XFS in the main kernel

XFS in the main kernel

Post by Dan Yocu » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 00:20:09



Linus, et al.

I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
the main tree.  

Currently the SDSS has ~20TB of XFS filesystems, most of which is in our 14
fileservers and database machines.  The D-Zero experiment has ~140 desktops
running XFS and several XFS fileservers.  We've been using it since it was
released, and have found it to be very reliable.

I'll even attempt to bribe you with homebrew beer - would that help??  ;-)

Thanks,
Dan

--
Dan Yocum
Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Fermilab  630.840.6509

SDSS.  Mapping the Universe.
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Daniel Phillip » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 00:40:09



Quote:> I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
> to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
> many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
> the main tree.  

The issue is how XFS's private versions of what would normally be generic vfs
facilities fit with the rest of the kernel.  Want to help in the analysis?
Feel free to jump in.

Quote:> Currently the SDSS has ~20TB of XFS filesystems, most of which is in our 14
> fileservers and database machines.  The D-Zero experiment has ~140 desktops
> running XFS and several XFS fileservers.  We've been using it since it was
> released, and have found it to be very reliable.

> I'll even attempt to bribe you with homebrew beer - would that help??  ;-)

Programmer cycles would help.  Oh, you can offer $$$ to certain kernel hackers
if you want it to go faster.  Not to engage in advocacy of course, but to do
the necessary analysis.

--
Daniel
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Wichert Akkerm » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 02:00:20




Quote:>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
>to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
>the main tree.  

Has XFS been proven to be completely stable and POSIX complient in its
behaviour? The reason I am asking is that XFS seems to be a fairly common
factor for segfault bugreports in dpkg. The problems are rare enough (and
never reproducable) so I can't prove this but it does leave me wondering.

Wichert.

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Matthias Andre » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 07:30:11





> >I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
> >to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
> >many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
> >the main tree.  

> Has XFS been proven to be completely stable and POSIX complient in its
> behaviour? The reason I am asking is that XFS seems to be a fairly common
> factor for segfault bugreports in dpkg. The problems are rare enough (and
> never reproducable) so I can't prove this but it does leave me wondering.

Is there a test suite that checks POSIX (or better yet, SUS v3)
compliance of a file system? That might prove useful, although I'm well
aware it'd probably require some brains (and kernel modules) to check
consistency guarantees. But apart from that, things like "truncate to
zero length does not change the mtime of a file" (fixed in ReiserFS only
some weeks ago) might get caught that way.
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Chris Maso » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 08:00:07



> Is there a test suite that checks POSIX (or better yet, SUS v3)
> compliance of a file system? That might prove useful, although I'm well
> aware it'd probably require some brains (and kernel modules) to check
> consistency guarantees. But apart from that, things like "truncate to
> zero length does not change the mtime of a file" (fixed in ReiserFS only
> some weeks ago) might get caught that way.

ftp://ftp.freestandards.org/pub/lsb/test_suites/

-chris

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Keith Owen » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 08:40:08


On 22 Apr 2002 18:55:20 +0200,




>>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
>>to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
>>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
>>the main tree.  

>Has XFS been proven to be completely stable

As much as any other filesystem.  "There are no bugs in filesystem XYZ.
That just means that you have not looked hard enough." :)  There is a
daily QA suite that XFS is run through.

Quote:>The reason I am asking is that XFS seems to be a fairly common
>factor for segfault bugreports in dpkg.

dpkg uses mmap?  There was a bug in XFS and mmapped files where
incorrect blocks were flushed to disk under high load, but that was
fixed around January 30.

--

Not speaking for sgi.

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Wichert Akkerma » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 08:50:09



> dpkg uses mmap?

To read all its data files, just.

Quote:> There was a bug in XFS and mmapped files where incorrect blocks were
> flushed to disk under high load, but that was fixed around January 30.

That would produce corrupt files which does not seem to be the case.
If memory serves me corrrectly one of the problems was that rename(2)
returned an error in rare cases that should not be possible (might have
been ENOENT even though both we have verified in advance that can't be
true).

Wichert

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Luigi Genon » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:50:09



> On 22 Apr 2002 18:55:20 +0200,



> >>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
> >>to include XFS in the main kernel.  We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
> >>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
> >>the main tree.

> >Has XFS been proven to be completely stable

> As much as any other filesystem.  "There are no bugs in filesystem XYZ.
> That just means that you have not looked hard enough." :)  There is a
> daily QA suite that XFS is run through.

In the reality the inclusion on XFS in the 2.5 tree would probably move
more peole to use it, and so also to eventually trigger bugs, to report
them, sometimes to fix them.
This way XFS would improve faster, and of course that would be a
good thing.

That said, it is important to
consider the technical reasons to include XFS in 2.5 or not; if this
inclusion could cause some troubles, if XFS fits the requirements
Linus asks for the inclusion and what impact the inclusion would have on
the kernel (Think to JFS as a good example of an easy inclusion, with low
impact).

Luigi

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Tony Gal » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 17:40:07



> If memory serves me corrrectly one of the problems was that rename(2)
> returned an error in rare cases that should not be possible (might have
> been ENOENT even though both we have verified in advance that can't be
> true).

That may be related to the accented character handling bug that appeared
for a short period of time, which was fixed a couple of months ago.

-tony

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Martin Knoblauc » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 22:40:10


> Re: XFS in the main kernel



> > On 22 Apr 2002 18:55:20 +0200,



> > >>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
> > >>to include XFS in the main kernel. We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
> > >>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
> > >>the main tree.

> > >Has XFS been proven to be completely stable

> > As much as any other filesystem. "There are no bugs in filesystem XYZ.
> > That just means that you have not looked hard enough." :) There is a
> > daily QA suite that XFS is run through.

> In the reality the inclusion on XFS in the 2.5 tree would probably move
> more peole to use it, and so also to eventually trigger bugs, to report
> them, sometimes to fix them.
> This way XFS would improve faster, and of course that would be a
> good thing.

 definitely. Unless XFS is in the mainline kernel (marked as
experimantal if necessary) it will not get good exposure.

 The most important (only) reason I do not use it (and recommend our
customers against using it) is that at the moment it is impossible to
track both the kernel and XFS at the same time. This is a shame, because
I think that for some application XFS is superior to the other
alternatives (can be said about the other alternatives to :-).

Quote:> That said, it is important to
> consider the technical reasons to include XFS in 2.5 or not; if this
> inclusion could cause some troubles, if XFS fits the requirements
> Linus asks for the inclusion and what impact the inclusion would have on
> the kernel (Think to JFS as a good example of an easy inclusion, with low
> impact).

 so, what were the main obstacles again? The VFS layer?

Martin
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Stephen Lor » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 23:30:17



>>Re: XFS in the main kernel



>>>On 22 Apr 2002 18:55:20 +0200,



>>>>>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
>>>>>to include XFS in the main kernel. We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
>>>>>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
>>>>>the main tree.

>>>>Has XFS been proven to be completely stable

>>>As much as any other filesystem. "There are no bugs in filesystem XYZ.
>>>That just means that you have not looked hard enough." :) There is a
>>>daily QA suite that XFS is run through.

>>In the reality the inclusion on XFS in the 2.5 tree would probably move
>>more peole to use it, and so also to eventually trigger bugs, to report
>>them, sometimes to fix them.
>>This way XFS would improve faster, and of course that would be a
>>good thing.

> definitely. Unless XFS is in the mainline kernel (marked as
>experimantal if necessary) it will not get good exposure.

> The most important (only) reason I do not use it (and recommend our
>customers against using it) is that at the moment it is impossible to
>track both the kernel and XFS at the same time. This is a shame, because
>I think that for some application XFS is superior to the other
>alternatives (can be said about the other alternatives to :-).

You would be surprised about the level of exposure XFS is getting, a lot
more
than you might realize. It is in everything from settop boxes and fiber
channel
switches to NAS boxes, those folks in general do not want to advertise.
Here are
a few larger scale installations out there:

http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/xfs_users.html

Steve

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Peter W?chtle » Thu, 25 Apr 2002 00:50:08



>>Re: XFS in the main kernel



>>>On 22 Apr 2002 18:55:20 +0200,



>>>>>I know it's been discussed to death, but I am making a formal request to you
>>>>>to include XFS in the main kernel. We (The Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and
>>>>>many, many other groups here at Fermilab would be very happy to have this in
>>>>>the main tree.

>>>>Has XFS been proven to be completely stable

>>>As much as any other filesystem. "There are no bugs in filesystem XYZ.
>>>That just means that you have not looked hard enough." :) There is a
>>>daily QA suite that XFS is run through.

>>In the reality the inclusion on XFS in the 2.5 tree would probably move
>>more peole to use it, and so also to eventually trigger bugs, to report
>>them, sometimes to fix them.
>>This way XFS would improve faster, and of course that would be a
>>good thing.

>  definitely. Unless XFS is in the mainline kernel (marked as
> experimantal if necessary) it will not get good exposure.

>  The most important (only) reason I do not use it (and recommend our
> customers against using it) is that at the moment it is impossible to
> track both the kernel and XFS at the same time. This is a shame, because
> I think that for some application XFS is superior to the other
> alternatives (can be said about the other alternatives to :-).

>>That said, it is important to
>>consider the technical reasons to include XFS in 2.5 or not; if this
>>inclusion could cause some troubles, if XFS fits the requirements
>>Linus asks for the inclusion and what impact the inclusion would have on
>>the kernel (Think to JFS as a good example of an easy inclusion, with low
>>impact).

>  so, what were the main obstacles again? The VFS layer?

The VFS and such features like "delayed block allocation". XFS tries
to gather 64K or so before submitting to disk/block layer.

FWIW, SuSE 8 ships with full (but experimental marked) XFS support.

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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Martin Knoblauc » Thu, 25 Apr 2002 00:50:07




> > definitely. Unless XFS is in the mainline kernel (marked as
> >experimantal if necessary) it will not get good exposure.

> > The most important (only) reason I do not use it (and recommend our
> >customers against using it) is that at the moment it is impossible to
> >track both the kernel and XFS at the same time. This is a shame, because
> >I think that for some application XFS is superior to the other
> >alternatives (can be said about the other alternatives to :-).

> You would be surprised about the level of exposure XFS is getting, a lot
> more
> than you might realize. It is in everything from settop boxes and fiber
> channel
> switches to NAS boxes, those folks in general do not want to advertise.
> Here are
> a few larger scale installations out there:

> http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/xfs_users.html

> Steve

Steve,

 no question that those are seriour users that give you serious
feedback. And if you call that
exposure, I am not going to argue. It is your project, it is your
marketing. (And *I* am not going to argue about SGI marketing :-(

 From a mainline point of view XFS on Linux will only be successfull if
it is "in the kernel". Fully maintained and "Linus approved". I am not
sure when SGI started the port (could even go back to the time when I
worked for them, late 1997). Definitely quite some time. By now it
should be in the kernel. Maybe marked "experimental". As I see it now
EXT3, ReiserFS and maybe JFS are just eating the XFS lunch away.

 In any case, the Vanderbilt comment is right on.

Martin
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by Martin Knoblauc » Thu, 25 Apr 2002 01:00:13




> >>Re: XFS in the main kernel

> >  so, what were the main obstacles again? The VFS layer?

> The VFS and such features like "delayed block allocation". XFS tries
> to gather 64K or so before submitting to disk/block layer.

> FWIW, SuSE 8 ships with full (but experimental marked) XFS support.

 Definitely a step forward. But some people (including myself, I guess)
do not like distribution kernels. Yeah, hard to please - I know :-). I
use SuSE on the desktop, but not because of the kernel. I use RedHat on
servers and compute nodes, but not because of the kernel.

Martin
PS: Thanks for the hint. I didn't realize it when I upgraded to 8.0.
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XFS in the main kernel

Post by J.A. Magallo » Thu, 25 Apr 2002 06:50:09





>> > definitely. Unless XFS is in the mainline kernel (marked as
>> >experimantal if necessary) it will not get good exposure.

[...]

> From a mainline point of view XFS on Linux will only be successfull if
>it is "in the kernel". Fully maintained and "Linus approved". I am not
>sure when SGI started the port (could even go back to the time when I
>worked for them, late 1997). Definitely quite some time. By now it
>should be in the kernel. Maybe marked "experimental". As I see it now
>EXT3, ReiserFS and maybe JFS are just eating the XFS lunch away.

> In any case, the Vanderbilt comment is right on.

If XFS is so good (i do not doubt it), I see some issues (plz correct me
if I'm wrong...):

- XFS needs substantial changes in the VFS layer to work
- This changes are good (or make xfs so good)
- *THE THING* to do is to integrate this changes in mainline tree VFS,
  so XFS will stop duplicating half the kernel code.

Why those features are not merged ? Incompatibilities ? Licensing ?
Religious wars about some way of doing things ?

Plz, if SGI splits XFS in small chunks and starts feeding linus with
changes in the VFS, what will happen ? Why that doesn't happen ?

Just some ideas...

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