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Old 11-12-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
lhorace
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I just heard of btrfs


I just downloaded OpenSUSE 11.2 and with it's new features, it comes with support of EXT4 and btrfs. I just checked btrfs website and I am not sure if it's in Alpha/Beta stage but whatever the case, btrfs feature list seems to be geared towards Servers. The main 'Theordo To's' kernel developer, if I'm reading this article correctly, that EXT4 is the last stop gap and btrfs is the filesystem that's suppose to take over from there. Well what about desktop users, it don't seem that I will archive any performance gains with btrfs if it takes over. I want to keep up and continue at Linux pace, to keep cutting edge. Also from my reading, I discovered tux3, anyone has any input on that FS

Any comments
 
Old 11-12-2009, 04:34 PM   #2
jefro
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Seems to me ZFS is a proven copy on write fs.
 
Old 11-13-2009, 05:44 AM   #3
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhorace View Post
I just downloaded OpenSUSE 11.2 and with it's new features, it comes with support of EXT4 and btrfs.
Nothing wrong with that I hope, except maybe you think that these file systems aren't quite ready for prime time yet?

Quote:
if I'm reading this article correctly, that EXT4 is the last stop gap and btrfs is the filesystem that's suppose to take over from there. Well what about desktop users...
If I continue using conventional hard disks for desktop machines, I expect to be using BTRFS as one of the filesystems for desktop machines soon. This expectation could be wrong, but I don't see the objection to getting server-oriented features 'for free' on the desktop.

As far as 'stop gap' systems are concerned, the 'exts' have had a long and successful life, but at some time there must come a point at which it makes sense to start over rather than bolting things on to an existing system. This may be that point, I am not sure.

Quote:
it don't seem that I will archive any performance gains with btrfs if it takes over.
Yes, you will. All filesystems have strong and weak points, and in some areas BTRFS shows clear gains....unfortunately in other areas it shows clear losses, and the issue of which gives best performance overall is already a tricky one and scheduled to get more so. So, the problem is not so much that there won't be performance gains in any areas, more that they will tend to be counterbalanced by other performance losses and coming to an overall performance conclusion is difficult.

BTW, performance isn't just speed. I answered that part as if you meant that performance is just speed, but really, I hope that you know that it isn't.

As far as I am aware the, 'takes over' concept is irrelevant. I don't know of any general attempt to remove support for ext4, ext3 or even ext2 from the kernel, so you should be able to keep on using an older fs, if that is what floats your boat. Individual distros are likely to have their own ideas about what constitutes a sensible default at any particular time, but you are free to use a non-default fs. Or, another distro.

@jefro
Quote:
Seems to me ZFS is a proven copy on write fs.
Can I answer that in three ways? Yes, no and maybe!

Yes, ZFS is proven, it is cow,and it is a brilliant piece of work (IMO, obviously)

You say it is a filesystem, and it isn't really. It is more than a filesystem, at least on a Solaris box, on which it is integrated with an 'LVM-manager replacement' (that's not quite the right term, but the whole system does filesystem and LVM functions in one integrated whole and benefits from that integration). I'm not sure how much of the functionality in excess of the pure filesystem functionality you get on a Linux box (my guess is that you only get all of the LVM functionality, if you additionally use LVM,and that can be another small performance drag).

Also, on a linux box, you use ZFS through a userspace driver, for licence reasons, and that is
  • undesirable in principle
  • something that must impose a performance penalty, even if trivial
  • may introduce bugs and, if the bulk of your testing is on a native FS, using via a userspace driver may re-introduce the possibility of bugs that you thought your testing had precluded

So, while I think that ZFS is a magnificent piece of work, whether I want to use it on Linux it a rather different question. As, of course, is whether I want to use BTRFS right now, even if BTRFS is based on similar concepts.
 
Old 11-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #4
lhorace
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Quote:
Nothing wrong with that I hope, except maybe you think that these file systems aren't quite ready for prime time yet?
No, I'm on EXT4 as we speak, however I do notice differences when I was back on EXT3. I might be the new release but the boot time is shorten and overall system responsiveness is better.

Quote:
If I continue using conventional hard disks for desktop machines, I expect to be using BTRFS as one of the filesystems for desktop machines soon. This expectation could be wrong, but I don't see the objection to getting server-oriented features 'for free' on the desktop.
I don't see conventional hard disks going anywhere anytime soon. server-orinted features is not a problem, however, how is server-orinted features is benificial for a regular "surf, play games, listen to music, and watch DVDs" desktop user. I usually have about 6 to 17 windows open at one time and I need a OS which can handle it well. Not even counting the amount of Tabs I have open in Firefox and konquerer.

Quote:
As far as 'stop gap' systems are concerned, the 'exts' have had a long and successful life, but at some time there must come a point at which it makes sense to start over rather than bolting things on to an existing system. This may be that point, I am not sure.
I don't mind moving on, I encourage it and I know that majority of uses of Linux is for Server Purposes, I just don't want the developers to forget about us.

Quote:
Yes, you will. All filesystems have strong and weak points, and in some areas BTRFS shows clear gains....unfortunately in other areas it shows clear losses, and the issue of which gives best performance overall is already a tricky one and scheduled to get more so. So, the problem is not so much that there won't be performance gains in any areas, more that they will tend to be counterbalanced by other performance losses and coming to an overall performance conclusion is difficult.
Ok, I guess it's best to test it out, I won't be testing it out now until it's been in development for awhile. I was never afraid to test out EXT4 because it was built on a already proven stable EXT2/3.

Quote:
As far as I am aware the, 'takes over' concept is irrelevant. I don't know of any general attempt to remove support for ext4, ext3 or even ext2 from the kernel...
I mean 'takes over' as in default in FS installation not as far as removing support for older FS.

Quote:
BTW, performance isn't just speed. I answered that part as if you meant that performance is just speed, but really, I hope that you know that it isn't.
Performance is very important to me and I notice performance gains from different aspects of a operating system not just the FS, even the operating system itself is important. I'm pretty happy that OpenSUSE decided to release a kernel tune specifically for desktop users.



End point, there should "I think" two separate development branches, one for server-oriented users and a another for desktop-oriented users. Not to brag but OpenSUSE 11.2 is amazing with it's stability and performance and I say this coming from 11.1 and Fedora 11. I never thought responsiveness would be more responsive then Fedora 11. 11.1 was slow as heck, it took few minutes between task to do anything.

Last edited by lhorace; 11-14-2009 at 02:29 PM.
 
Old 11-15-2009, 07:08 AM   #5
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhorace View Post
No, I'm on EXT4 as we speak, however I do notice differences when I was back on EXT3. I might be the new release but the boot time is shorten and overall system responsiveness is better.
My overwhelming impression is that there is as much in the way that you set the filesystem up as in the filesystem itself and that, over time, that distros have become more comfortable with going away from the 'always default to the safest (and therefore least-well-performing) settings' and somewhat towards a set of settings that most users would consider optimal.

That said, it will probably be a couple of weeks before I get chance to look at 11.2, but I do have high hopes. For me, initially 11.1 was a bit of a messy transition...and an inadequate version of kde 4 (initially) and frequent updates have made it more so, so I am hoping 11.2 is a bit more settled (and that the kde 4 needs lees tlc to keep it in order).

Quote:
I don't see conventional hard disks going anywhere anytime soon.
Well, in part, they have already done a bit of going away. SSDs already have a presence in the netbooks, where the smaller capacities are acceptable and in large disk arrays, in those cases in which a small-but-fast area can give the whole array a boost. (Using an SSD for the ZIL in ZFS can produce a disk array with high performance but using relatively low speed drives for the majority of the array; this may be a stretch for many desktop users, but for a NAS device, which many homes have...and even for many of the cloud providers that you may utilise as part of your 'ordinary' desktop computing experience, it can be part of keeping the power usage low and the purchase price under control.)

That may not be a very large percentage of the market, yet, but I feel that it is still up in the air as to how far that the market will have progressed in, say, two years,

Quote:
server-orinted features is not a problem, however, how is server-orinted features is benificial for a regular "surf, play games, listen to music, and watch DVDs" desktop user.
Well COW, giving 'free' (at the time of creation) snapshots can be an advantage to anyone, if they get their heads around how to use the new feature to their advantage.

Quote:
I usually have about 6 to 17 windows open at one time and I need a OS which can handle it well. Not even counting the amount of Tabs I have open in Firefox and konquerer.
If you have enough ram for what you are trying to do, there is nothing about filesystems in that specific instance of computer use. There may be in boot and file creation, but that really isn't a use case in which filesystems and the various advantages and disadvantages come into play. Well, except for your swap arrangements, if you don't have enough ram, and in that case, maybe more ram would be the right thing.

Quote:
I mean 'takes over' as in default in FS installation not as far as removing support for older FS.
But, you don't have to take the defaults; its only a default. If it is still there but not the default, and you think that it is better, you can still take advantage of the filesystem.
 
Old 11-15-2009, 09:03 PM   #6
lhorace
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Quote:
If you have enough ram for what you are trying to do, there is nothing about filesystems in that specific instance of computer use. There may be in boot and file creation, but that really isn't a use case in which filesystems and the various advantages and disadvantages come into play. Well, except for your swap arrangements, if you don't have enough ram, and in that case, maybe more ram would be the right thing.
I should say I'm on a Flash Drive, and SSD drivers are faster, but at the moment, which I just found out recently that you can write out a SSD/Flash eventually. Wouldn't mind if I was rich.... The most ram usage I ever used, including the Windows/Tab I have opened, is about 980 MB, that's the most favorite item about Linux, that I'm in love with. Windows Vista, would be nearly 1.7 GB, just for the same amount apps I have opened. I don't never hit Swap, even when I play Quake4, and the apps are opened in the background.

Quote:
My overwhelming impression is that there is as much in the way that you set the filesystem up as in the filesystem itself and that, over time, that distros have become more comfortable with going away from the 'always default to the safest (and therefore least-well-performing) settings' and somewhat towards a set of settings that most users would consider optimal.
Everything about a OS plays in concert with system performance but again I'm glad OpenSUSE made head ways to tune a kernel for me Thanks for you opinion, greatly appreciated
 
  


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