The journalling file system saga

John Monkey thegreatsagemonkey at
Thu May 13 02:32:01 PDT 2004

[copied from freebsd-questions@]

Ladies and Gents,

The lack of a journalling file system for FreeBSD has been discussed 
over and over on the mailing lists. I have read and understood all the 
advocacy for softupdates and background fsck. Softupdates gives great 
performance benefits. Background fsck is useful, but with seriously 
degraded performance until it completes.

I had to build a storage system this week with a capacity of 1.6TB.
Regrettfully I decided to use Linux with XFS as the thought of waiting 
for fsck to complete in the event of a problem makes me wince. I 
experimented with FreeBSD, using two 800GB partitions and things like 
that, but in the end it comes back to the fsck if for any reason the 
machine goes down uncleanly.

I am a big advocate of FreeBSD. I have great reliability on our 60+ 
FreeBSD machines. I'm ignoring all suggestions for UPSs and the like. I 
know all about that. That's not the point. The crux is FreeBSD needs a 
journalling file system, preferably IMHO based on UFS which we are all 
used to. Solaris has logging. It works fine for everything we use it 
for. It's a mount option, for those who don't know about it. In other 
words I can turn it on off. If I've had to turn away from FreeBSD for 
this requirement, I can imagine many other people will have too.

There's talk of XFS and Reiserfs ports and this and that, the legal 
issues of GPL code, blah blah blah. I see that Wasabi provide (sell) a 
journalling file system that "builds on the established and trusted 
Berkeley Unix Filesystem" [1]. I have no idea of the cost. The point is, 
it can be done.

Let's look at the reality of getting a journalling file system into 
FreeBSD. What would it cost to commission someone who knows enough about 
file systems (preferably UFS IMHO) to write the code? Would anyone be 
prepared to contribute to a fund to get this done? How long would it 
take? Is anyone remotely interested in this? I would propose that those 
who put up the money get to decide how the journalling would be 
implemented. No ticket, no laundry

Is anyone remotely interested in this?



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