up next to a living, breathing woman every day would be enough to keep them in newlywed shock for 50 years.

Re:Rename it (3)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668413)

Murder, no. Wondering how awful a future apart from her would be, yes.
Overall, the known negatives of separation outweigh the potential positives by orders of magnitude.

Re:Rename it (4, Funny)

Shark (78448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668617)

Let me guess... She reads Slashdot and you're covering your ass?

Re:Rename it (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668679)

Nothing quite as romantic as weighing the positives and negatives of murdering your spouse.

Piss off. Seriously. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668465)

Fuck you and your misogyny. Why women get to be punching bags for frustrated men is totally beyond me or any other sane person. No one, regardless their dispositions, deserves even the thought of violence. If you are really that unhappy, become unmarried. You can do that these days, you know?

Re:Rename it (2)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668005)

THIS. At least rename the project FFS. Nobody would want " Ted Kaczynski FS" on their computer.

Call it "rfs" or something if you want to keep some tie with the original.

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668149)

LINUX! At least rename the project. Nobody would want "John Operating System" on their computer.

Call it "LUX" or something if you want to keep some tie with the original.

Re:Rename it (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668197)

At least rename the project FFS

Catchy name...

Re:Rename it (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668277)

Hah! Didn't even realize that. "FFS" wouldn't be a bad name. :-)

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668327)

FFS is the Amiga Fast File System.

The name has been used, but one might argue that it is no longer in use.

-JaceFuse

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668451)

FFS is a BSD filesystem

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668031)

General Information Management Protocol ..... oh crap!

Why does FOSS always get the catchy acronyms first?

KillerFS (5, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668133)

If you can't change it, embrace it!
People always say X is the killer FS, no Y is the killer FS. Well, this one really is.

Dark humor aside, back in 2003-2004 in my university lab we were running a project that required processing of massive amounts of small files. I had trial runs over the linux file systems of the era and Reiser (I guess version 3 back then?) was so much faster in that context that it could actually save significant processing time. So it I always thought it a real shame that the main developer committed murder and development pretty much stopped back then. Yeah, there are now faster and better FSs, but perhaps Reiser would be a great option as well.

Re:Rename it (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668195)

No point. I mean Henry Ford was an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer, but they didn't change the company name because of that. Need to separate the person from the product.

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668461)

MonkFS

Re:Rename it (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668527)

If you can find any name that's not related to murdering your wife, go for it.

Take a page out of the Android playbook only instead of naming the releases after something sweet, name them after a man convicted of murdering his wife.

Re:Rename it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668531)

If I switch my wife Ubuntu laptop's filesystems to Reiser4, will I benefit from the special feature [wikipedia.org] mentioned in the far right column? If so, I'll switch tonight...

Re:Rename it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668709)

How about OjFS or OzFS? - Of course 'O' stands for open.

Bug fixes? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667869)

Have they fixed the whole "Murders your Wife" bug? Or is it a feature?

http://www.murderfs.com/

Time to let it go... (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41667881)

One of the strneghts, and weaknesses, of the OSS community is trying bunches of things in parrell to see which ones pan out well. But after a point, it is probably better to just like a project die. Granted no one can tell the individual developers what is 'worth' their time since that is a personal matter, I am sure other projects could use their talents more then this one. ReiserFS is a solution looking for a problem where better solutions surpass it.

Re:Time to let it go... (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668053)

What's also key is that the better points of ReiserFS, such as journaling, have migrated into other file systems. The experiment wasn't a failure, it was a darn good idea that has led to an overall improvement in reliability and speed of other file systems.

Re:Time to let it go... (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668107)

I've been watching Btrfs and it feels like they're merging in most of the features Reiser had in mind without saying so explicitly. I've considered it a spiritual successor for a while now.

Re:Time to let it go... (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668367)

Protip: if you want your FOSS project to move forward and match the features of other technologies, and enrich the community AND yourself, DON'T MURDER YOUR WIFE.

Re:Time to let it go... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668063)

One of the strneghts, and weaknesses, of the OSS community is trying bunches of things in parrell to see which ones pan out well. But after a point, it is probably better to just like a project die. Granted no one can tell the individual developers what is 'worth' their time since that is a personal matter, I am sure other projects could use their talents more then this one. ReiserFS is a solution looking for a problem where better solutions surpass it.

Yes, let the project die. And bury it. Out in the woods somewhere. After reading a book about how to retire a project. And be sure to wash the comments out of the repository.

Re:Time to let it go... (3, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668167)

Reiser4 was supposed to give us a different way of working with file metadata by making files into directories, was supposed to allow us to set different file permissions on every line of /etc/passwd, or maybe every field. All those features were dropped though, so what's the point now when other filesystems are further ahead in other areas?

Re:Time to let it go... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668577)

Did we quit after the Germans bombed Perl Harbor? I don't know. But I do know that winners never quit and quitters never win.

Re:Time to let it go... (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668219)

One of the strneghts, and weaknesses, of the OSS community is trying bunches of things in parrell to see which ones pan out well. But after a point, it is probably better to just like a project die.

...And then take all the seats out of your car and tell the police that you haven't seen the project for months.

lol...uh, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667907)

Nope...time to say buh bye.

What are we really talking about here? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41667915)

Would we even be bothered in following this kind of story if it weren't for the murder? If not than just let it go now.

Re:What are we really talking about here? (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668437)

ReiserFS was the best FS out there for a while. This is the next version of it. I'm curious about it, just for that reason.

Re:What are we really talking about here? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668593)

No it was "the best" for a small segment of benchmarks.

Suggested name change (0)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#41667937)

Make it more popular (or less unpopular, as it were), by giving it a name change.

Call it 'RicerFS', and make everyone compile it from sources only (especially for Gentoo users).

Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week.

Re:Suggested name change (2)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668013)

It would need a lot more configurable flags and useless values to tweak for us Gentoo folks to take it up. :-)

Re:Suggested name change (1)

Anrego (830717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668085)

Kidding aside and as a fellow Gentoo user, I've actually found a lot of those use flags have gone away and been replaced with high level feature level flags. I mean there are still the classics and my package.use is fairly long.. but it's definitely improved (or gotten worse depending on your viewpoint) in the last few years..

Hey Beavis.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668661)

He said his package.use is long.

Murder joke thread! (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41667957)

There's going to be a few off color jokes. May as well get started.

* It's a killer filesystem.

* My disk died. Was ReiserFS the murderer?

* It's more cutting edge than Reiser's knife.

Re:Murder joke thread! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668345)

* It's more cutting edge than Reiser's knife.

You meant

* It's even faster than Reiser's bullets.

Re:Murder joke thread! (2)

Ja'Achan (827610) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668565)

A couple celebrating their 75th anniversary was asked if they ever considered divorce. "Divorce?" said the one, "no, never. Murder, sure, but never divorce."

Re:Murder joke thread! (1)

Linzer (753270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668589)

* It's more cutting edge than Reiser's knife.

I think the classic phrase is, Reiser's razor.

Re:Murder joke thread! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668611)

ReiserFS released... Kills it!

Benchmarks don't matter (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668025)

Sorry for being on topic. I remember discussing this on /. and I'm still kinda surprised Hans actually did it. I still think it was a bad conviction, even if it randomly happened to have turned out to be correct. Kind of like the salem witch trial convictions were wrong, even if we somehow figured out one of them was a real live magical genuine witch after the fact (however unlikely that would be).

Anyway, enough dr phil and now on to IT stuff:

1) Most benchmarks don't matter. Nobody makes money running benchmarks. Because the cost of casting up a production image is virtually (ha ha) zero because of virtualization SW and NAS stuff and puppet and some other tools, its well worth your while to spend an hour or two trying various instrumented FS to see which is fastest under your own workload, unless your workload is so stereotypical you can just rely on the hivemind opinion. Best of all if you can load balance on the FE then run multiple BE each with different FS and if applicable different FS parameters then watch how each FS actually performs under real live load. This is how REAL IT is done, as opposed to "I drunk me an energy drink and got a linux CDrom with this magazine and read me a slashdot article" style IT. I would not be surprised if somebody with some totally werido workload actually benefits off running reiserfs. Its a huge possible solution space and I'm sure it wins somewhere.

2) Check out the contents of something like /lib/modules/"somethin"/kernel/fs. Dude, I've got a minix module which I haven't used production since 1992 ish era (running minix of course). As long as someone, somewhere, has an old disk image from some historical whatever, someone's probably going to want computer archaeologist tools to look at the innards on a modern system. Admittedly for minix and maybe soon reiserfs, they might be better served by something like "mtools for reiserfs" than a kernel module or a FUSE solution, but if someone wants to do something in free software that you don't personally like, well good luck stopping them. Whaddya gonna do, change the license to something non-free just to stop them? Good luck!

Re:Benchmarks don't matter (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668641)

Sorry for being on topic. I remember discussing this on /. and I'm still kinda surprised Hans actually did it. I still think it was a bad conviction, even if it randomly happened to have turned out to be correct. Kind of like the salem witch trial convictions were wrong, even if we somehow figured out one of them was a real live magical genuine witch after the fact (however unlikely that would be).

Yeah, it was so terrible that they had evidence rather than loony conspiracy theories like Hans and his defense attorneys were throwing out. He was not some person being prosecuted for being "weird" or other such nonsense that you defenders kept claiming. He was an emotional and physical abusive asshole who murdered his wife for having the 'audacity' to leave an abusive relationship. He deserves no sympathy.

Double Standard...? (0)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668035)

Einstein did invent the atomic bomb, didn't he...?

That said, sure, strip his name from the file system to dishonour him, but at least acknowledge that we _do_ use all sorts of tech today invented by people who did some pretty bad shit...

Re:Double Standard...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668101)

Maybe you're thinking of Oppenheimer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Robert_Oppenheimer

Re:Double Standard...? (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668141)

Einstein did invent the atomic bomb, didn't he...?

LOL no that's not really his thing. It was a big physics project and he was a physicist some decades before Trinity, but that's about as much connection as exists.

Its like asking who invented the computer (or the internet), the real invention is the very twisty logic required to narrow it down to only and exactly one person.

Re:Double Standard...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668259)

Einstein did invent the atomic bomb, didn't he...?

Its like asking who invented the computer (or the internet), the real invention is the very twisty logic required to narrow it down to only and exactly one person.

That would be Babbage (and Al Gore) right?

Re:Double Standard...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668147)

Yeah, but, this is FOSS we're talking about. Our heroes are often overweight, sexually inactive, have excessive facial hair, eat toejam, kill their spouses, or have serious mental conditions like Asperger's. We've got to sweep a few people under the rug.

Re:Double Standard...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668193)

And Marie Curie invented radiation.

Re:Double Standard...? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668239)

Einstein did invent the atomic bomb, didn't he...?

No [answers.com]. next question

state sponsored development (2)

secondhand_Buddah (906643) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668043)

On the bight side, Hans might have a 20 year all expenses paid development cycle ahead of him. Think of the contribution he could make if allowed to.
Talk about making productive use of prisoners time.

Re:state sponsored development (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668129)

On the bight side, Hans might have a 20 year all expenses paid development cycle ahead of him. Think of the contribution he could make if allowed to.

  Talk about making productive use of prisoners time.

You're right, the Core 2 Duo machine with a SATA-1 7200 rpm disk that he got when he went into the clink will run un-fucking-believably well 20 years from now. That only leaves one problem...

Why would you even care? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668059)

has much stigma due to Hans Reiser

Really? You can't just judge it based on it's features and performance?

So if Linus Torvalds ever commits a crime, you'll stop using Linux?

Re:Why would you even care? (3, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668173)

It's human nature. His name taints his work now. Most people don't want to look at shit while they're eating nor do they want to think of some asshole who killed his wife when formatting a file system.

Re:Why would you even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668397)

That's a good point.

Maybe they should rename it to MonkFS or something.

I never heard about any monk killing his wife...

Re:Why would you even care? (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668249)

I don't get this either. Being a genius doesn't preclude being a tyrant of some form. Being a murdered doesn't preclude being an incredible programmer.

I only wish we could give the guy a keyboard to bang away at in prison ...

Re:Why would you even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668539)

"Being a genius doesn't preclude being a tyrant of some form."

Exactly. Look at Hitler.

Re:Why would you even care? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668409)

Torvalds is smarter than that; Rieser was so smart he thought he could make his issues and problems go away with the power of his mind. Its obvious he was full of himself, read about his story during the trial a few years ago. He defended himself at some point during the trial, that right there is a telling sign of how cuaght up in his own greatness he was.

Re:Why would you even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668525)

That's more or less why I don't use widows.

my personal opinion (2)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668065)

The murder scandal got the project waylaid long enough that everyone else moved on.

Even if the stigma that threw banana peels in the way is gone, reiser4 is still far behind.

If it's open source, cannibalize it and take the features.

Re:my personal opinion (4, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668161)

As far as I can tell btrfs has what features would be worth taking and then some - and is under more active development. I think reiserfs is dead long-term.

I ran reiser3 for a long time. I was happy with it. But these days I'm on ext4 (and eyeing btrfs). Wonderful thing about btrfs and the ext* FS's is that they provided a migration plan. Reiser4 (at least last I checked) could not convert an existing FS (even reiser3). btrfs can even convert ext4 and allow you *TO GO BACK* if you want. How awesome is that?

Maybe this is weird sentiment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668089)

But let the team try to succeed, and maybe entice another high-grade mathematician into the project to boot. Any strangeness is exterior to the project despite the name, and there are plenty of advances we embrace despite the origins. Hypothermia studies [wikipedia.org], for example (in my junior high class they asked about the ethics of retaining knowledge obtained unethically.) Or Shockley [wikipedia.org], who invented the transistor but advocated eugenics later in life.

It's not pretty, but you cannot write off the contributions to science of someone -- or some group -- whose actions you might find abhorrent at some level. Wernher von Braun [wikipedia.org] put the U.S. on the moon, like it or not. One act doesn't reduce an entire career to the trash heap.

Re:Maybe this is weird sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668113)

(err, Shockley -helped- invent the transistor, but hopefully you see my point -- it's awkward to throw away science because you hate the discoverer.)

Let Hans Reiser work (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668115)

There is no reason why a convict should be denied the tools and space to develop software when that software is in everyone's best interest. Even if it was some sort of nonsense app that would provide an income for a convict following release or just keep his skills up to par so that he had hope of earning a living upon release it would be in the public interest.
                One of the main reasons for another conviction often relates to convicts being kept out of decent jobs when they are put on the streets. If people can not earn a living they don't just dry out like a worm on a sidewalk. A legal living made unavailable will steer them into crime, or cause drunken behaviors that lead to re-arrest.

Re:Let Hans Reiser work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668329)

He murdered his wife in cold blood and had no qualms about lying his face off to everyone about it. Executing him the same way he did his wife, so that he can't harm another human being again, that would be in the public interest. He doesn't deserve a second chance.

Re:Let Hans Reiser work (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668393)

This is irrational thinking. Executing him won't bring her back. Locking him up will prevent him from committing further crimes. You're engaging in a version of the sunk cost fallacy.

Re:Let Hans Reiser work (2)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668423)

But then the entire Slashdot community would have no incentive not to commit heinous crimes. If all that happened when you got caught was 20 years of free meals, free accommodation and a PC to program all day, how does that differ from the average Slashdotter living in his parents' basement? The idea behind prison is to punish people so others will think twice before committing a crime.

Re:Let Hans Reiser work (2)

metamatic (202216) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668475)

There is no reason why a convict should be denied the tools and space to develop software when that software is in everyone's best interest.

In general, no. However, have you seen his handwritten letters [wired.com] and read the text of his complaints and demands? The guy is seriously delusional and deep in denial. I don't think I'd want to trust my data to code written by a mind that unhinged.

Lack of knowledge (1)

leandrod (17766) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668223)

Lack of knowledge is so sad. One has only to have a passing understanding of data models to read Reiser’s paper and realise he
does not understand the fundamental concepts of the field. Such a waste of time, money and talents.

Re:Lack of knowledge (0)

Bronster (13157) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668361)

Sorry - which filesystem did you author which is significantly faster and more reliable than reiserfs thanks to your superior knowledge of the field?

Re:Lack of knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668395)

Christoph Hellwig, is that you?!

http://geekz.co.uk/lovesraymond/archive/so-i-married-a-kernel-programmer

Data loss was the real...ahem...killer (2)

drig (5119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668311)

I stopped using ReiserFS long before it's namesake was arrested. It used to lose data. That's pretty much a showstopper for a filesystem who's claim to fame was reliability.

Re:Data loss was the real...ahem...killer (1)

Bronster (13157) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668417)

I never saw that running on decent hardware with battery backed RAID units. I saw significant dataloss the one time I tried XFS (all of - ooh, a month ago) and had to nuke the entire server and start over.

We run ext4 rather than reiserfs mostly now, but it served us well for very many years.

Mind you - I did try reiser4 on my laptop for a bit back in 2004, and I had dataloss there. Never had dataloss with reiser3 though, except the really early versions. Even then it was a lot better than ext2, which was the alternative at the time.

Re:Data loss was the real...ahem...killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668697)

Yeah, anyone critical of ReiserFS really needs to remember ext2fs.

Release Date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668323)

It should be out in about 15 years - earlier with good behavior.

Benchmarked on SSD? (4, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668391)

The bottom of the first page in Phoronix's benchmarks says "The disk drive being used for all testing was a high-end 160GB Intel SSD." Since different filesystems are optimized for different things, it seems such benchmarks could be completely irrelevant for anyone using hard drives (where seek times are very significant compared to SSD).

Aliens (2)

cje (33931) | about a year and a half ago | (#41668559)

The murder of his wife was the straw that broke the camel's back, but for me, I started turning away from Reiser based on the sliminess of the Burke character he played in "Aliens". Of course, that "Mad About You" shit didn't help much, either.

Some action should be taken to fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41668579)

For example developers should be jailed for being late in delivering code.

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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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