Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:16 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The Linux desktop has come a long way. It's a fully usable, stable, and secure operating system that can be used quite easily by the masses. Not too long ago, Sun figured they could do the same by starting Project Indiana, which is supposed to deliver a complete distribution of OpenSolaris in a manner similar to GNU/Linux. After using the latest version for a while, I'm wondering: why?
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RE[3]: Comment by OddFox
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jul 2009 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by OddFox"
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

When the average desktop user begins to understand even something like System Restore then I will concede that the average desktop user might appreciate something like automated snapshots.


System Restore on Windows is *nothing* like TimeMachine or TimeSlider or even plain ZFS snapshots. And the UI for System Restore makes it even less similar (is it just me or does MS go out of its way to make simple things/concept hard to use?).

A small amount of people make a large amount of fuss over snapshots which I argue A) most average desktop users are not technical enough to understand or utilize properly and B) waste a lot of disk space when enabled by default and utilized by few.


ZFS snapshots use 0 diskspace until something changes. So if none of your files change between snapshot A and snapshot B, then 0 disk space will be used. If only 1 file changed, then only the space for that one file will be used. And so on.

I use ZFS on my home media server, taking automatic snapshots every evening, and I keep 60 days worth of snapshots. Total snapshot disk usage is ~5 GB, for 250 GB of total disk space in the server. Several times now I've used the snapshots to recover files accidentally deleted by myself or the wife. And to recover older versions of files (like resumes and business letters).

(Un)fortunately, my system runs FreeBSD, so the nice TimeSlider GUI isn't available (not that I'd use it, since I can't stand Nautilus). But even using the shell, it's simple to "recover" files from snapshots (cd /path/to/filesystem/.zfs/snapshot/snap-name/; cp /path/to/wherever).

Maybe I'm just out in the dark here because nobody I talk to outside of tech enthusiasts or people creating an infrastructure that can utilize these features really care about this particular feature.


Talk to MacOS X users who use TimeMachine. You'll hear a different side of things ("OMG, how'd I ever live without this?" is the common response I get).

What I said was not FUD, you explicitly confirmed what I had said which was "Half a gig to 1 gig of memory for the filesystem". 512MB = Half a gig? I realize that ZFS works better with more RAM, but my point is that I don't see its feature-set as an acceptable trade-off on your average desktop.


No, you're failing to see the difference between "512 MB of RAM for the filesystem" and "512 MB of RAM for the whole OS, including the filesystem".

You don't need 512 MB of RAM *just* for ZFS. You can use ZFS on a system with only 512 MB of RAM. Very big difference.

IOW, if you have a lowly laptop or desktop with only 512 MB of RAM, total, you can still run a system using ZFS as the main filesystem.

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