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: Comment by OddFox
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jul 2009 21:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by OddFox"
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Your average desktop user does not need nor want something like ZFS,


Your average desktop user would absolutely love something like ZFS with all the snapshot-y goodness, especially when it is integrated into something like TimeSlider in Nautilus. It's similar to how TimeMachine works on MacOS X, but with better technology (ZFS) behind the scenes. If Apple ever gets around to completing ZFS support in MacOS X, they'll have a truly killer feature once TimeMachine makes use of it.

at least not until it becomes a little less resource hungry though I have no idea how they will manage that due to the inherent design of ZFS. Half a gig to 1 gig of memory for the filesystem is really asking quite a lot still of the average user.


Absolute FUD. You can run ZFS on 32-bit systems with as little as 512 MB of RAM (total system RAM). You can also run in it on 64-bit systems with 64 GB of RAM. And everything in between. ZFS works better with more RAM, and can do more caching as RAM increases, but it can be tuned to run in very low memory setups.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by OddFox
by OddFox on Mon 20th Jul 2009 21:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by OddFox"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

Your average desktop user would absolutely love something like ZFS with all the snapshot-y goodness, especially when it is integrated into something like TimeSlider in Nautilus. It's similar to how TimeMachine works on MacOS X, but with better technology (ZFS) behind the scenes. If Apple ever gets around to completing ZFS support in MacOS X, they'll have a truly killer feature once TimeMachine makes use of it.


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. 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. 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. It is wonderfully useful for certain environments, but I don't think the average desktop user needs this kind of functionality. I would turn it off because I frankly don't need the overhead and have never thought to myself "Gee, I really wish I could revert this file back to a previous version, or undelete something I still want after all". Most of my unintentional data-loss is because of things like a partition getting FUBAR'd, not because one way or another the files ended up deleted.

Absolute FUD. You can run ZFS on 32-bit systems with as little as 512 MB of RAM (total system RAM). You can also run in it on 64-bit systems with 64 GB of RAM. And everything in between. ZFS works better with more RAM, and can do more caching as RAM increases, but it can be tuned to run in very low memory setups.


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.

ZFS is a great filesystem for a lot of purposes, but I just don't see how right now anyone could seriously consider any of its features as something vital the average desktop user needs to be exposed to. Ugh, have said "average desktop user" way too many times already and just did again.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by OddFox
by renhoek on Mon 20th Jul 2009 21:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by OddFox"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

ZFS is a great filesystem for a lot of purposes, but I just don't see how right now anyone could seriously consider any of its features as something vital the average desktop user needs to be exposed to. Ugh, have said "average desktop user" way too many times already and just did again.


Checksumming of your data is vital. Ever had data corruption? Is your data still ok? how do you know there is no silent corruption? In that case you really want to know which files are broken and which are not.

Compression, pooled storage, snapshots and encryption(?) are nice, but not a must have for the average poweruser.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by OddFox
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jul 2009 22:05 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.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by OddFox
by segedunum on Mon 20th Jul 2009 23:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by OddFox"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Your average desktop user would absolutely love something like ZFS with all the snapshot-y goodness, especially when it is integrated into something like TimeSlider in Nautilus.

Ahhhhhh. The sad ramblings of someone who believes that telling people of the technical merits of something will prove to be good enough. It might prove to be a differentiator when all other things, especially application availability, are equal. Everything else, however, is not equal and Nautilus isn't even a good enough file manager and is the same as you'll find elsewhere.

Absolute FUD. You can run ZFS on 32-bit systems with as little as 512 MB of RAM....ZFS works better with more RAM, and can do more caching as RAM increases, but it can be tuned to run in very low memory setups.

For the benefit of the uneducated I shall translate. You can run ZFS on systems with lower memory requirements, but you will have to tune it if you want it to run trouble-free with acceptable performance. All the evidence thus far says that ZFS grows unbounded to whatever workload you throw at it and you will need to create those boundaries yourself.

The day you see ZFS running on an ARM NAS system with 128MB of memory is the day you see Satan skating to work. They just aren't going to materialise.

Edited 2009-07-20 23:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3