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Novell Moves Away From ReiserFS

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the first-domino dept.

404

VSquared56 writes, "Novell announced a shift in the default filesystem from ReiserFS to ext3 for users of its SuSE Enterprise Linux. This news comes shortly after Hans Reiser's arrest, though Novell says the decision was being considered long before. Though Novell will continue supporting ReiserFS 3, it claims ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4. What implications will this have for SuSE users, and ReiserFS's future as a whole?"

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It's Deja Vu All over Again (-1, Redundant)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442841)

I bet we see this article once every day for the next ... well, till the trial is over.

Re:It's Deja Vu All over Again (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442887)

I predicted this a few days ago, when I wrote here:

That it /is/ going to damage reiserfs is beyond any doubt, no matter whether he's proven innocent, not proven guilty, or proven guilty. The name is tainted, and a business executive will not likely touch anything related to that person, no matter whether it gets taken over and run by other people or not.


This was modded flamebait.

People, you might not want to hear it, and you might not agree with stupid knee-jerk reactions, but these reactions will be coming. The name "reiserfs" is tainted, whether that's rational or not.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:It's Deja Vu All over Again (3, Insightful)

bernywork (57298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442939)

Unfortunately, I hate to agree with you, but it's true. If they project renames and then it continues, it might get picked up again.

The other concern is going to be about support, if Hans is found guilty or not, it doesn't really matter. A company such as Novell may consider that the filesystem platform isn't as supported as what it once was and is moving away from it.

From a marketing point of view, Novell won't want to associated with it either. If they show support for him, and he is found guilty, it's a marketing nightmare for Novell.

Just rename it (0, Flamebait)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442971)

As I said in another post, if you want to market it, just rename it "The Filesystem that Serves You Right." ServesYouRightFS anyone? :-/

Re:Just rename it (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443035)

ReiserFS --> ServesYouRightFS...

Imagine the jokes if Hans was found guilty.... Maybe not.

Re:It's Deja Vu All over Again (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443191)

A company such as Novell may consider that the filesystem platform isn't as supported as what it once was and is moving away from it.
Good. They should be throwing their weight behind a better filesystem like XFS or JFS instead. If you're dealing with large files a lot, they put ext3fs AND reiserfs to shame. The only place I'd use ext3 anymore is on my system disk, but my large video stores run JFS.

Re:It's Deja Vu All over Again (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443233)

If you're dealing with large files a lot, they put ext3fs AND reiserfs to shame. The only place I'd use ext3 anymore is on my system disk, but my large video stores run JFS.

Yes, JFS and XFS suit you better than Reiser4, but not everyone USES big files, everyone uses small ones though. [XJ]FS suits big files better, Reiser4 supports little ones better, it doesn't mean that one is better than the other.

Hard to Believe (4, Informative)

countach (534280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443237)

Not that I've got my finger right on the pulse of FS development, but I find it hard to believe that ext3 is soon going to equal Reiserfs for all cases. Perhaps for a typical case, but ReiserFS was supposed to allow a lot of stuff that was not feasible with ext3 like efficiently having really small files, using the FS as a database, and a lot of other potentially groundbreaking research and abilities. I hope none of the good ideas get lost.

Re:It's Deja Vu All over Again (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443445)

The name "reiserfs" is tainted, whether that's rational or not.


Apparently it is to be called "icefs" in Etch.

Something to do with Hans not being available to QA patches by the Debian kernel team.

Let this be a lesson to you all (-1, Troll)

nih (411096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442843)

Crime does not pay!

Re:Let this be a lesson to you all (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443013)

Crime does not pay!

Ok, ReiserFS might be a bit on the slow and unstable side, but I would not actually call it a crime.

Hurm (5, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442851)

What implications will this have for SuSE users

Well, just a guess . . . but they might have to use a new filesystem!

Have you ever heard the phrase: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442861)

"Rats are the first to desert a sinking ship"?

Batman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442871)

Holy filesystem batman! :O

The Slashdot Way... (5, Funny)

xquark (649804) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442883)

I think is to have a poll as to measure people's opinions
about the guy's innocence. With options such as
1. He is innocent
2. He is guilty
3. Cowboyneal did it etc..

You're forgetting (5, Funny)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442927)

4. The bitch set me up (Marion Barry)
5. The glove's too tight (OJ)
6. Is that Chewbacca here? (Chewbacca defense)

Re:The Slashdot Way... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442933)

Re:The Slashdot Way... (3, Funny)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443123)

I think anyone capable of writing a filesystem is capable of killing a person. But also anyone writing an open source software is too kind to kill a person.

xfs for ever (2, Interesting)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442885)

why not move to xfs? it's a very good performance file system. unless there a rumours of the author being a murderer of course.

Re:xfs for ever (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442925)

why not move to xfs? it's a very good performance file system.


XFS is high performance especially for large files and multitasked access.
reiserfs (3) is high performance especially for small files and singletasked access.
JFS is also a good journalled file system with many nifty features, although perhaps not as mature as XFS.

unless there a rumours of the author being a murderer of course.


Neither X nor J have been accused of murder, to my knowledge.

All hail J.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:xfs for ever (2, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443029)

why not move to xfs?

Both XFS and EXT3 are more of a step sideways than a step up. I'd love to see a mainstream Linux distro adopt Sun's ZFS as its default filesystem.

Re:xfs for ever (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443135)

I'd love to see a mainstream Linux distro adopt Sun's ZFS as its default filesystem.

Oooh, imagine a Zettabyte pr0n collection!

Re:xfs for ever (2, Funny)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443225)

what about a shared pr0n collection with afs?

Re:xfs for ever (2, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443501)

That would be the A to Z collection of pr0n!

Re:xfs for ever (4, Interesting)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443075)

There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.

Re:xfs for ever (3, Interesting)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443129)

For the record, I was also quite underwhelmed by XFS. The Gentoo people, I think, wrote that XFS is primarily to large files and *only* if you have an UPS (and proper shutdown control). The problem is that it (quite aggressively) cache write-data; I have seen data disappear which was written nearly 2 hours before. I am quite happy with ext3. Reiserfs had a nasty tendency to slowly deteriorate over time, becoming slower and slower.

Re:xfs for ever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443463)

That's exactly right. Reiser-bots (or any filesystem zealots) should remember this: EXT2/3 are virtually bullet-proof. They are used in a HUGE numbner of systems and have been tested over and over and over again in a vast array of hardware and conditions.

EXT3 works. Some filesystems do niche tasks better (very large systems, for example, might be better with GFS)... but EXT3 is a workhorse. It does well in all conditions and for general purpose use it is unbeatable. If you don't know what you are doing, do not listen to zealots. Stick with the distro default -- which is EXT3/

Re:xfs for ever (2, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443173)

There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.
That's what backups are for. Seriously, with XFS you run a very real risk of zeroing out a file if the file system isn't shut down properly. But with reiserfs, you run a very real risk of losing the file system. In over a decade, I've never seen that happen with XFS -- only zeroed out files.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:xfs for ever (2, Interesting)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443203)

Actually, the zero-filled files is a misfeature of XFS. Having a UPS will not save you. There are two XFS problems:

  1. Power loss can destroy your filesystem. Solution: do not use XFS or ReiserFS without a UPS.
  2. An unclean shutdown can leave you with zero-filled files. AFAIK this is a design flaw in XFS or, depending how you look at it, a tradeoff of data integrity for performance. If you don't like the tradeoff then your only choice is to use another filesystem.

Source: http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Filesystems/reiserfs.htm l [linuxmafia.com]

Re:xfs for ever (4, Insightful)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443391)

What good is a UPS going to do in the case the machine powers off because of a problem with the power unit, a motherboard short circuit, and so on? Any filesystem with serious data loss on a power failure is not acceptable, period.

Re:xfs for ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443519)

I've been using XFS on IRIX boxen for more than 10 years and never in that time have I experienced data loss. Must be a Linux version only problem. The JFS port is a half baked version lacking the robustness of the AIX version. Maybe it's the same with XFS.

For junk hardware like x86 I usually stick to BSD and UFS2.

Re:xfs for ever (4, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443247)

That's what backups are for. Seriously, with XFS you run a very real risk of zeroing out a file if the file system isn't shut down properly.

OMG, are you kidding? If it was NTFS or FAT, people on /. would be going crazy about it. It would be more famous than the BSoD.

Re:xfs for ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443269)

I have used ReiserFS for a long time, on many different systems and different circumstances.
Systems have lost power, and maybe a few times systems have crashed. Systems had uptimes over a year, have been working for several years until they were rsynced over to new hardware and continued working.

In all this time I have never seen anything go bad on a ReiserFS.
There is only one thing I did not like: one time I had a bad block (track, really) on a disk, and this of course resulted in some data loss. But worse, ReiserFS refused to work around the damage and the manual page declared that I had to buy a new disk. I found this sub-optimal but I did not lose other data than what was in the bad area.

Are you sure there is a problem? I have not seen it. Could it be bad hardware? Maybe the victims had read/write errors more often? (I normally use RAID-1 for all filesystems except the one mentioned above)

Re:xfs for ever (2, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443303)

In the defence of the ReiserFS, if a disk reports a bad block to the operating system then it means that its internal supply of spare blocks (that are used to transparently replace bad blocks) has been exhausted, and that the disk should be replaced immediatly.

For example:

# smartctl -A /dev/hdg
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   253   253   063    Pre-fail  Always       -       0

This disk hasn't yet had any bad blocks. As the disk ages and blocks go bad, RAW_VALUE will go up, and VALUE will go down. When VALUE <= THRESHOLD then there are no more spare blocks and bad block errors will be reported to the operating system. At this point the disk should be replaced.

Re:xfs for ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443473)

In the defence of the ReiserFS, if a disk reports a bad block to the operating system then it means that its internal supply of spare blocks (that are used to transparently replace bad blocks) has been exhausted, and that the disk should be replaced immediatly.

For writing this is mostly true, but not really for reading. When reading a sector the disk will always report it as bad if it is bad, regardless of how many spare sectors there are left.

There are two cases when a sector will be reallocated:
1. When you write to a known bad sector.
2. When you successfully read a sector that is about to go bad.

Re:xfs for ever (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443355)

``Are you sure there is a problem? I have not seen it.''

The problem is, the fact that you are not experiencing any problems doesn't mean they aren't lurking in a corner somewhere. Once you find your filesystem has eaten your precious work, you know there's something wrong, but the fact that it hasn't done so (yet) doesn't prove anything.

Now, if you search the Tubes, you will find that some people have experienced problems with ReiserFS. Clearly, it hasn't always been rock solid. Are these problems fixed now? Let's hope so. Does that mean ReiserFS is bug free now? Probably not.

Of course, the same is true of pretty much any other filesystem, as well. In my personal experience, ReiserFS has been the most reliable _and_ the fastest filesystem I've used, but that's just one person's experience.

Re:xfs for ever (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443217)

There have been too many reports in the last couple of months of people whose machines have lost power, and booted up, only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.
i cannot see why the filesystem would be zeroed, perhaps a while, which would make sense, since a open(), seek(), write(), close() can result in a file full of zeros, if only part of it is written then that makes perfect sense.

are there any documents or reports of the file system being zeroed? i've never had a problem with it in the years i've been using it as my primary file system.

Re:xfs for ever (1)

Chatz (8725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443339)

Can you please point me to a single instance of a complete filesystem being filled with zeros?

Files that have been grown and written into cache may contain zeros because the linux vm did not ask XFS to write that data out yet. The application (and user) always has the option of sync'ing the file to push it to disk straight away.

Re:xfs for ever (2, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443371)

only to find that every file on their XFS filesystems has been filled with zeroes.

A similar thing happened to me, but it was just one file, /dev/zero. I even tried switching filesystems, but that didn't fix it.

Rats first and Captain last (3, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442895)

At least that's what happens to a sinking ship. A maintainer going missing does not quite instill the users with confidence, especially when it is happening due to reasons other than flagging interest. Most commercial distributions have SLAs which sort of work against such brilliant work by an individual contributor - they just can't depend on the whims of a person or his fate.

One of my friends once told me that "Extraordinary hackers are people with socially acceptable problems". In fact to achieve what they feel they must, a lot of them give up a lot - health, social lives and financial security. But because a few do that, does not mean FOSS programmers are crackpots [gmane.org] . And I say this as a son who's home (which I can because my commits go to a public CVS) watching over a sick father.

So as understandable as it is that commercial vendors might want to switch away, but that doesn't mean anyone gets to shine a torch or make jokes [reboot.net.au] into somebody else's darkness.

Re:Rats first and Captain last (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442955)

"What you learn, when you read works like Novum Organum by Sir Francis Bacon, is that science is about being a blind man with a stick, and he who most persistently pokes blindly ahead of him, contributes the most to our understanding of the Universe, though only if he is willing to accept what the poking tells him that he does not want to be true. I am not as qualified or clever as our competition, and we aren't as well funded, but we are much more persistent and rigorous. That is not what I wanted to believe would be my contribution to the field when I was a boy, but so it is."

-Hans Reiser

Murder is not a socially acceptable problem though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442993)

He's accused of murder. It's not like he stole a 6-pack from the corner 7-11.

Re:Murder is not a socially acceptable problem tho (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443025)

>Murder is not a socially acceptable problem though

He remains innocent until proven guilty by a jury, unless you know better.

Re:Murder is not a socially acceptable problem tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443095)

I give you the word "society", if thats spelled right. Anyways, it depends on what society you are in, weather or not killing someone is allowed, and under what circumstances that it is allowed in. For example, wayway back, ritual fights to the death where accepted, now days, only if its court ordered, and its not much of a fight with one of em being tied down and all, which is why they call it executions.

Since its his wife, you could say that he couldent have possibly killed her. Since they where married, they could be seen as one, thus, if he did do this, he dident murder her, but he commited suicide, but since hes still alive, we can only deduce that he only killed part of himself, thats call this process, divorice.

Anymore questions?

Re:Murder is not a socially acceptable problem tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443351)

I'm glad I flunked you in Philosophy 101.

Re:Rats first and Captain last (4, Informative)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443097)

Almost right, but the fact is Hans Reiser wasn't reisersfs3 maintainer. He long ago declared version 3 was dead and only reiser4fs worth using. reiserfs3 was maintained mainly by one guy in SUSE, who became fed up with it. And rightly recomended going to ext3/ext4.

Just BTW, I am using reiserfs3 on my system and I thinking about migration to some FS with future.

anyone gets to shine a torch (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443141)

Sure we do, its part of human nature to poke fun at others misery. It doesnt have to be 'personal'.

Re:Rats first and Captain last (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443155)

At least that's what happens to a sinking ship.

I don't think it is... or at least, SUSE's decision isn't motivated by the recent unpleasantness over Reiser's arrest. Back when ext3 was under development, I remember being swamped by the usual Reiser-bots claiming that it was the future... that ext3 was just crap built on crap etc. I kept trying to tell them that ext3 was essential, that all those ext2 systems had to be supported and that the up/downgrade feature of ext3 was *killer*. People don't want to wipe and reformat. I urged them to only use Reiser for stuff like newsfeeds or temp filestores (since it worked well for lots of small files)... and that besides the manifest incompatiblity with ext systems, it had shitty recovery tools as was brittle in the face of hardware problems. None of them listened and they carried on screeching like harpies whenever anyone mentioned ext file systems.

And now, finally, SUSE comes to their senses. NOTE: this isn't a criticism of Reiser -- it has its advantages. Just don't base any critical long-term systems on it. Your default choice should be ext3. And don't listen to the legions of zealots who say otherwise. Most of my advice from 5 years ago still applies today.

Re:Rats first and Captain last (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443461)

And I say this as a son who's home (which I can because my commits go to a public CVS) watching over a sick father.
I think your father would recover a lot faster if you weren't by his sickbed clacking over your keyboard and humming PC. Word to the wise, if you're in deep hack and he asks for water, don't pass him the Mountain Dew.

Explain to me, please (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442909)

it claims ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4

ext3 will match reiserfs4? how? when? are they talking about ext4?

Re:Explain to me, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442941)

yes, i was wondering why they were talking about matching performance to reiserfs 4. they probably mean ext4.

conversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16442913)

Hopefully someone will write a conversion utility...
Right now, it is very unpractical to change existing systems from ReiserFS to Ext3. It is either "install from scratch" or "dump and restore with enough trickery to get the correct fstab and initrd on the next boot".

Re:conversion (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443231)

Can you even dump in one fs format and restore in another?

Re:conversion (4, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443341)

Yes, in fact someone made a command to do just that: `cp`

Re:conversion (1)

Jessta (666101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443249)

why would you convert your file system? There is no reason to unless you are actually having issues with it.

Old news (5, Informative)

lintux (125434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442923)

This news comes shortly after Hans Reiser's arrest
That news was this week. This news from SuSE, however, is very old [wordpress.com] already and apparently they indeed decided about this before Reiser got arrested.

It's also interesting how people now explain the blood on Reiser's shirt in this comic [geekz.co.uk] , while this comic also predates this whole arrest story. :-)

Re:Old news (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443147)

Mod the parent up. This was pretty well known before the Reiser arrest.

Re:Old news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443263)

This 'story' should be pulled. It is not true to say that they announced this after the arrest - therefore there is no story.

But... (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443301)

While those events predate the arrest, Hans' house was being searched [cbs5.com] as early as the 13th of September.

Re:Old news (0, Flamebait)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443379)

It's also interesting how people now explain the blood on Reiser's shirt in this comic, while this comic also predates this whole arrest story. :-)

Sheesh. Too Soon. [encycloped...matica.com]

arrest aside... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous MadCoe (613739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442965)

It seems that ReiserFS really depends on 1 guy. For any company this is a risk. It sounds reasonable to me to stay away from products and features like that.

Re:arrest aside... (2)

Bronster (13157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443011)

Hans Reiser really hasn't been supporting Reiserfs (v3) for a while now, most of the work has been coming out of SuSE anyway. At least, the patches we've been running (mostly merged into mainline now) have been coming from them, and we're not even a customer.

I guess we won't be bugging Hans about issues for a bit now. Hope he's innocent and it gets resolved quickly - must suck for everyone involved right now.

Re:arrest aside... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443199)

``It seems that ReiserFS really depends on 1 guy.''

What about all the paid developers working for Namesys?

Re:arrest aside... (1)

SumoRoti (1000740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443287)

It seems that ReiserFS really depends on 1 guy. For any company this is a risk. It sounds reasonable to me to stay away from products and features like that.
Of course, if Linus Torvalds did zoophilia with penguins, I'd never use Linux... Or if Steve Jobs wears leopard panty...

Nothing todo with Hans' arrest. (5, Informative)

linuxpoweredtrekkie (659492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16442985)

Several commenters appear to think that this is due to the arrest of Hans, In fact it was announced over a month ago, before any of the stories about Hans broke. The original announcement is from the 14th september http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-factory/2006-09 /msg00542.html [opensuse.org]

Stories about Hans began before that (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443285)

And the search for Nina's body, and searches on Hans' house began before that [cbs5.com] (story published on the 13th of September).

Re:Nothing todo with Hans' arrest. (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443439)

Although "we" never noticed it, the Reiser news has been around for much longer, check Google News sorted by date [google.co.uk] . I read some older articles (prior to the arrest, prior to Nina going missing). Although the decision is defendable on its own, don't ignore the fact that reiserfs has been under control of a workaholic mathematician in a tough divorce while $170K in debt for a quite a while. This must have affected development and as such had an indirect influence. In the end it's all related.

Smart move, just a little late (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443005)

When it comes to performance between the filesystems (reiser vs. ext3 vs. xfs) then I don't have much to comment, but with regards to security... I've used reiser for quite some time but in the end threw it away because it just couldn't cope with what I wanted..

First your average backup. Yes, I'm well aware that you can always tools like tar but really.. Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup. Yes you can use tar, but I don't consider this decent. I'm talking about tools like backup/restore (ext3) or even native "ports" like xfsdump/xfsrestore. Easy, fast and reliable. Make a whole dump (or increamental), you can then either restore the whole session or use an interactive shell to merely grab the file(s) you're after. Naturally it also supports commandline parameters. And Reiser? IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong please) its even longer around than xfs, and even xfs managed to get me something decent for making backups...

Last but not least; crash recovery. I know, this is threading on thin ice since these results cannot be reproduced perse but the whole nature of reiser makes it good and bad for workstations (like SuSE). The good part is its speed, the way it caches and writes data in such a way where it tries to store things in one specific part makes it faster. I can't comment if reiser really is faster than others, I never noticed it. But the bad part is also that if you have a crash on your hands (just turn of your computer right now. No, not a shutdown but keep the powerbutton pressed untill it goes "poof") and reboot chances are very high that you just lost valuable data.

The theory behind journaling should give you some protection against this, and normally it does, but its my experience that whenever something like this happened on a box which was using reiser I lost just too many files. Several files in /etc used to become corrupt, binaries started going haywire and the worst part: because the index wasn't affected it was quite hard to detect these bad files.

Eventually I moved to XFS myself and never bothered looking back. Its not perfect, absolutely not since on XFS you too can experience situations like I just described. But in that same environment where I sometimes had to endure a powerloss I noticed that the frequency in which my data became corrupt was far and far less than with reiser. So my conclusion: reiser isn't the best when it comes to keeping your data safe. Its also a conclusion which has been backed up by other people who experiences the same problems in a more or lesser degree.

So my comment: finally Novell is coming to its senses. IMO they should have done this years ago, either going to XFS (my favorite) or ext3 where the latter is ofcourse the most logical choice considering how this evolved from ext2 (which, strangely enough, used to be the default on SuSE. I never did understand why they'd move away from it).

Re:Smart move, just a little late (1)

DRobson (835318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443239)

[...]the bad part is also that if you have a crash on your hands (just turn of your computer right now. No, not a shutdown but keep the powerbutton pressed untill it goes "poof") and reboot chances are very high that you just lost valuable data.
Dude, that's the case with everything, it's an inherent risk with caching. Journaling is not, as you implied, designed to fix this problem. Journaling ensures that the system can be rapidly recovered to a known good state. What you're looking for is some sort of flushing interval, and while I'm not up on the specifics of ReiserFS I'm sure it's a configurable parameter.

Re:Smart move, just a little late (3, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443299)

Let me start by saying I'm not disagreeing with you, just pointing out that different people may have different experiences (AKA YMMV).

``First your average backup. Yes, I'm well aware that you can always tools like tar but really.. Its the same deal with Sun's current development ZFS: it lacks the option to decently make a backup. Yes you can use tar, but I don't consider this decent. I'm talking about tools like backup/restore (ext3) or even native "ports" like xfsdump/xfsrestore. Easy, fast and reliable. Make a whole dump (or increamental), you can then either restore the whole session or use an interactive shell to merely grab the file(s) you're after. Naturally it also supports commandline parameters. And Reiser? IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong please) its even longer around than xfs, and even xfs managed to get me something decent for making backups...''

I believe backup tools that depend on the specifics of filesystems are a bad idea.

When you go looking for filesystem-independent backup tools, I'm sure you'll find plenty (the recent thread here on Slashdot may be a good starting point). I myself keep most of my data in Subversion repositories and databases; backups are made through the appropriate backup tools. Whatever is left on the filesystem is synchronized between a couple of computers using rsync.

``The good part is its speed, the way it caches and writes data in such a way where it tries to store things in one specific part makes it faster. I can't comment if reiser really is faster than others, I never noticed it.''

In the tests I ran, it wiped the floor with ext2 and (OpenBSD) ffs, especially when extracting lots of small files. I have no idea how it compares to more modern filesystems like XFS, ZFS, etc.

``But the bad part is also that if you have a crash on your hands (just turn of your computer right now. No, not a shutdown but keep the powerbutton pressed untill it goes "poof") and reboot chances are very high that you just lost valuable data.''

Although I have lost files on ReiserFS partitions, I've lost way more on ext2 and (especially) HFS+ partitions.

``The theory behind journaling should give you some protection against this, and normally it does, but its my experience that whenever something like this happened on a box which was using reiser I lost just too many files. Several files in /etc used to become corrupt, binaries started going haywire and the worst part: because the index wasn't affected it was quite hard to detect these bad files.''

Often when files seem to be missing after a crash, fsck has been able to recover them for me. This goes for ext2, reiserfs, ffs, and hfs+. Reiserfs is the only one of these on which I have never gotten the filesystem so broken it couldn't be fixed anymore.

In case people are wondering where I get my data from: I work with a lot of old hardware which sometimes fails, laptops that run out of battery or are dropped on the floor, accidentally unplugged power cables, and the occasional unclean shutdown.

incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443477)

And Reiser? IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong please) its even longer around than xfs

Hmm. You are incorrect except in one sense. I have been using XFS on SGI systems for 10 years, so it's older. However, it may have been introduced into Linux later then ReiserFS.

Thins aren't looking up for Hans. (5, Informative)

dannycim (442761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443007)

Geez, now blood's found in his car, and with the passenger seat missing [mercurynews.com] , history of abuse, guy is arrested with $8,900 and his passport on him...

If he were a famous football player, he'd have a chance, but I don't think a filesystem developer can muster up a "dream team".

I expect other distros will knee-jerk too.

$ mount /dev/hda3 on / type reiserfs (rw)

Re:Thins aren't looking up for Hans. (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443397)

Nothing to do with reiserfs, but that is a stunningly crappy article. Nina "kicked him out" ? What sort of language is that? Also, weird non sequiturs in the article make it difficult to determine what was imporant and what wasn't - "also included was a receipt for a syphon pump". Maybe he had a snickers bar wrapper in his pocket too? Ooooh!

Lastly, this just shows how you SHOULDNT buy stuff on credit cards or ATM cards, they pulled his records and found what books he bought.

Re:Thins aren't looking up for Hans. (2, Funny)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443509)

What, everyone is supposed to use cash on the off chance that they might kill their spouse so that it will be harder for the police to figure out if you really did it or not?

Even for slashdot thats some fucked up logic.

Re:Thins aren't looking up for Hans. (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443447)

Anyone who owns a company where most of the developers are located in Russia would probably be prepared to travel on quite a short notice.

Can't explain the blood though. :)

I wouldn't think much of the "abuse history". Such accusations are supposedly very common in a divorce, especially when both parents wants to keep custody of the children.

Is the charge worth getting rid of a product? (2, Insightful)

Skuggi (998859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443061)

Come on now, just cause someones charged with murder, should that really stop the progress of technology? I can see changing the name if he's convicted, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty...

XFS anyone? (1)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443079)

Why not move it to XFS? This says "commercial production ready" to me.

ext3 more reliable? Whatthe! (4, Interesting)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443119)

it claims ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4.

Gee, ext3 must've matured a lot in the past few years. I stopped using extX filesystems long ago because they lost files after power cuts waay too easily. ( I could bork an old RedHat install simply by pulling the plug/rebooting several times ). Moved to reiser then xfs and barely lost anything if I had to force a reboot.

Re:ext3 more reliable? Whatthe! (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443133)

You didn't have a UPS that could last through an install? Or you were just showing off?

Re:ext3 more reliable? Whatthe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443429)

Completely wrong. ext2/3 have demonstrably more reliablity in the face of shitty hardware/power outages. It's been shown many, many times. They were developed for it... unlike basically any of Reiser's filesystems... which all assume perfect hardware and conditions, and hence have a documented history of shitting on file systems.

Re:ext3 more reliable? Whatthe! (4, Interesting)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443457)

I stopped using extX filesystems long ago because they lost files after power cuts waay too easily.


That's still better than reiserfs, which does not need a power cut in order to lose data. I still recall a comment from a tech support area I used to frequent: "reiserfs runs really fast until it crashes and you lose all your data. As a result it has a lot of ex-users who are now sadder but wiser."

It is also important to remember that ext3 can be configured for a number of different points along the speed/safety tradeoff, so any stories about problems (with speed *or* safety) should state which mode they were using.

And then (-1, Troll)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443143)

What's going to happen is this.

He will go to jail for a very long time and his file system will remain mostly pointless for a very long time, then it will go from being pointless to forgotten. In the end, Linux will still be a very bad OS and an incoherent one at that. Then in the year 2035 Firfox grabbed another 1% market share versus IE at 97%...and the gnomes made happy. The Linux mods dropped a mod bomb on my ass in order to shut me up. Conspiracy theorie abound until I was photographd in Monaco with Mike Jackson and at least three of us were seen wearing high heels purchased in Milan on a Tuesday.

Re:And then (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443313)

He will go to jail for a very long time

If found guilty, probably jail for a very long time followed by execution. California has capital punishment.

Regards,
--
*Art

Roumors (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443159)

Roumors has that there are a coupl of pedophils and 5-6 thieves between ext3 developers as well... so what's next for Linux? NFS as native system?

this FP for GNAA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443189)

Re:this FP for GNAA! (1)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443419)

yuo fgt. no rly f u. go away. k tknx.

ext3 Performance Matches Reiser4?! (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443209)

``ext3 is more stable and will 'soon' match performance with the newer ReiserFS 4''

Huh? In whose benchmarks? What about space usage? What about plugins for arbitrary attributes?

Hans Reiser (1)

alewar (784204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443211)

some thoughts about him [blogspot.com]

Re:Hans Reiser (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443377)

FTFB: ``Now, such smart guy like him, couldn't see it coming back in 1999?''

Well, just because he's smart doesn't mean he's good at judging people, or even scams. I know lots of smart people, and plenty of them have been scammed, cheated upon, etc. in cases where you'd think it was too obvious. That includes myself, by the way.

Re:Hans Reiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443443)

Good one. It boggles my mind how sometimes people cannot sense malice even when it is very obvious.

Symptoms and Causes (1)

caudron (466327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443281)

What implications will this have for SuSE users, and ReiserFS's future as a whole?

Assuming this wasn't a rhetorical question, I'd say the answer is that the ReiserFS will be impacted only slightly by Novell's decision. The far bigger impact will be from a criminal conviction. Free Software is about community and community is all about those subjective intangibles like reputation, "coolness", and mob effects.

Whether we like it or not, this highlights a serious problem with the development model. Likewise, it indirectly highlights one of its strengths. Free software programmers are very much pack animals, like the rest of us. We tend to folllow the herd (I don't mean that in the modern "bad" sense of the phrase. We stick with those we know and enjoy hanging with. We do things we perceive subjectively as fun or cool. We join projects that interest us, we leave projects that offend or dissappoint or bore us. With the GPL, a company that relies on a no-longer-cool project can always pick up the banner and try to reinvigorate interest, but in the end the projects that have momentum have it because they have that special unnamable something that brings people to the fold.

Ubuntu got the right press from the right people at the right time. Is it better than Fedora or Mandriva or whatever? Of course not. But it's market mindshare is through the roof from a perfect storm of developers that got interested in the things Mark Shuttleworth was preaching. They were NOT tempted by technology. The followed the herd, and lo and behold, now Ubuntu Is doing technically cool things. Now, with all this backing and interest, they ARE moving ahead of Fedora and Mandriva in some core ways. That happens in Free software. It does not ever happen in proprietary software, which is purely driven by corporate interest.

If the ReiserFS falls it will be for the same reason we will eventually have an iPod Killer---because eventually the cool kids that tend to lead the pack will decide there are better things to do. A murder conviction might just cause that. Novell's decision is a symptom of that, not a cause of it.

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]

Not a whole of problem (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443307)

One thing that's great (and not so great) about Linux distributions is that the filesystems are largely decoupled from the block device. Unlike AIX in which the FS and volume type are set just about joined at birth, with Linux you can put almost any filesystem on any device. This means that the tools are more generic (and maybe not as easy to use) but it gives great flexibility. For SuSe, the troubleshooting and command line tools may change slightly, but for the most part there will be no difference for the majority of users. In fact, in my SuSe build I chose ext3 because I'm more comfortable with it.

ReiserFS EOL? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443323)

Perhaps the reason SUSE will be moving away from ReiserFS has to do not so much with Hans Reiser's arrest, but with the fact that Namesys (developers of ReiserFS) has been focussing their attention and resources on Reiser4 (the successor of the old ReiserFS) for...what? a number of _years_, now?

ReiserFS v3 not maintained by Reiser (1)

scotsgit (792029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443353)

Novell and previously SUSE have basically been maintaining the version of ReiserFS in the mainline kernel. The choice is easy keep maintaining an FS yourself or use a maintained FS. Whatever the performance or other issues ext3 is the best maintained FS in the kernel.

Ending submissions with an idiotic question (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443359)

Editors, if you're the ones doing it, please stop. If submitters are doing it, please edit their submissions. We don't need this Roland Piquipaille/Ric Romero style of foolishness, i.e. "Blah blah has happened to company FOO, what do you all think?" Posting it for discussion on Slashdot IMPLIES you're going to get a million different viewpoints, none of which are really important to the submitter. You'll get the viewpoints anyway, you don't need to "prompt" us for them.

bummer of a downgrade (1)

louzerr (97449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443395)

Ouch! That would be very sad if SuSE actually backs away from a modern filesystem, to go back to ext2(3,4, etc).

So much for forward progression for Linux.

Maybe we should look at vfat instead ... there used to be a lot of people using it, so it must be good.

A sad day for SuSE, and a sad day for the future of linux.

uncertainty (1)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443421)

I don't think it's so much that ext3 is more stable than Reiserfs, just that extX has a future (or two futures, to be more precise) whereas the future of ReiserX is a little uncertain at the moment.

Novell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16443467)

Who's Novell and what do they have to do with Linux?

ext3 to match ReiserFS 4? (2, Insightful)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 7 years ago | (#16443475)

That does seem a little unlikely. Isn't ext3 still basically ext2 with journaling? How are they still making such progress with it that performance will soon match a modern filesystem like Reiser4, which among other things has a more optimized disk layout and will have transparent compression? If there are patches to bring those to ext3, they're neither stable nor ext2 compatible, which are supposed to be ext3's advantage.
(Meh. Upon RTFA'ing I see what they meant was that ext3 will "soon" match the performance of ReiserFS (3), and that it is still more stable than Reiser4. The summary still deserves the rant, and I'm actually curious about how they are improving performance in ext3 nowadays, so I'm still posting this.)
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