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Old 08-17-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
ReaperX7
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Question BTRFS, CFDisk, and Lilo


Okay, just figured I'd push this out there into the ether to get answered, but here goes.

I attempted to format a spare 60GB SATA hard drive I have used mostly for evaluation purposes, and formatted it (the entire drive mind you for simplicity reasons) using btrfs and installed Slackware and got up to the LILO installation and hit a snag. LILO refused to install to the superblock or the MBR, saying it ran into a Fatal error and there was an issue with installation. I then rebooted and attempted to format the drive using cfdisk and hit a very bad snag again. BTRFS refused to be reformatted. I had to use a Hiren's BootDisk to erase the partition to restore the drive.

Are these known and documented issues and limitations with btrfs?
 
Old 08-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
syg00
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Do the same with another filesystem, and see if you still think that last question is valid.
 
Old 08-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
ReaperX7
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Well I've never had this issue with ReiserFS or EXT2/3/4, so I'm guessing it is a factual statement then.

The formatting issue was the only real major issue though.
 
Old 08-17-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
piratesmack
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Create a separate Ext2 /boot partition.
LILO has problems booting directly from Btrfs for some reason (or at least that's what I've heard).

The only bootloaders I know of that can boot directly from Btrfs are Syslinux (Version 4.00 or newer) and Grub2 (Version 1.99 or newer).

Not sure why the partition refused to be reformatted though.

Last edited by piratesmack; 08-17-2011 at 09:36 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
ReaperX7
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I know and Hiren's BootDisk actually had some trouble with it wiping it out and I had to use a few command switches to force the partition to format.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 08:58 AM   #6
lumak
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Before you begin again.
1. create a 100MB boot partition that is ext3 (for simplicity), create another partition spanning the whole drive (or leave room for other stuff)
2. format the second partition to btrfs
3. create a subvolume on the brtfs partition. This will be the default subvolume that's mounted when you mount the partition with no options.
4. go through the normal slackware install, everything -should- be installed to that default subvolume automatically.
5. Before rebooting, chmod /mnt
6. Create an initrd and include the ext3 and brtfs modules.

If you are really concerned about log file sizes, change the log settings for the programs you are concerned about or create a /var partition that is ext3.

With the above steps, you can now do snapshots to other subvolumes at the root of the filesystem if you pass some mount options to mount the whole filesystem.
If it's on a normal unencrypted non lvm partition, you can play with the seed function. seed only works with two seperate filesystems. Slackware 13.37 does not come with the program to swap the seed flag. You have to compile this your self from the main package.

Adding this right after the "make install" in the slackware script will do the job
Code:
# make the program to toggle the seed flag.
make $NUMJOBS btrfstune || make btrfstune || exit 1
# the script moves everything out of /usr/local/bin
if [ -e btrfstune ]; then install btrfstune $PKG/usr/local/bin || exit 1; fi
Outwardly, subvolumes appear the same as directories when the filesystem is mounted. But they have differences in the way they are stored on the disk and what you can do with them. Each subvolume has an ID that can be passed to the mount program to mount that specific sub volume. mounting a parent subvolume will automatically give you access to all of its subvolumes.

Last edited by lumak; 08-18-2011 at 09:00 AM.
 
Old 08-19-2011, 06:22 AM   #7
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Well I've never had this issue with ReiserFS or EXT2/3/4, so I'm guessing it is a factual statement then.
So, you formatted the entire device (not a partition) in all those previous attempts ?.
I find that somewhat unlikely.

In any event, I finally found a hard-disk I could trash. Formatted (the device) as btrfs, mounted it, copied some data over, checked it out and umount'd it.
Neither fdisk nor cfdisk had any problem subsequently creating partitions on such a disk.
My experience with Slackware in the past has been that either (or both) these tools have been (very) back-level as shipped. My tests in this case FWIW were done on Fedora 15.
 
Old 08-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
gamewolf
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I had this exact same problem. I figured out that lilo will not boot directly into btrfs, but rather the boot files but be on a separate partition with a filesystem like ext3/4. Then try installing lilo again and it should work.
 
Old 08-19-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
Martinus2u
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maybe BTRFS has some issue with ioctl FIBMAP which is used to translate blocks of a file into absolute sector numbers, or btrfs re-shuffles those blocks without notice?
 
  


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