choosing a file system

Janne Peltonen janne.peltonen at
Fri Jan 9 03:54:10 EST 2009

On Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 08:01:04AM -0800, Vincent Fox wrote:
> (Summary of filesystem discussion)
> You left out ZFS.
> Sometimes Linux admins remind me of Windows admins.

I didn't.

Btrfs is in so early development that I don't know yet what to say about
it, but the fact of ZFS's being incompatible with GPL might be mitigated
by this.

> I have adminned a half-dozen UNIX variants professionally but
> keep running into admins who only do ONE and for whom every
> problem is solved with "how can I do this with one OS only?"

So have I. But in the current Cyrus installation, I'm stuck with Linux,
so I concentrated on what's available on Linux. Moreover, I don't want
to use non-free operating systems - if anything, I've become more
ideological with age... I'd happily use /any/ free unix variant that ran
ZFS, but.

> Dark Ages now for terabytes of mail volume I'd throw a professional fit.
> Even the idea that I need to tune my filesystem for inodes and to avoid it
> wanting to fsck on reboot #20 or whatever seems like caveman discussion.
> Any of them offer cheap and nearly-instant snapshots & online scrubbing?
> No?  Then why use it for large number of files of important nature?

Because there isn't a free FS that does those things (yet). And there
are free systems that do enough...

> I love Linux, I surely do.  Virtually everything of an appliance nature here
> will probably shift over to it in the long run I think and for good reasons.
> But filesystem is one area where the bazaar model has fallen into a very
> deep rut and can't muster energy to climb out.

Really? Btrfs /does/ appear promising to me. I might be wrong, though.

> So far ZFS ticking along with no problems and low iostat numbers
> with everything in one big pool.  I have separate fs for data, imap, mail
> but haven't seen any need to carve mail spool into chunks at all.
> There were initial problems noted here in the mailing lists way back
> in Solaris 10u3 but that was solved with the fsync patch and since then
> it's been like butter.  Mail-store systems nobody ever needs to look
> at them because it "just works".

Well, that's nice. It's a shame they made it GPL-incompatible.

Janne Peltonen <janne.peltonen at> PGP Key ID: 0x9CFAC88B
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