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jakertberry
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: File System for a home media server Reply with quote

Greetings all,

I'm doing an upgrade to a media server I have that's holding all my music, videos, backups, etc. Right now it's running on Windows Server 2012 with ReFS. Now that I'm doing a complete replacement of the system, I thought about installing Gentoo on there instead. I liked using ReFS because of it's self-healing and anti-bit rot capabilities. Therefore, when I switch to Gentoo, having a comparable file system is the first thing on my list.

After doing some limited research, it seems like the two file systems that come up as similar to ReFS in the Linux world are ZFS and btrfs. Unfortunately, both of these file systems have some issues of their own; namely:
  • ZFS: While Gentoo is listed as one of the more supported OS' for this file system, it's outside of the kernel (will it be maintained in the long run?) and it's a re-write of Oracle's incompatible-license version of ZFS. Should either of these be a concern, or am I just being too picky?
  • btrfs: it's marked as experimental in the kernel, and it's development cycle is different than how this machine will be deployed (once I configure it and get all my data back on, it'll more or less be a set-it-and-forget-it server; I won't be doing kernel re-compiles at every -rc release). Also, it currently doesn't support RAID5
  • ext4: this file system doesn't offer the features I'm looking for, but it would appear that you can do in-place conversions of ext4 to btrfs.


If it helps, the components of this media server are:
  • RocketRAID 2720SGL
  • 5x 3TB Western Digital Red


Is there another file system I missed? Anyone else in a similar situation: what have you done?

Thank you!
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Last edited by jakertberry on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jakertberry,

From the price, I guess your raid controller is fakeraid?

I use ext4 on top of LVM on top of kernel raid5 on 5 2Tb WD Greens for my media server.
The player is a diskless AMD fusion system which mounts root over NFS from the media server.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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depontius
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run a MythTV machine, and they generally recommend xfs for their video storage. I've been running it happily for quite a few years now, with no filesystem-related problems at all. I think btrfs is getting close, but it's not quite there, yet. For general purposes, today I'd stick with ext4. MythTV recommend xfs particularly when dealing with lots of very large files - like video.
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jakertberry
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
From the price, I guess your raid controller is fakeraid?


That's my guess--I haven't even set it up yet (I'm migrating away from an Intel RST raid), but I think I remember reading somewhere that this card was fakeraid.

depontius wrote:
MythTV recommend xfs particularly when dealing with lots of very large files - like video


I'd say about 40% of the files on this file system will be video files. Everything else is a mix.


Unless there's a compelling reason to pick xfs over ext4 (it looks like xfs' biggest plus is it's ability to handle large files) in this scenario, I think I'll borrow Neddy's config and roll with ext4+lvm--especially knowing that I've got the potential to move to btrfs in the future.

Thanks all! :)
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GCS/CM/CC/IT/TW d- s++:- a- C++++$ UL+++$ P+ L+++$ !E W+++$ !N !o K-? w++++$ !O- M+ !V-- PS+ PE Y++$ PGP t+ 5 X R+ tv b+ DI++ D++ G+ e+ h+ r y+
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jakertberry,

Heres my setup
Its a lot more than just a media server.

Be warned that the initrd section needs to be updated - it was correct at the time it was written but udev has moved on.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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depontius
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jakertberry wrote:
NeddySeagoon wrote:
From the price, I guess your raid controller is fakeraid?


That's my guess--I haven't even set it up yet (I'm migrating away from an Intel RST raid), but I think I remember reading somewhere that this card was fakeraid.



Then I would throw in another piece of advice - never, never, never use fakeraid. Use the channels on the controller as individual SATA channels, and use Linux in-kernel RAID instead. With fakeraid you're married to that specific controller chip. If it ever fails, your data is ALL toast - unless you can find hardware with the same controller chip - AND the same firmware. Don't forget, disk drives aren't the only thing that can fail in a RAID setup.

I have personally had both drives and controllers fail in my Linux RAID setups, and have recovered from both fail modes with no loss of data. I had a neighbor kid have a hardware failure with fakeraid, and he lost it all. (I don't remember the specifics - this was with Windows, and he may have been unable to recover from even a drive failure.)

I have another friend who also runs Linux, and he used to run hardware RAID - true hardware RAID, not fakeraid. He would also buy his RAID hardware in pairs, so that he always had a spare. He never had a controller failure, but if he had, he would have promptly bought another pair - of some true hardware RAID controllers, then migrate off of his lone card ASAP. With either hardware RAID or fakeraid, your data is tied to the controller. He has since migrated to Linux in-kernel RAID, feels that he lost no performance, and wonders why he hadn't done so earlier.
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jakertberry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

depontius wrote:
and use Linux in-kernel RAID instead.


Done and done :D

Thank you both!
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pdr
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only have 1TB of media and changed over from a 1TB*n raid to a single 2TB drive the last time one of my raid drives started failing; my backup drive is 2TB and easily holds all (3) system backups via rsnapshot - including the media server. If it starts getting full I can swap to 3TB drives.. I figure the drive sizes will keep up with my growing needs for a while yet.

BTW - ext4 on cryptfs (luks) on both drives (media and backup).
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

im going to second the XFS suggestion.... i run a 200 meg JFS partition for /boot, (as xfs does not support /boot) then the rest is XFS..... ext takes forever and a half to check a drive, jfs 2 seconds, xfs another 2 seconds..... your LARGE drives will punish you in an EXT setting. im just running a single 1 tb drive, you'll thank me in the end. im pretty sure your other problem can be solved via LVM as others have posted
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