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Dont Panic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Native ZFS in Linux Reply with quote

I'm seeing the first public code for native ZFS in linux (with the long-awaited linux POSIX layer).

For those that have been following the drama, ZFS was released under the CDDL license, a license apparently selected due to it's incompatibility with GPL. So there are licensing issues with including ZFS code in the kernel. However, if ZFS is build as a module, there shouldn't be any licensing issues. Oracle (the owner of ZFS now that they bought Sun) has not weighed in on the issue, so it is not know if Oracle shares this perception that building ZFS as a kernel module addresses the licensing issues.

KQ Infotech has just released some preliminary beta code for the last piece of the puzzle in getting a zfs kernel module working, the ZFS posix layer.

I was able to access some information on KQ Infotechs release earlier at http://zfs.kqinfotech.com/, but that URL (as well as their homepage at http://www.kqinfotech.com/) is down for me at this time.

However, the code was pushed up to GitHub at: http://github.com/mitra

It looks as though KQ Infotech had intended to roll this out as some sort of limited release Beta testing version, so I'm not exactly sure what's going on with the GitHub code. But my random examination of the code found GPL v2 licenses in the headers.

Somehow, Brian Behlendorf at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory also fits into the ZFS on linux picture (see their page at http://zfsonlinux.org/, and are working with KQ Infotech (either formally or informally, I'm not clear) on this effort.

Phoronix has several articles that actually provide some good information on this effort, but I just can't stomach providing links to their ad-infested, pop-up infested articles.

At any rate, new FS's are always fun, and they way they've managed to wrap this effort up with so much drama has only made in more interesting to follow. I can't speak to the technical merits yet, though.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, did someone tried it ?

In your mind, is it the real perfect filesystem it pretend to be (light, quasi infinite storage capacity, light or heavy files, so no problem of inodes quantity...)

Is it resizable ? possible with lvm ?

Someone from solaris (as it was built for !) can say someting here ?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd stay clear of a filesystem that's not part of the Linux Kernel, as that's the only guarantee for stability and long term maintenance. It's a shame that license issues get in the way of things but that's just how it is.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Gentoo Chat to Off the Wall as it's not Gentoo-related.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol! :D

Yes, Yes, a discussion of linux file systems is much more appropriate mixed in with discussion on the merits of Neal Borke's agenda.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

22decembre wrote:
So, did someone tried it ?

In your mind, is it the real perfect filesystem it pretend to be (light, quasi infinite storage capacity, light or heavy files, so no problem of inodes quantity...)

Is it resizable ? possible with lvm ?

Someone from solaris (as it was built for !) can say someting here ?
Last I used the officially supported ZFS (January), pools could not be decreased in size. Moving them is pretty easy though, so theoretically it isn't that difficult to create a new pool of smaller size and migrate the data.

LVM is redundant with ZFS.

Dynamic Metadata wrote:
There are, for example, no static inodes, so the only restriction is the number of inodes that will fit on the the disks in the storage pool.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's ashame Sun decided to keep ZFS to themselves. They did it mostly to force people to use their cruddy OS. It's annoying how bad the state of filesystems in Linux is. When are they finally going to finish BTRFS?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had Sun remained independent* and improved Solaris support on x86 or made OpenSolaris seem less like a red-headed step-child, I probably would've switched to it just for ZFS.

* Or purchased by a different benefactor.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any reason to jump on board the ZFS port since BTRFS is on its way and is probably more stable, relatively speaking.

At the very least, get BTRFS to a stable release before starting on ZFS.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mardok45 wrote:
I don't see any reason to jump on board the ZFS port since BTRFS is on its way and is probably more stable, relatively speaking.

At the very least, get BTRFS to a stable release before starting on ZFS.
This is Linux you're talking about. Any time anything gets close to being stable some people decide that it sucks and they can do it better so they start over.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdmulloy wrote:
Mardok45 wrote:
I don't see any reason to jump on board the ZFS port since BTRFS is on its way and is probably more stable, relatively speaking.

At the very least, get BTRFS to a stable release before starting on ZFS.
This is Linux you're talking about. Any time anything gets close to being stable some people decide that it sucks and they can do it better so they start over.


I think the community has me by the balls because I do that with all my programming projects :(
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mardok45 wrote:
get BTRFS to a stable release before starting on ZFS.
Are the same developers working on ZFS? There are enough differences (apparently) that I doubt btrfs would be abandoned.

A ZFS port may be a good motivator for btrfs devs, who knows. Besides, if ZFS were to be available sooner than btrfs, that would be a good thing (plus, ZFS has the better name... a shame btrfs didn't go with ZedFS, or just Zed).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same POS company owns both of them. I will go back to using ext2 or minixfs beore I use anything with their shit branded name on it.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oracle started btrfs because they couldn't come to an agreement with Sun. btrfs is GPL, so they can't kill it.

If there were a comparable option free of Oracle, I could see it, but not using something only because Oracle is involved is shortsighted. ZFS / btrfs like file systems are a huge leap from what else is available.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using HAMMER here and totally happy. 8)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Oracle started btrfs because they couldn't come to an agreement with Sun. btrfs is GPL, so they can't kill it.

If there were a comparable option free of Oracle, I could see it, but not using something only because Oracle is involved is shortsighted. ZFS / btrfs like file systems are a huge leap from what else is available.


My prior comment might have (ok, it did) come across as being particularly bitter, but do not get me wrong, I have been using zfs running on solaris/sparc since it was available in Sun's beta program and think it is a very cool technology with its shift away from traditional filesystem/volume managers. For what it does it does (i.e. manage jbod) it does tremendously well (with an exception or two), and in cases where it makes sense, I still recommend it to my customers that are still willing to run on anything oracle branded (many of my customers have chosen to move to alternate platforms besides sparc based hardware and oracle DB's and middleware).

I do not think it is the optimal choice for a rootfilesystem/volume manager because of the way that that it handles it ARC and ZIL logs by default, and the fact that a mirrored set of disks cannot be 'split' and reused elsewhere i.e. VxVM and/or SVM, nor do i think it makes sense to use it in transactional a RDBMS where raw is still king and the aforementioned intent logging and caching will kill hightly transactional DB's. Where I do think it makes sense is in products like Nexenta where you are utilizing the features of the filesystem and comstar framework in creating NAS and iSCSI targets for distributed virtual environments, or in instances where you are serving large amounts of static/relatively static data that can benefit from cached reads.

What comparable options do you need? I am not aware of any features of ZFS that would provide any substantial merit over what is currently available in our staple of stable filesystems.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ndse2112 wrote:
I have been using zfs running on solaris/sparc since it was available in Sun's beta program and think it is a very cool technology with its shift away from traditional filesystem/volume managers. For what it does it does (i.e. manage jbod) it does tremendously well (with an exception or two)

What comparable options do you need? I am not aware of any features of ZFS that would provide any substantial merit over what is currently available in our staple of stable filesystems.
I have trouble merging those two concepts: That you are very familiar with it, but are not aware of its features which provide substantial merit over existing linux file systems. Management.

ndse2112 wrote:
I do not think it is the optimal choice for a rootfilesystem/volume manager because of the way that that it handles it ARC and ZIL logs by default, and the fact that a mirrored set of disks cannot be 'split' and reused elsewhere i.e. VxVM and/or SVM
Having used it as a root file system for Solaris, and having mirrored drives with it, I've not encountered the situation where VxVM or SVM is an advantage over ZFS to merit not using ZFS. Existing processes / policies relying on VxVM/SVM aside.

ndse2112 wrote:
nor do i think it makes sense to use it in transactional a RDBMS where raw is still king and the aforementioned intent logging and caching will kill hightly transactional DB's.
Absolutely. I'm referring to using it where current common file systems are used. Where performance is enough of a concern, the specialized solution will almost always win.


But all of that is irrelevant to your original comment which was "because Oracle is associated with it," which given the GPL, isn't really a defensible position. If it were completely proprietary and use of it was at the whim of Oracle, then I'd agree completely.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylerwylie wrote:
Using HAMMER here and totally happy. 8)
I tried Dragonfly very briefly. It needs more TLC for me. I forget if HAMMER was available elsewhere or not.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:

I have trouble merging those two concepts: That you are very familiar with it, but are not aware of its features which provide substantial merit over existing linux file systems. Management.


I guess i have used LVM and VxVM for so long that they are second nature to me. I honestly do not see how ZFS is easier to maintain compared to the traditional options, different yes, but easier, howso?

pjp wrote:

But all of that is irrelevant to your original comment which was "because Oracle is associated with it," which given the GPL, isn't really a defensible position. If it were completely proprietary and use of it was at the whim of Oracle, then I'd agree completely.


I do not understand this statement. All ZFS (and any other bits of solaris that are cool, dtrace etc) going forward will essentially be completely at the whim of oracle, at least in the non solaris world. None of the code is going to be released under their open licenses until it appears in the shipping versions of solaris (at least that is the way i read the press releases when they essentially canned opensolaris as their development platform) meaning that any enhancements that sun/oracle makes will be months behind in hitting the mainline linux trees almost guaranteeing that it will never be completely maintained in anyone's kernel sources besides OEL's (which they have also decided to no longer maintain binary compatibility with RHEL).

Decisions like above, are the of my primary reasons for the venomous hate of oracle. Sure it is their software and hardware and they as a corporation will certainly do what they think is best for their bottom line. My only recourse and that of my customers is to not use their software nor buy their products when there are perfectly viable alternatives.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the only developers working on the linux ZFS port or btrfs are Oracle employees, then I guess the linux community isn't investing anything in it. My understanding is that btrfs is being developed independently of Oracle, but I could be mistaken.

I'm not aware of any alternatives to ZFS. That's not true. HAMMER is, but seems BSD oriented IIRC.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Mason is the lead developer for Btrfs, and he works for Oracle.

Just today, somebody asked him on IRC about the status of Btrfs with Oracle, and Chris replied directly.

Here's a cut-and-paste of the IRC exchange (FWIW):

Quote:
<trapni> cmason: don't you fear that oracle - some day - will close all btrfs activities because of ZFS or whatever? I'm just asking (with personal concerns!) :)
<cmason> trapni: nah, that won't happen
<cmason> it's never been on the table
<trapni> why are you so sure?
<cmason> two reasons
<cmason> it goes my manager, his manager, larry
<cmason> so there aren't a lot of people in the way ;)
<cmason> they all get linux and care about the projects
<cmason> second, my good friends at RH, intel, suse, ibm and others have all contributed code
<cmason> fujitsu, its a long list
<trapni> that's really good to read from you, especially where all these odd things happened to sun/solaris/zfs/mysql recently...
<cmason> oracle couldn't kill btrfs if it wanted to
<cmason> which it doesn't
<cmason> ;)
<trapni> from my point of view, it wouldn't make sense anyway, but other people told me to always expect the unespected (from oracle) :)
<cmason> looping hard on btrfs_start_one_delalloc_inode
<trapni> thanks for your statements, cmason...
<cmason> ;)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont Panic wrote:
Chris Mason is the lead developer for Btrfs, and he works for Oracle.
Yeah, I'm not sure what I was thinking of. It might have been some other Sun related project.

Though it is a little strange that the latest is still Unstable: v0.19, June 2009 (wikipedia), not that it is obvious from their own wiki. And the "State of "Btrfs" File System for linux by Chris Mason Web cast (August 26, 2010)" is still locked behind Oracle's door. That is lending credence to ndse2112's assertion about Oracle's release management.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really looking forward to seeing de-duplication come about in btrfs and zfs on freebsd.

I installed the zpool package the other day on an ubuntu machine. I was able to to pool disks and create "tanks" (lvols) and format them with ext4.. dont know if I would hold my data on it yet ... but it is cool to play with. zfsonlinux still doesn't have the POSIX layer (filesystem), in which de-duplication resides (i think) but getting to raw disk zpool creation on Linux was a step in the right direction imho.
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