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The Linux Filesystem Challenge

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the joneses-went-thattaway dept.

Operating Systems 654

Joe Barr writes "Mark Stone has thrown down the gauntlet for Linux filesystem developers in his thoughtful essay on Linux.com. The basic premise is that Linux must find a next-generation filesystem to keep pace with Microsoft and Apple, both of whom are promising new filesystems in a year or two. Never mind that Microsoft has been promising its "innovative" native database/filesystem (copying an idea from IBM's hugely successful OS/400) for more than ten years now. Anybody remember Cairo?"

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New FS (5, Interesting)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9823969)

Linux must find a next-generation filesystem to keep pace

What are the winds of change saying? R..E..I..S..E..R...4... [namesys.com]

WHAtS YORU MOM SAYING FUCKING FAGGOT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824028)

by the way, she grunts like a dog in bed

Re:New FS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824042)

Any new info on when it might be finished with it several months (so far) of "final testing" and included as another standard FS?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824153)

they're not resolving naughty or nice queries for the reindeer chimneys presents man. Not until our new filesystem overlords are properly welcomed. ...in Japan.

Hans Reiser's vision of the future (5, Informative)

alanw (1822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9823980)

Hans Reiser has written a white paper [namesys.com] containing his thoughts on the design of the next major version of ReiserFS.

Re:Hans Reiser's vision of the future (5, Interesting)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824114)

In addition to Reiser4, there are a whole whost of projects that aim to provide all or part of what BFS achieved, Spotlight (MacOS X Tiger) and WinFS will achieve.

This includes Beagler/Dashboard

http://www.nat.org/dashboard
http://www.gnome.o rg/projects/beagle/

And of course, the ambitious Gnome Storage project, being pushed by Seth Nickell. He recently wrote a paper comparing all the technologies, found here:

http://www.gnome.org/~seth/blog/document-indexin g

God DAMN! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9823984)

God DAMN!

Reiser 4? (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#9823986)

This is supposedly the indestructible filesystem. Compared to database driven filesystems which are still based on NTFS probably I'd preferr a slower filesystem that was just plain reliable.

Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9823993)

Instead, try to keep up with the demands and needs of users.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824024)

Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple. Instead, try to keep up with the demands and needs of users.

In this case, they're one and the same.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824105)

Well, the key to a database filesystem will be seamless data entry and simple, powerful access to search and reporting features.

I have a firm belief that the OSS community will be able to come up with an elegant, efficient solution to the metadata filesystem question. However, I seriously doubt that they'll be able to handle the search and reporting system very well at all. What I'm guessing is that we'll see a thinly veiled front end to grep -- and as much as I like grep, it's a serious pricker bush. I expect to write a regular expression three or four times before I get it right...and I've been writing them for six years!

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1)

Klar (522420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824047)

Wouldn't that put them *ahead* of Microsoft and Apple?

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824160)

Wow, hey - check it out everyone! Somebody who "gets it" instead of just uses FOSS stuff because they want to pretend they're cool.

THIS guy's attitude is what the FOSS community MUST begin to cultivate and it MUST find a way to push the din from all the screaming Microsoft haters down to an inaudible level (the cluetrain just dropped off a package: nobody cares if Microsoft has been promising something without delivering for 10 years. If they beat Linux to it, that's all that matters). The FOSS community disgusts me, and it's lack of focus that makes that so. The parent poster understands that the point of any software development should be to fill a need that's still empty, or to improve upon a tool that's already filling a need.

When more people get on board with pushing Linux to just be a good system, more people will use it. Nobody is going to switch to Linux just because YOU hate Microsoft. They WILL switch to Linux, however, when it offers them a good reason to do so.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824236)

Instead, try to keep up with the demands and needs of users.

Indeed. Microsoft ist doing quite well here, they have delayed their next-generation object-oriented database-as-a-file-system by more than a decade.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824281)

Damn straight - the function of Msft and Apple is to meet the demands of stockholders, customers are just the means to that end.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (4, Insightful)

jilles (20976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824287)

Actually that involves keeping up with the rest of the field as well. Not every feature MS adds to their OS should be duplicated. But some features are useful and should be considered.

MS has basically announced/demonstrated most of the new features that are in longhorn. Effectively that has given the linux community two years to come up with competing features. Adding database features to a filesystem makes sense, beos has demonstrated that you can do some nifty stuff with it and both apple and MS have anounced to do this.

The linux community however is divided. You can install reiserfs, maybe develop some tools that use some of its more advanced features but that doesn't fundamentally change anything if openoffice, KDE and Gnome and other programs don't coevolve to use the new features.

The same goes for stuff like avalon. While everybody is still talking about how such technology might be used in OSS projects like mozilla, Gnome, MS is well on their way of implementing something that may actually work.

Filesystems with rich metadata were already a good idea ten years ago. The OSS community has talked about them where others have implemented them. Two years of more talking would be fairly consistent. IMHO the OSS community is underperforming in picking up new technology and good ideas.

Re:Don't try to keep up with Microsoft and Apple (1, Insightful)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824291)

Who has the larger market research department - Microsoft or Linux?
I.e. by just following MS in many ways you are already following what people want and need.

Recall that Mark Stone... (3, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9823994)

...wrote "Open Sources", which you can read/buy here [oreilly.com] . He's a fairly savvy fellow...

A year or two, or... three? (1)

usefool (798755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824008)

I think promising new filesystems in a year or two is a big word.

Wasn't the immediate urgency a comparable GUI to Windows or Apple?

Re:A year or two, or... three? (2, Interesting)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824115)

In the early days of Linux (1992/1993ish) a new filesystem seemed to appear each week. Most were pretty unstable, though. My first Linux machine, which started out as v0.11, kept its root partition as minix-fs for a long time for this reason (and also because I didn't feel like recreating my system).

Poser (1)

WeekendLazyness (719545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824010)

Never mind that Microsoft has been promising its "innovative" native database/filesystem (copying an idea from IBM's hugely successful OS/400) for more than ten years now.

Oh, so creating a new filesystem because everyone else is isn't posing at all, is it?

easy answer (5, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824014)

nfs4, with solid integrations for auth servers (ldap to active directory, etc).

We live in a network-based universe. Local filesystems are already good - whether its just continued development in Reiser, or whatever else.

Nfs4, though - its like afs, only without the sucky stuff. AIX is now including nfs4 in its AIX5.3 release, even! With the Big Dog on board, we should realize there's wisdom in that direction ;)

Re:easy answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824038)

Big dog has moved to nfs5

bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824025)

Linux doesn't *need* a new filesystem to keep up with windows. Windows can have it's sure-to-be-bug-ridden shiney filesystem, and I'll keep everything important that I have on something more stable with a proven track record.

Re:bah! (5, Funny)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824093)

I'll use flat files and grep like god intended.

Re:bah! (2, Insightful)

eightball01 (646950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824102)

Agreed. Although Reiser4 looks very handsome, Linux needs to worry more about functionality and ease of use. Not filesystems. Joe Sixpack cares little for the filesystem even if he has a clue of what a filesystem actually is or does. He wants an easy to use, easy to get up and going machine that will play at least a couple of games, view a little porn, access his email, and perhaps get some work done on the side. If the filesystem is robust, then it's a bonus. Joe Sysadmin worries about the filesystem perks and quirks.

Re:bah! (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824154)

Care to point out the bugs in the current NTFS that make you sure the next one will also be?

Re:bah! (1)

WeekendLazyness (719545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824194)

Linux doesn't *need* a new filesystem to keep up with windows.

If they don't need one, why are they talking about making one?

Apple isn't "changing filesystems"... (1)

MacGoldstein (619138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824039)

I haven't RTFA, but... Apple is just adding more meta-data to that already used by HFS+. They will still be using a journaled HFS+ and the forthcoming Spotlight [apple.com] will just make use of the meta-data they are adding to their FS. Many decry HFS+ as outmoded and inefficient, but with the changes Apple is making, it is looking more promising. I hope M$ puts something new out because NTFS is getting a bit long in the tooth. Just my $0.02.

Re:Apple isn't "changing filesystems"... (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824173)

I don't see many people who know what they're talking about "decrying" HFS+ -- just theorists. It's an amazingly efficient filesystem...today I copied, renamed and moved 25,000 MP3s prior to backing them up. File operations completed so quickly, I thought at first that they hadn't worked.

In fact, the whole procedure was completed in a quarter of the time it took to JUST move them onto the ReiserFS fileserver...but it's just a P3 somethingsomething...

NTFS is sort of garbage, but what's worse is the Windows file explorer. Working with 25,000 files in 1900 directories is a treat in the MacOS (so long as you use the column view). In Windows...well, expect lockups and failures.

Re:Apple isn't "changing filesystems"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824260)

Why do you copy before you backup?

> act, the whole procedure was completed in a quarter of the time it took to JUST move them onto the ReiserFS fileserver.

so I guess renaming a bunch of files is faster than moving them to another partition [different partition = different physical place, renaming is just a few bits changed]
smaaaaaart :D

> NTFS is sort of garbage
anything to back that up?

> In Windows...well, expect lockups and failures.
My dual Athlon never once locked up since I removed the audigy2 plat and every bit of creatives drivers (just uninstall wouldnt do it)

ReiserFS is pretty damn good (4, Informative)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824045)

Hans Reiser has some interesting ideas about the role of a modern file system. Here's a recent USENET post [google.ca] describing some of the immediately visible features of reiserfs v3. Some people have said that there was corruption in the past, but I think there are no longer any problems in recent 2.4 kernels. Namesys [namesys.com] is now developing Reiser4, which appears to be more flexible (still needs time to stabilize though). If I had to put down my money on a future filesystem though, it would be ReiserFS.

Re:ReiserFS is pretty damn good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824283)

Many of us have already stopped using Reiserfs, data corruption is one thing we don't need to be dealing with, no matter how good the filesystem.

Now I'm using XFS for system partitions and ext2 for data. Does anybody really need anything above ext2 for /home or their wwwroot?

Why not use... (2, Insightful)

AnthonyPaulO (732084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824049)

... the BeOS file system? I heard that it was supposed to be the latest and greatest, the OS to end all OSes.

Re:Why not use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824086)

What would happen if BeOS source was opened for free use? Probably the same that has happened with OpenVMS?

Re:Why not use... (0, Flamebait)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824147)

We've long asked this question.

BeOS is a great example of why Steve Jobs shouldn't be allowed out of his mansion ever again.

A very healthy argument could be made that what Steve should have done is bought BeOS lock, stock and barrel and put Aqua/Cocoa/JunkMonkey/Whatever on top of it instead of reinventing the wheel that is OSX.

Then instead of HFS+ he would have gotten the BeOS filesystem that was 64bit years ago, has all kinds of Journaling and metadata features, etc.

Re:Why not use... (1)

codemachine (245871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824294)

Steve wouldn't have been with the company had Apple bought BeOS. Apple wanted to buy BeOS, but the owners held out for more money than Apple was willing to pay. So Apple bought NextSTEP from Steve Jobs, and brought him back on board.

Re:Why not use... (1)

LeftOfCentre (539344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824222)

BFS was nice but it's outdated now, it can't seriously compete with Microsoft's upcoming offering.

I want a transparent filesystem/VM (5, Interesting)

valen (2689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824052)


I want a disk equivalent of top - something that'll tell me what processes are kicking the shit out of the disks, and by how much.

If Linux could do that - it's more a VM thing than a filesystem - I'd stick with ext3 for years to come.

Who needs a filesystem in a database when you have a database that lives on your filesystem (updatedb). Get that updating in realtime, with more things (like permissions, access times etc.) and a lot of the work is done.

john

Re:I want a transparent filesystem/VM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824129)

lsof [freshmeat.net] is a start.

Re:I want a transparent filesystem/VM (2, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824259)

Who needs a filesystem in a database when you have a database that lives on your filesystem (updatedb). Get that updating in realtime, with more things (like permissions, access times etc.) and a lot of the work is done.

PR & tech journalists to the contrary, that is all that is involved in Spotlight & WinFS. Spotlight runs on HFS+. WinFS runs on NTFS. Both are databases stored as files on existing filesystems. The only difference between those databases & updatedb is that they may be using better database design (dunno) and that they update in real time via background processes.

I'm wrote a journal entry [slashdot.org] guessing as much about Spotlight, but since then more evidence has arrived, and I'm convinced that both WinFS & Spotlight are implemented that way. The features & implementation details are quite different, but not the filesystem.

We'll probably eventually start calling these databases a part of the "filesystem" much like right now some people will call mspaint.exe & bash a part of the operating system.

It's not time yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824053)

Never mind that Microsoft has been promising its "innovative" native database/filesystem (copying an idea from IBM's hugely successful OS/400) for more than ten years now. Anybody remember Cairo?"

Yes, because if Microsoft hasn't done it yet, it's just not worth doing.

Is it? (0, Troll)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824056)

The basic premise is that Linux must find a next-generation filesystem to keep pace with Microsoft and Apple

Is Apple's new (or current) Filesystem really Apple's?

I thought it was a neutered Berkely FFS from the Darwin/Freebsd/Netbsd code they've taken.

Re:Is it? (2, Informative)

furball (2853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824125)

This [daringfireball.net] explains everyting you need to know. But basically FFS is a compatibility thing. Apple still recommends its HFS+.

Re:Is it? (1)

Troy Baer (1395) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824237)

Is Apple's new (or current) Filesystem really Apple's? I thought it was a neutered Berkely FFS from the Darwin/Freebsd/Netbsd code they've taken.

Current Apple systems ship with an HFS+ root filesystem, or at least the iBook I bought a few months ago did. HFS+ is journalled AFAICT, but it's pretty much the same old Mac HFS (resource forks, etc.) other than that. It's not even really case-sensitive; "touch a ; touch A" will only create one file.

So far as I can tell, the big feature of OSX 10.4 is Spotlight [apple.com] , which looks like a version of locatedb that knows about file contents to me. This really isn't an OS-level thing IMHO; it could be implemented in an FS-independent way in user-land without too much trouble. It seems like this would be functionality you'd want in the file browser (eg. Nautilus or Konqueror) rather than in the filesystem... although this kind of metadata indexing might be where the HFS resource forks might come in handy.

--Troy

How is that relevant? (1)

kingLatency (624983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824277)

It doesn't matter who made it. It matters that it's in the product that Apple is presenting to the consumer. Just like it doesn't matter than ReiserFS was made outside of the Linux dev community if that's what filesystem I get when I install SuSE Linux.

Cairo? (1)

DWXXV (784152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824060)

I thought Linux did well in Egypt.

newer than... (1)

andrew71 (134546) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824063)

...this [namesys.com] ?

Another solution in search of problem (2, Insightful)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824073)

Of all the problems I can spot in the current crop of OSs, filesystems aren't one of them.

Nobody has come up with a compelling reason or feature to make me want to change filesystems.

Re:Another solution in search of problem (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824211)

Okay, fine. Put a picture of a bird with a cache-like (i.e. - meaningless) filename in a random place on your hard drive, then find it.

And, before you tell me that you should be using more intelligent filenames so the linear search can find it - you don't always have control over the names of the files you're working with.

Encrypted filesystems? (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824076)

Are there any encrypted filesystems available for Linux? Last time I checked (quite a while ago), there wasn't.

Re:Encrypted filesystems? Try cryptoloop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824182)

Maybe. Look into cryptoloop. This is a kernel option I keep saying no to each time I see it, but it seems to be an encrypted loopback filesystem.

So with cryptoloop, which seems to be parallel to loopback, you get a big chunk of disk space, mount it as a block device using cryptoloop, then format it as any filesystem you want. Cryptoloop (en|de)crypts the blocks as they pass through it. This way, you have an encrypted filesystem of whatever design you want.

Actually I just made the last paragraph up, but if I were writing a program like that, I would call it cryptoloop, so maybe cryptoloop is like that.

Re:Encrypted filesystems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824210)

use a loop device. We have had encrypted filesystems for several years.

loopback encrypts any file system (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824235)

Using the loopback driver's encryption options, you can encrypt any file system - be it ext2, rieserfs, or even vfat.

Heck, you can even encrypt ntfs :).

Filesystems are tools (5, Insightful)

tikoloshe (515755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824077)

Filesytems are tools that will suit different purposes. Some are good for databases, some for lots of small files, some for lots of reading, some for writing, some for networks, some for streaming.
So to develop a one handy "swiss army knife" of filesystems may not be the best route. For the most part one knows what a system will be doing and can build in the most appropriate filesystem for the job.

Re:Filesystems are tools (5, Insightful)

beee (98582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824288)

A good filesystem should be capable of handling all potential applications (for example, FAT32 has found its way into grandmother's desktop and production web servers). Specializing a FS is a huge mistake, and any highly-specific FS introduced to date has been a huge flop. This is not the best route to travel for Linux.

Diet (0, Troll)

ParticleMan911 (688473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824079)

I'm on a diet so I don't get FAT32.

Gnome Storage (4, Interesting)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824087)

Gnome Storage should be a step in the right direction, and it gets it right by not reinventing the wheel, just using PostgreSQL as its database engine.

This way we can test the waters without messing with the kernel. When the concept is tried, we can decide if we make PostgreSQL a required part of a GNU/Linux system, or a Hurd translator, or whatever.

Re:Gnome Storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824257)

make PostgreSQL a required part of a GNU/Linux system

God I hope I never have to include PostgreSQL as part of my installation. Nothing against it, I just don't want to have to install it just so I can use a filesystem.

X cuse me (-1, Flamebait)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824092)

But Reiser 4 goes way beyound anything Microsoft will deliver for Longhorn...

But... (4, Interesting)

sk6307 (797832) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824097)

Is there anything that a true database filesystem offers that something like a realtime updatedb index and maybe a background updated glimpse index of /home cant offer?

I have about 18GB of files in my main home dir, and I can search it in seconds with slocate and if I need a content search, with glimpse.

I know that this kind of database FS provides a lot of cool opportunities in terms of meta-data, but how useful is it for non-techies, who usually dont name their files coherently, let alone correct ID3 tags or other other meta-data.

Speaking of which... (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824108)

..anyone got a good RTFA or source that explains how journalled filesystems work without.. um... doubling the data and filesystem?

thanks.

Re:Speaking of which... (1)

Ciannait (82722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824165)

In a quick search, I wasn't able to find anything generic, but in my experience (with VxFS), journalled filesystems work by a small, circular intent log. Updates to the superblock (inode changes) get logged in the intent log, and then the change to the inode is pushed to disk. The intent log is usually one meg or smaller.

Journalled filesystems only log the metadata changes. They don't log data changes. They're intended for use in speeding recovery, and they're not a silver bullet against data corruption. If the data in the block or extent is toast, no amount of journalling will save you.

In a nutsheel (2, Interesting)

Sepper (524857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824238)

It keep a journal file of last modifications
(ie "Replacing node 37827 with node 5279867....replaced")
One the modification is done, it erases the entry.

After a crash, the system only need to look in the journal file to know which file 'might' be corrupted and restore the old version of each...

At least, that's how I understand it...

Re:Speaking of which... (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824278)

The simple answer is that they first write the change to a journal; if it doesn't make it there completely and correctly, it will be backed out. Once it is written there, the filesystem is changed, and the new version will be seen instead of the old version. At that point, the in-place version of the data can be updated; no matter what is done to it, it can be recovered from the journal, which is authoritative. Once the in-place version is updated correctly, the record can be dropped from the journal.

So, essentially, the content is doubled, but only for the most recent stuff where there is a new and an old version to keep track of. Once something is done changing (or has been replaced again) the duplicate is freed, since it doesn't matter any more.

Bump it up to WebDAV or an API ? (2, Interesting)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824110)


What do you want these next generation features for? Mainly features like access control, security, robustness, and above all organizing and sharing data.

Why not go higher level, use a reliable and simple underpinning such as ext3fs, with something like WebDAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning) on top of it? Like SubVersion, it is based on HTTP, with specification for versioning and rich access controls.

Or maybe even go to the level of a Java JSR, so you could have a cross platform API for accessing files so it really doesn't matter what the back end is, KaZAA, Google or a DataSette, as long as your programs have a high level view of the information.

You might even end up with something liek the original TB-L Web, with everyone running their own Web server.

Of course, excluded from the above is performance, which would be ok for office type apps but not something that requires direct disk access, but perhaps the simpler file system would be most suitable for that.

Of course, I'm just rambling here, so would be happy to hear more developed responses to this suggestion...

Re:Bump it up to WebDAV or an API ? (1)

platos_beard (213740) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824280)

I agree entirely that there's no reason why the attachment of various meta-data to files should be implemented in the file system itself. Instead, add a layer on top of the file system, but below applications and store the file attributes in a database. What would be the big gain from combining the two?

Applications that don't need the metadata could go directly to the FS with less overhead, apps that do need it can use the attribute db. Possibly we'll need the FS to be aware of the attribute database layer, but that can be a pretty thin interface and have near zero impact on performance.

The attribute database can be stored in a different databases and use a different underlying file systems as needed or desired. That kind of flexibility is what we love about Linux, isn't it?

Re:Bump it up to WebDAV or an API ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824285)

Whatever you move it to, you should consider it as a network resource, even if you access it locally, to ensure that all accesses are done in such a way that metadata, whereever it is stored, is always updated appropriately and associated with the file. It is completely irrelevant whether that information is stored in a separate SQL database, a flat file, in the filesystem itself, or on another filesystem so long as it meets performance requirements and is appropriately associated with the file.

Compatible (4, Funny)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824123)

Just make sure it is incompatible with all the current applications so we can rewrite everything. Add a cool feature or something too.

Jealous (1)

WeekendLazyness (719545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824128)

You Linux users are just jealous that us Windows users don't have a 4GB file limitation. :D

Next premise, please (-1, Troll)

Rex Code (712912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824133)

The basic premise is that Linux must find a next-generation filesystem to keep pace with Microsoft and Apple, both of whom are promising new filesystems in a year or two.

And neither of whom have a journaled filesystem yet, while Linux has many to choose from.

Conclusion: Microsoft and Apple need a new filesystem soon if they are to keep up with Linux.

Re:Next premise, please (1)

mkarpinski (409464) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824181)

OS X has had a journaled file system since 10.2 and it is "on" by default in 10.3

Re:Next premise, please (1)

nester (14407) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824256)

both hfs+ and ntfs are both journaled. ntfs has been for a while.

Re:Next premise, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824265)

NTFS is journalled. I'm not sure of the extent or design of its journalling, but it does have it. For some anecdotal evidence, I've never lost data from non-graceful shutdowns on NTFS, ext3, Reiser, or XFS. I have lost data of FAT32 and ext2 before though. I have no clue about HFS+ (MacOS), but I bet it is journalled too.

NTFS and newest HFS+ are journaled (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824268)

NTFS is journaled and has been for a long time, I think back to NT4 or earlier, but for sure Windows 2000.

Apple's HFS+ has been journaled since at least MacOS 10.3 if not 10.2.

Linux.com (2, Funny)

maelstrom (638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824142)

So Joe Barr who writes for Linux.com, submits a story to Slashdot (who owns Linux.com) written by another OSDN guy. Good job for editorial independance.

MySQL (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824149)

If,

MS can do a filesystem built on top of SQL Server then Linux should try to build one on top of MySQL.

It probably would be popular...

BTW, before somebody gets all bent outta shape the above is a joke.

7fagorz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824152)

Another cunting shaal wE? OK!

Anybody remember Cairo?" (0, Flamebait)

MobileDude (530145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824157)

Yeah, I remember them. They were just another 80's power-band along the lines of Asia and Europe...

OS/400 file system!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824161)

I hope not!

The good is that everything UNIX calls a file is an object in OS/400, and has it's own meta data and infinitely better security model than UNIX's user/group/public garbage.

The bad is that each object needs it's own set of commands to manipulate. And object names are limited to 10 characters. Blurgh! The OS/400 main file system is not hierarchical either, all object reside is one of a number of flat libraries (directories).

What about JFS? (1)

kalpol (714519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824176)

I am using JFS on my Gentoo server, and it's just fine - fast and stable. Not that I know much about filesystems, but the fact that IBM is behind it gives it some credibility, it would seem.

File versioning (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824187)

I know that some don't like it, but we need the option of file system versioning, so that if/when you delete half the lines in your letter/program/... you can get them back from the previous copy on disk.

There is an expectation that the application should do it, that means extra code in each application and they all do it slightly differently.

OK: need an O_NOVERSION on open(2) if the app *really* doesn't want this - eg a database.

OpenVMS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824290)

This has been a core feature of OpenVMS for a long time.

Keep it all modular, please (5, Interesting)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824191)

Make the core filesystem small, robust and fast. Journalling, realtime and not much else. Make add-on modules for fancy things like ACL's, quota, compression, encryption, compatability, extended attributes, etc... Put in shims for calling attributes from a database (db or SQL or whatever)

XFS comes close, ReiserFS 4 is nice, too. The most important thing is keeping the base filesystem simple and FAST. You think NTFS is fast? Try deleting a complete Cygwin install (>30K files) It takes AGES, even from the command prompt. I've deleted 15K files (That's 15 THOUSAND files) on Reiser 3 on the same machine, it took a few seconds.

DO NOT make a database driven filesystem. Some day we will have a true, document based desktop paradigm (OpenDoc anyone?) but probably not for several years, until then we need SPEED.

Speed and Versioning (2, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824201)

OK we have all these DB things that seem more for meta data and seach realy thats a bit secondary to a filesystem. Most filesystems are access by applications for surprise surprise files with very little user files and lots of application files. While it might make snece to mount /home as some DB is a filesystem with piles of indeed and seachable data so the users can be even more clueless to where anything is. The rest of the system needs faster all around and cluster aware from my point of view. Versioning in the FS ala VMS would be a nice thing as well. Disks are the slowest thing on your average system with Gigabit ethernet moving more data than the highest performing single disk in the real world.

Oops - File system? (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824206)

I thought the real trick to running a search engine was the index. As a matter of fact, I thought I heard a story on NPR about Google's intent to index a whole mess of new stuff for their engine just to deep-six the competition.

already there? (1)

linuxgeek666 (664255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824221)

Wasn't Reiser4 going to do what M$ promised WinFS will do in 5 years when schLonghorn comes out? Isn't it supposed to be the same thing?

Next generation? (5, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824224)

Lets get the "this generation" filesystems working correctly, shall we?

Solid, universal support for ACLs, and while we're at it, let's fix the whole user/group namespace mess Unix has with it. Let's use an SID-style id like Windows does.

For example: my small network at home, centrally authenticated through ldap.

Now, windows knows the difference between the user "jim" on local machine A, "jim" on machine B, and "jim" the domain user. They'd be shown as MACHINEA/jim, DOMAIN/jim, etc.. The various SIDs take the domain (or workstation) SID and append the UID. So if his number is 100, his sid is "long-domain-sid" + uid. So when you pass around sid tokens, you know exactly which jim you're talking about.

Now in linux, we just have numbers for users and groups. If user 100 on machine A is "jim", user 100 could be "sally" on machine B. Moving that stuff to ldap becomes messy, now I have to reconcile the numbering schemes of all the machines I want to migrate. Ick. And you get all kinds of screwy stuff sharing folders, if you ls it on one machine it'll show wholly different ownerships.. Is the source of about a billlion and one nfs security holes.

And of course, since a file can only have one permission set - owner, user, group, it sure does make for some sucky shit. The lazy among us would just run as root all the time to avoid the whole damn mess.

I know there's a circle jerk of workarounds, patches and gotchas to avoid this, but it should never be a problem in the first place. The basic unix security model is out-of-date, and is the source of many systemic problems.

Networked GlobalFS (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824230)

While I think that Reiser will go far, I suspect that the next real inovation will occur in a distributed FS with redunancy.

It already exists: EXT3 (1)

beee (98582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824231)

Honestly, EXT3 is leaps and bounds ahead of anything coming out of Microsoft or Apple these days. Journaling, extensive disk cluster customization, bit handling that's yet to be equaled... it's got it all. With continued development of EXT3 its popularity will only grow, and if the community can focus its efforts properly, it will be the choice this author is looking for.

Why????? (2, Informative)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824233)

Can somebody explain me WHY should we put things like database, indexing/previewing etc. into the filesystem => KERNEL SPACE!!!! What advantage does it bring?

Any good (XFS, JFS, ext3) filesystem now has nice feature called Extended Attributes which is intented for STORING such a data (like previews etc.). And using user-space server it's much more easier to add plug-ins for various file-formats, "search" plugins etc.

Beh (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824241)

I'm not moving away from EXT3 any time soon. I have tried other filesystems (including Reiser and XFS), but nothing can touch the rock solid stability of EXT. I don't mind if it's a tad slower, i can sleep easily knowing my data won't disappear overnight unless a lighning hits the HD. Directly.

To many options (1)

leperkuhn (634833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824250)

I suppose one benefit of a closed source / company controled system is that they get to choose one file system and stick with it for a while. Linux on the other hand has several to choose from.

I remember my first linux install, I didn't really know anything at all about it. when it came time to choose my file system, i was like, huh?

Seriously, if something like this is going to happen, there will have to be a mutual cooperation between the linux distros. Either that or a DB style file system will be so compelling that everyone will rush to use it, and a Darwin style evolution will take place :)

that makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824258)

lets look at history. BeOS has a db-like filesystem, but it wasn't compelling enough for people to switch. Just because MS is make their file system db-like, doesn't mean it is a good idea. Keeping the file system focused on the basic tasks and doing them efficiently and reliably should be the goal. Adding a bunch of marketure to the file system sounds like running around in circles.

why not improved ramdisk? (1, Interesting)

Keruo (771880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824261)

Since new systems now are running with +1gig memory and with 64-bit systems over 4gig memory is possible,
why not run the entire operating system in ram instead of hd and just write differential changes in ramrootfs to disk.
It would probably slightly slow down booting, but that could be avoided by loading software to memory as needed

Um, Reiser anyone? (2, Informative)

kwelndar (187318) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824267)

Anyone? ... Bueller?

But seriously, even though he mentions Reiser, he doesn't seem to consider it's future [namesys.com] direction, which is to allow varying degrees of structure, that could include attributes, as the user sees fit. At least that's how I understand it.

It's not in the file system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824272)

> to keep pace with Microsoft and Apple

AFAIK, the only things needed to get a feature like Spotlight are:
- good indexing methods
- a way to detect filesystem changes without polling

Mac OS 9 already had #1, Mac OS X has #2, but it is not used yet.

Apart from that, it will be a lot of hard work to get things working smoothly, esp. in a multi-user system where removable volumes are not exceptions (where do you store your indexes? How do you prevent user x from learning about user's y's files through the search engine?)

Runs on NTFS... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9824273)

WinFS runs on NTFS, so it's not really a file system, more like a file system interface augmentor, for which I have already found one or two open source projects, one of which is browser-based and runs on PHP. Combine that with rsync/unison and a database replicator and you have pretty much what WinFS offers, no?

Cairo? (0)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 10 years ago | (#9824293)

Anybody remember Cairo?

Hmmmm. I seem to remember that name. Yes, yeah. Killer OS from Microsoft. The Next Big Thing. The Mother of All OSes.

So how come all I can remember is the name? I can't seem to recall the OS at all.

Must have been the first OS to do such a good job you didn't evn notice it. Yeah, that must be it!
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