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Ext4 Filesystem Enters Experimental Kernel Tree

timothy posted more than 7 years ago

237

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like the next version of the venerable Linux 'ext' filesystem is just around the corner. Andrew Morton has added an early version of ext4 to his 2.6.19-rc1-mm1 tree, enabling Linux to support storage volumes up to 1020 petabytes in size, and to write files in 'extents,' or contiguous, reserved areas. According to an article at Linux-Watch, ext4 will be ready for production use within six to nine months, if all goes well. On the downside, the new ext4 filesystem will offer only limited backward compatibility with ext3-aware Linux kernels."

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Reiser4 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421471)

Unfortunately, this will just murder Reiser4.

Re:Reiser4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421497)

Re:Reiser4 (0, Flamebait)

osee (944334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421673)

How come everyone makes these murder comments as Anonymous Coward?
Are you afraid of something?

I found the following on the talkback page:
"Yesterday came the announcement of Hans Reiser's arrest for the murder of his missing missus. Yeah, I know: "innocent until" and whatever, but OJ and Scott Peterson have already blown that curve.

Today comes news of a new and potentially powerful Ext4 fs. I find this welcome and timely news.

I'm presently, happily running linux via knoppix on my Toshiba laptop. As of yesterday's news, however, I'm feeling kindof dirty; my little 60Gb hard drive is running on reiserfs 3.

I will, as soon as I can practically do so, upgrade my OS and its file system to something, ext4 or otherwise, that is not associated with a suspected murderer.

Genious does not excuse immoral or illegal behavior: I don't care if reiserfs4 can read/write files at petabytes-per-millisecond; wrong is wrong.

I encourage all other linux users to boycott using resierfs as a statement that morality still means something.

We don't allow this sort of behavior from our politicians or other public officials. We don't excuse it for our football or basketball heroes. Why should we do so for our open-source gurus?

I say we shouldn't.

Linux has its own mountains to climb without having to be bogged down with salacious crap like this.

We should, as a community, put reiserfs behind us. Let us bury this now in the dirt where it belongs, then salt the earth."

This is so much bullshit I could cry. Hans does not benefit from me using reiserfs... Why should I drop it?
Even if he is convicted that doesn't mean he is guilty. Even if he was he can still be a great programmer.
I don't want him to marry my sister, but that's whole another matter.

Re:Reiser4 (0, Offtopic)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421583)

Ext4 enters kernel tree, while Reiser4 enters JAIL!

Re:Reiser4 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421805)

the police were wishing that ext3 had murdered his wife instead, because then the body wouldn't have been cut up into so many small pieces.

1020 Petabytes? (0)

skrew (111096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421495)

This will lead to overly cluttered hard drives, with never having to delete files it'll take more work to keep it organized.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (5, Insightful)

Angstroem (692547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421541)

Oh, please.

By now you don't even now what to do with 1024PB. Just as we couldn't imagine filling a 250GB harddrive 15 years ago when 500MB were considered huge.

What will happen? We store our digital photos in raw format, not JPEG. We store our songs in raw format, not artificially crippled. We will store high-definition video, possibly even in raw format, not MPEG4 or the likes.

And, woosh, 1024PB will be nothing leaving us wondering how we could ever survive with a measly 250GB drive -- just as we ask ourselves today how life was with nothing but 170kB disk drives.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (0, Offtopic)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421615)

What will happen? We store our digital photos in raw format, not JPEG. We store our songs in raw format, not artificially crippled. We will store high-definition video, possibly even in raw format, not MPEG4 or the likes.

Come on, admit it ... what you really mean is you'll store your pr0n in raw format ... and you'll STILL be complaining that you don't have enough disk space.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (2, Interesting)

astralbat (828541) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421671)

And, woosh, 1024PB will be nothing leaving us wondering how we could ever survive with a measly 250GB drive -- just as we ask ourselves today how life was with nothing but 170kB disk drives.
I'm not convinced by this myself. I do however see a need for super computers who need to work with filesystems spanning perhaps hundreds of disks. As for the desktop user, even if they did store their files in raw format, I doubt they'd use more than a few 10's of terabytes at the most.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (4, Informative)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421821)

Well, that depends on what your expectations for the future are. I don't think it is impossible that demands on multimedia will reach high enough sometime. Let us as an example consider a movie file from the Future (tm). Given better and bigger screens (perhaps covering whole walls) a frame dimension of 3000 x 2000 pixels is not inconceivable. Each pixel might consist of three RGB values of 16 bits each. Such a movie, if two hours long and running with 25 frames / second, would require about 6.5 TB in raw format.

framedimensions = 3000 x 2000
framebytes = framedimensions x 6
moviebytes = framebytes x 25 x 60 x 120

moviebytes / 10^12 ~= 6.5

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

astralbat (828541) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421987)

Interesting.. That'll be UHD-DVD then

Re:1020 Petabytes? (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422085)

You forgot the 16 channels of 192KHz 32-bit audio you need to. That's 84GiB on it's own!!! :-)

Tom

Re:1020 Petabytes? (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421761)

This is exactly how I'm filling up my space. I got a new computer with a 160 GB drive, thinking it would be "enough". Started storing all my CDs in FLAC, and I'm currently transfering all hte movies I downloaded in AVI to DVD so I can watch them easily on my home theatre. Once you start working with video and sound that isn't compressed to nothing, you start to realize just how fast you can use up all that space. If my camera did RAW i'd probably use that to store my photos. I usually save any edits I do in PNG or TIFF so that I don't have to worry about the lossy encoding. Granted I still have space to spare, but I could see very easly using up a Terabyte drive if I had it, and a faster internet connection.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422055)

You don't need to store your audio as FLAC. Only weirdo audiophiles do that [unless you own the masters then it's ok]. Use 192 to 256kbps M4A and be done with. As for the movies, you should be able to convert ON THE FLY to DVD so you don't need to store uncompressed frames or whatever. As for the camera, just use high bitrate JPEG.

Unless you are publishing your audio, videos or photos you don't need a 100% representation. Often that 97% quality but 1/10th the size copy will be fine for your own enjoyment and use.

Tom

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422535)

I don't need to store any uncompressed video on my hard disk, but having a couple 15 GB of VOBs floating around that I haven't had time to burn yet takes up well, 15 GB. As far as i've found the easiest way to go from AVI (divx, etc) to DVD requires encoding to MPG, while the files are 3-4 GB, and then creating the VOB files from that, again 3-4 GB, and then burn those. I don't think I could go straight from AVI to burn, because it usually takes a few hours to go from AVI to MPG.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422593)

VOBs are just MPEG-2 streams. Also nothing says you have to do your movie as one huge 15GB VOB. You could break it into 1GB parts and then delete the temps as you go.

mencoder can transcode pretty much anything, unfortunately only into AVI [the MPG output sucks bad], but ffmpeg can do some other streams [notably though it doesn't like 5.1 AC3 streams though ...].

Tom

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422571)

Also, I store my audio as flac, not because I can hear the difference between 256 kbps M4A, but because i lose/scratch the CD, I still want to have a way to get a perfect copy back.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422635)

If you can't hear the difference between a high bitrate m4a and the original ... does it matter?

That's the thing, the "difference" is only in your mind [not sensory]. Recall the whole point of psychoacoustic based encoders is they take advantage of the disparity of S/N ratios on various bands. If you have a 10dB masking on a given band, encoding it with full 96dB range [e.g. 16-bit PCM samples] doesn't make sense.

Imagine you can't see the colour red. Would adding more bits to the red channel make the picture better? If you can't hear that masked tone, adding more bits won't make it any better.

At the point where you are encoding at >=192kbps the encoder doesn't have to cut out resolution you can perceive so you're essentially home free.

Tom

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

glsunder (241984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423011)

If you can't hear the difference between a high bitrate m4a and the original ... does it matter?

Yes, it does, mainly for re-encoding. What if he wants to convert them to 128kbps for a portable player. Or what if in 5 years a different compression is used? Personally, I ripped about 120 of my cds to mp3 this year and it's not something I plan on doing again soon. I can completely understand someone never wanting to have to redo it.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423399)

Use open source software.

As for going down in bitrate ... um ... if the 256kbps audio is INDISTINGUISHABLE from the original ... it might as well be the original. Sure the bits are different but the sound produced is perceptible as the same. I've re-coded stuff before for my portables and frankly I can't really tell the difference. Specially since you typically listen to portables in noisy environments where the noise floor masks most subtle noises.

Tom

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423359)

When you need to edit the damn thing, it is quite important to have it in a lossless format. If you loose 5 % everytime you save the file, by the fifth save the quality may be lost forever.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (5, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422185)

Actually, there's natural limits to that kind of storage.

The limits are set by our senses, more concretely, our ears and our eyes.

Our ears are only capable of hearing up to about 20Khz (less than that for most people) and 16-bit samplings are enough that most people cannot hear the difference with anything more. Thus CD-quality is, if not perfect, then good enough that further improvements are ignorable for most people. CD-quality losslessly-compressed music is around 300MB/hour.

In a year, there's 8760 hours, so you'd need on the order of 2.5 TB to store a year worth of around-the-clock never-repeateing losslessly-compressed music. If computers keep getting replaced at the current rate, this means you'll never need more than about 10TB to store sound. This assumes you don't store more than you listen to, if you choose to for example store all music ever produced for convenience, despite never listening to more than a tiny fraction of it, then this requirement goes up by a couple of orders of magnitude. Still, there's good reason to suppose that 10TB will suffice for most peoples sound-storage needs. (even if you wanted to store all the sound you've *ever* heard in your life, including traffic at nigth, that'd still only be 200TB or so)

The real killer is video. We can take in a *lot* more data with our eyes. 10GB/hour is in the ballpark of what you'd need for the sort of quality a modern cinema can deliver. (and there's no particular reason we couldn't go higher.) That works out to 100TB/year, more or less. A lifetime of high-quality video is thus on the order of 10PB.

In short, it is unlikely that an individual (or family) will be able to fill a 1000PB disc with sound and video-recordings. Infact it's unlikely they'll be able to fill it with anything, if that anything is to be consumed only trough their 2 eyes and 2 ears.

That doesn't mean it won't happen. Only that it'll be filled with something more. Once we fire up the holodecks all bets are off. I don't even want to try to estimate the bandwith needed for that kind of immersive experience.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (2, Funny)

AccUser (191555) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422321)

it's unlikely they'll be able to fill it with anything

People always used to ask me if I had the internet at home. Maybe when I can get my hands on a 1020 PB hard drive, I will be able to download it all for local access... :-)

Re:1020 Petabytes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16422225)

Your reasoning is flawed by a couple orders of magnitude..

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423621)

This reminds me of a conversation I had about ten years ago with a coworker. One of us brought up the new 1-gig drives that had been released. He let out a slow whistle, and with a grin on his face, said "Boy.... that is big. It would take me at least three weeks to fill that up."

backups? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421567)

It could make doing backups interesting too.

Re:backups? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422251)

Why to people keep thinking we'll be backing up the hard drives of 15-20 years from now with current tape drives? By that time the tape drives (if we even still use tape, which we probably will) will have increased in capacity/performance too, and it won't really big that big of a deal.

Re:backups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16422649)

thats a fuck load of 360K disks!

Re:backups? (2, Insightful)

randomalias (734341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422897)

Honestly it's a right pig.

Most of the databases I work on are 10-50Tb.

Initially we built 3Gb filesystems - we couldn't back then up, the sequential file pointer in HPUX can only address 2Tb, which meant we couldn't copy the whole filesystem to tape. I had to rebuild with max 2Tb filesystem.

Then, Veritas Netbackup can only parallelise backups in different directory trees so I was taking ages to perform a full back up - 18 - 19 hours (bit of a bugger in a 24hr backup window).

We don't do incremental backups because restoring takes an age with incremental. Even with fulls, if the backup takes 10 hours, the restore takes 15 - its to do with how different simultaneous backups are stiped across the tape. Therefore we always do fulls.

Eventually (and fortunately during test phase) we rebuild the filesystems with 500Gb limits.

Which makes growing the database really sticky because we have to allocate new filesystems, rather than grow the ones we've got.

There's a major move towards disk-based archival storage, but tape's reliable and extremely portable so its generally what we end up using.

Re:backups? (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423377)

I don't understand all of the bitching about "how are we going to backup ALL of this data up..."

Filesystems aren't a problem, bigger hard drives aren't a problem, in fact there is no problem at all except people that don't understand the concept of what doing a "backup" actually means.

When we had 1024K drives it would require 1024K to do a FULL backup.
When we had 1G drives it would require 1G to do a FULL backup
...
When we had 1TB drives it would require 1TB to do a FULL backup

If you can't notice a trend, then you don't need to be anywhere near my data backup process. It is just plain, SIMPLE math. When we increase our storage capacity by X, we must also increase our backup capacity by X as well (or a percentage of X if we compress our backups). Its like people think that new drives/technology only apply to active storage, but they must rely on last year/decades technology for backups.

Let me repeat it again...there is no problem. Stop bitching!

Re:backups? (2, Insightful)

mikeee (137160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423623)

Yes, there is a problem.

First of all, disk drives are advancing faster than tapes.

But the problem is worse than that. Different aspects of disk drives are advancing at different rates. Capacity is increasing faster than interface speed is increasing faster than access speed is increasing faster than block reliability.

Consider an old 500MB drive from the mid-90s; it takes maybe a couple hours to read every block on the drive, and odds are that you won't have bad blocks before the disk dies entirely.

The new 1000GB disks we'll have soon, though... you're pretty much guarenteed some of the blocks will go bad before the disk fails; there are just so many of them. And if you can read at 10MB/second, sustained (pretty respectable, I think?), it literally takes 24 hours just to dump all the data from the drive, never mind back it up to something else.

The whole model of 'back up your fixed media to removable media' is not going to work anymore. It does not scale up to modern hardware. I think the answer will be some wacky combo of raid and file-system version control, but YMMV.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421623)

So the solution is to limit the storage capacity of computers, to ease the work of keeping data organized? Wow, why didn't anyone think of that when we had 500 MB hard disks? Organizing data would be a breeze for us now; but no, instead we are stuck with our large capacity systems.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421799)

Meh.

find "$dir" -amin +"$time" -print0 | xargs -0 rm -fr

1020 Petabytes? (5, Funny)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421505)

1 Exabyte!

Not to be confused with Excitebike, which is something entirely different.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (0)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421697)

There's a pun in there about being exact, I think that pun might even be constructed with several layers of punyness, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (2, Insightful)

entrylevel (559061) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422867)

Insightful? Yes. Informative? Certainly not. Finally the Funny mod hits (what took so long?) This is the funniest thing I've read on Slashdot in ages, on so many levels.

On second thought, maybe it is Informative, since I was not previously aware you could cram that many puns into so few words.

Re:1020 Petabytes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16423501)

I could see only 1 pun.
What are the others?

Thinking of switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421533)

I was thinking of switching from reiser3 to ext4, but before I do, I just want to know... If enough people switch, is the developer of ext4 going to go out and murder his wife?

fsck (4, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421537)

EXT4-fs warning (device sdb1): ext4_journal_start_sb: Detected tasteless ReiserFS jokes - hahahaha!

FSCK (1, Troll)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421547)

Wake me up when chunkfs hits the kernel. I don't even want to think about fscking all those petabytes ...

Re:FSCK (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422839)

Yeah - it's brutal to fsck a 1T array, or even just mkfs a partition that large with ext3. XFS and JFS are MUCH MUCH faster. So besides just huge filesystems, what else is better about ext4?

Re:FSCK (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422999)

Well, given ext4 (like ext3) is journalled, I can't see why you'd ever perform a full fsck (unless you're paranoid).

Re:FSCK (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423277)

sometimes the extX force you to do an fsck before it'll mount, let's face it, it's not as sophisticated as other more advanced fs

So (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421565)

No murders working on it?

1020 petas (2, Funny)

blantonl (784786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421571)

>> 1020 petabytes

My porn collection will now be complete.

What kind of pr0n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421693)

do you need 1020 pedobytes for? ;)

Re:1020 petas (4, Funny)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421927)

>> 1020 petabytes
My porn collection will now be complete.


Liar... there is no such thing as a complete porn collection!

Re:1020 petas (2, Interesting)

tonigonenstein (912347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422129)

My porn collection will now be complete
In fact, 315 TB should be enough for anybody.

Here is why:
Suppose you want to watch porn 24 hours a day from the age of 15 till 75. Thats 60 years = 60 * 365.25 * 24 * 60 * 60 s = 1.89 * 10^9 s
A DivX is around 600 MB / hour = 600 * 1000000 / (60 * 60) = 1.67 * 10^5 B/s
So for your lifetime porn collection you need 1.89 * 1.67 * 10^14 B = 315 TB.

Re:1020 petas (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422771)

You're neglecting the possibility for VR formats.

I'm sure full-immersion sensory data will require far more data bandwidth.

Re:1020 petas (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423225)

> In fact, 315 TB should be enough for anybody.

No, 2^128 bits should be enough for anybody [sun.com] . Everybody, in fact.

Re:1020 petas (1)

ArwynH (883499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423367)

What SD Porn?! With artifacts?! True Pron addicts will only settle for 1080p HQ porn!

Mind you, even that won't take up 1024 PB... maybe if you used raw video with no compression...

Re:1020 petas (1)

Wiz (6870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422957)

Ah, don't you mean the index to your porn collection with be complete? ;)

performance (4, Interesting)

bioglaze (767105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421579)

How does ext4 perform when compared to, say, reiserfs 3.6 or 4? What new features there are?

Re:performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421737)

ReiserFS just kills it.

Oh god, I'm sorry. So, so sorry. I just had to do it... oh god why did I go through with it?

Re:performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16423379)

maybe just this time, your wife may have the better answer...

hardware.slashdot.org? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16421591)

I thought file systems were typically constructed in, for and with software.

Re:hardware.slashdot.org? (1)

creepynut (933825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421777)

Not ext4, it's too cool for software.

Ext4 Features (1)

sacx13 (1011547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421593)

I'm happy to hear this. I just waiting to see the new features ... Proposed features of ext4 are delayed allocation, higher resolution timestamps, and support for larger volumes and file sizes. Regards

Advantages over XFS, for example. (4, Informative)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421611)

My question is why they don't mention why it is better to use ext4 then XFS.

XFS can do 9 exabytes (exabyte = 1024 petabytes).

They mention that ext4 is not faster than other filesystems.

Ofcourse people can do whatever they want, but why not spend their time making XFS easily resizable for example?

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (2, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421709)

Ofcourse people can do whatever they want, but why not spend their time making XFS easily resizable for example?

I would also appreciate block journaling for XFS.

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (1, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422187)

(exabyte = 1024 petabytes).

You mean, "exbibyte = 1024 pebibyte". An exabyte is exactly 1000 petabyte.

I used to think this was just fussy, but I am quite tired of guessing which system producers of hard disks/CDROMs/DVD+±×RWs use to figure out if that is enough for my needs.

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16422467)

I'm an XFS fan and I use it and have for years. I've also shipped products that used XFS on Linux.


It has 2 problems that I can see. 1) SGI isn't really funding it's development anymore. That's not a terrible problem as filesystems should kind of reach a "done state" While it is incredibly safe, from my experience, there are still regular bugs and patches that get applied. It hasn't been abandoned but I'm not sure what the level of committment is to keep it working correctly and I doubt we'll see any major changes to it. It's built to last quite a while though so I'm not sure what those changes would be. 2) The code base is fairly complex and that kind of keeps people out. By contrast, Ext(2,3,4) has been completely done from the bottom up by guys that are actively working on Linux still. If you're a budding filesystem guy, go have a look at the codes for the various filesystems. Ext2,3,4 is fairly accessable and looks quite a bit like what you see in OS textbooks. I don't think XFS is going to die or anything like that but it's just not clear what the future holds. OCFS2 is getting a lot of attention I could also see GFS2 become a standard FS at somepoint.


If ext4 uses extents and has more addressability, I'm not sure what other short-commings it would have. Performance is comparable, it doens't get blown out of the water at anything while it may not be the fastest at some things. It supports extended attributes for SELinux and quota and what have you, I'm somewhat surprised at how Reiserfs doesn't do this as well yet. It's also incredibly reliable. There is a bit of hype in filesystems regarding ZFS and Reiserfs4 but aside from log structuring and journaling, there has not really been too much innovation in filesystems. ZFS added block checksums which is nice but other than that it's just kind of rehashing the same shit with more addressability. RFS4 adds arbitrary plugins but you'll never dynamically change the semantics of a filesystem with a plugin without reformatting. The end user experience doesn't change that much and hasn't changed that much.

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (1)

Spirilis (3338) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422959)

Can't you grow an XFS online already? In fact, that's the only way you can grow an XFS filesystem... with it mounted.

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (1)

TheOrquithVagrant (582340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423023)

I think the main advantage over XFS is that the codebase won't make kernel developers vomit.

From a user POV, XFS is my favorite FS, and I've had no bad experiences with it whatsoever. However, from what I've heard about the code, I can fully understand why it's not "popular" among kernel devs, and why none of the enterprise distros favor it (because doing so would inevitably force _their_ kernel hackers to try to debug XFS-related errors).
I'm hoping now that SGI is officially "retiring" IRIX, XFS will be cleaned up and properly ported to Linux, rather than be essentially a non-native module with a "portability layer" around it, which from what I hear is the main reason the code is so ugly to work with.

features isn't everything (2, Informative)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423151)

My question is why they don't mention why it is better to use ext4 then XFS.

Simple: ext4 is a backwards compatible, evolutionary change from ext3, while XFS is a different file system and codebase. XFS doesn't offer sufficient advantages to overcome that built-in advantage of ext4 (after all, neither XFS nor ReiserFS managed to succeed even against ext3).

Re:Advantages over XFS, for example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16423487)

Remember that XFS was written by SGI to handle big files: video streams, audio streams, and high-res pictures. It's heavily optimized for it. Last time I used XFS it was slooooow when handling many small files.

Gee.... (1)

slightcrazed (973882) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421643)

....now I can make use of those 1400 1 terrabyte drives that I have sitting in my basement. I knew they'd be useful for something someday. How long until the RIAA sues because Ext4 will allow for even MORE music to be illegally downloaded and stored?

Re:Gee.... (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421883)

Kazaa is not available for Linux and runs poorly under wine. I don't think you have to worry too much about that.

Wow (2, Funny)

knipknap (769880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421683)

enabling Linux to support storage volumes up to 1020 petabytes in size

Now, is there anybody who still believes that porn does not drive innovation?

also in linus tree (2, Informative)

alonso (63617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421695)

From lwn current issue(you have to subscribe for the full article ;):

Also merged is the developmental ext4 filesystem, which includes a number of enhancements, including support for extents and 48-bit block numbers. See the ext4 documentation file if you are interested in playing with ext4 (and have good backups).

And how... (4, Insightful)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421755)

Will we back all this data up?

I'm honestly more interested in someone coming up with cheap, long term archival storage. Hard disks have gone so far past our ability to archive information it's beyond comprehension.

Re:And how... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421857)

Well, you could just back everything up on other hard drives, instead of using tapes or whatever else you are used to. Sure hard drives crash, but not when you just write the backup to them and then put them on a shelf. I don't think they'd be any less dependable than tapes.

Re:And how... (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422003)

I don't see the problem.

Harddiscs are, as you say currently superior to other storage-technologies.

So, you make backups to hard-disc then. Simple. Quick. Affordable.

Yes, the lifetime is limited, so you should make sure to have atleast 2 independent backups (that's true for any media, all media can go bad) and you should change them every 3 years or so.

The thing is, capacity is growing so rapidly, that in 3 years, what is now a hard-disc full of backup will be a hard-disc 10% full of backup.

I need a single hard-disc now to backup all my data. I have two, and store the two in physically separate buildings to ensure against fire, robbery or similar.

I expect to be able to make do with 2 hard-discs for the rest of my life. By the time the current 2 are old, I'll be able to buy 2 new ones with 10 times the capacity for the same price.

Where is the problem ?

Miss messing around with unreliable, slow, crappy, noisy, sensitive tapedrives all that much ?

Re:And how... (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422027)

Will we back all this data up?

20 years ago you would ask the same thing about 500 MB hard disks. And don't forget the article (or at least the sumary, as a good slashdotter I don't RTFA) says about the file system capacity, not the real capacity of hard disks. Petabytes hard disks are something for the future, not for now.

Re:And how... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423329)

Dude, who had 500MB drives in 1986?
I saw 50 meg drives that were 18" platters and scarry big.

I'd think your point still is valid though...
Anyone in 1986 faced with the prospect of backing up 500Mb would likely turn to the intern and say: "Start memorizing".

BTW, in 1986 if someone came up to you and told you that there would be hard drives in 20 years that are 750GB and were faster than your current system memory what would you have said to them?
-nB

Re:And how... (1)

holistah (1002858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422097)

haha, at the top of my page their is an ad for a 1 exabyte automated tape-backup system... it's uncanny how relevant the ads are on /.

duh (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422215)

Just mirror it over the internet, you silly goose! Bandwidth is cheap(ish)

Re:And how... (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422341)

You buy ten of them and do a super-redundant RAID.

Re:And how... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422825)

RAID won't help when you accidentally delete half of your database. Tape backups protect against more than just hardware failure.

Re:And how... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422949)

Indeed. Just ask my wife, who accidentally did an "rm -rf *" in her mirrored home directory...

Re:And how... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422615)

I'm honestly more interested in someone coming up with cheap, long term archival storage. Hard disks have gone so far past our ability to archive information it's beyond comprehension.
Once, I was like you. Backupless. Then I went down to by local PC store and happened by a 320GB external USB HDD for around 200. Needless to say my current backup woes have been solved. If I ever get around to building that terabyte fileserver, all I need do is lash together four of these little beauties and use something like DAR [linux.free.fr] , to span the backup over multiple disks. Or in lieu of that mount all the disks as one filesystem. It may well be painful, but at least it will be cheap.

Re:And how... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423197)

What's wrong with RAID5 ? Linux does it in software now so you can't say controllers are expensive.

Re:And how... (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423479)

You: Ha! My RAID system can handle hardware failures!

Luser: Dude, uh.... um.... I think I umm.... accidentally deleted the database.

You: Doh!

640k (1, Funny)

malzraa (1012921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421817)

Who needs ext4? I'm perfectly satisfied with my 640k, and so should you!

Re:640k (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422071)

Who needs ext4? I'm perfectly satisfied with my 640k, and so should you!

Have you heard of porn? Yeah, I didn't think so...

Re:640k (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422385)

Back in my day, we didn't have these fancy jpegs and xvid, we had to make do with ASCII porn, you insensitive sod.

Re:640k (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423467)

"Clod" Peppe, it's "Clod".

Re:640k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16422237)

You use a filesystem for your main memory? Yow!

Re:640k (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423001)

1020 Petabytes should be enough for anybody...

extents (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421847)

"and to write files in 'extents,'"

Aright! 1970s mainframe technology, here we come!

Re:extents (2, Informative)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422001)

Exactly. How well will EXT4 handle CI/CA splits? What userspace tools will exist to tune VSAM, I mean, EXT4 extents?

With EXT4 having extents we'll finally have the joy of defragmenting a hard drive like Windows people. Yea, progress!

Re:extents (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423525)

Aright! 1970s mainframe technology, here we come!

Given the reputation of 1970's mainframe technology for being bomb-proof, reliable, stable, and useful, I'd say it's about fscking time.

Just because something was a good idea then, doesn't mean it isn't a good idea now.

Cheers

Interesting in light of OpenSuSE's decision... (4, Interesting)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421897)

to no longer use ReiserFS [wordpress.com] as its default FS (orig. reported on OSNews.com [osnews.com] ...don't think I've seen it here yet). I think this came out before the whole Hans Reiser affair, BTW.

SuSE contrasted the ease of upgrading ReiserFS and ExtFS versions:

ReiserFS v3 is a dead end. Hans has been pushing reiser4 for years now and declared Reiser3 in maintenance mode. Any changes that arent bug fixes are met with violent resistance. Reiser4 is not an incremental update and requires a reformat, which is unreasonable for most people.... Ext3 has a clear upgrade path. There is quite a bit of interest in the community in improving ext3, and ext4 is already under development. Like the upgrade path from ext2 to ext3, the path to ext4 is clearly defined. Existing file systems can be updated easily, and new files will be able to take advantage of the new features.

Experimental?? (2, Interesting)

scsirob (246572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16421907)

What I don't onderstand is that this is merged into the 2.6 kernel tree today. What has happened to the concept of -stable (2.6) and -experimental (2.7) trees? This would be aperfect opportunity to open the next experimental branche..

Re:Experimental?? (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422545)

It's not in the main 2.6.x kernels, it's in the -mm kernel. Andrew Morton's kernel patchset has always been bleeding edge.

Re:Experimental?? (2, Informative)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422583)

What has happened to the concept of -stable (2.6) and -experimental (2.7) trees?

http://www.lkml.org/ [lkml.org]

You can use the archive function to go back to about two thousand and fucking four. That way you can answer the question yourself instead of everyone else having to go through this tired old shit yet again.

Re:Experimental?? (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422751)

What has happened to the concept of -stable (2.6) and -experimental (2.7) trees?

They're all equally stable now :-)

Novell Suse prefers Ext3/Ext4 over ReiserFS 3 / 4 (3, Interesting)

maggard (5579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16422157)

Other Reiser issues aside, the SuSE folks at Novell are looking to leave [linux.com] the nearly unsupported reiserfs3 (in maintenance support, which isn't enough for them) and move to ext3 as their default FS. Why? They feel ext3 is a lot more mature & better/wider supported then reiserfs4, is an easier migration, and appreciate that there is a solid roadmap from ext3 to ext4.

Of course this would also be the week that (coincidentally) Andrew Morton gives reiserfs4 the green light [apcstart.com] for eventual mainline kernel inclusion.

extents oh boy! (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16423157)

Now my p0rn won't be fragmented!
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