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.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Comment by OddFox
by OddFox on Mon 20th Jul 2009 22:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by OddFox"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

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?).


They can serve the same purpose (though ZFS and the others can serve far more purposes than simple system recovery) regardless of how they go about doing that, though there is no doubt that System Restore is junk in comparison to Time Machine and similar technologies.

Regarding how many GBs your snapshots take up with your own usage patterns, like you said this kind of stuff all depends on what you do with the system. I can't imagine that a whole lot changes on a daily basis with your home media server, which is why the ~5GB snapshot disk space usage sounds about right. Just because you only use up ~5GB with snapshots doesn't mean that's what another user should expect. Besides, it was never really my intention to talk about the possible scenario of running low on disk space and having multiple GBs of snapshots to get rid of, but rather to address the issue that as far as I'm aware it's a disk space trade-off for a feature that doesn't have an incredible amount of practical value for your average user.

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).


If that's their response then they don't sound like they're very responsible users, but considering a lot of audio and video production occurs on Macs it's not very hard to imagine that a lot of these people appreciate the ability to easily revert to previous versions of things they have been working on. This has little to no practical value to your average desktop user who does not create content, but merely views it. If these people are not professionals or enthusiasts, then I have to ask what they're doing that makes Time Machine such a deal-killing feature, something they could never go without anymore. Of course system/network admins would probably like these features for slightly different reasons.

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.


These are pure semantics, I thought it was understood that saying a 512 MB of RAM for the filesystem was the same as saying 512 MB of RAM for the whole OS, including the filesystem.

Furthermore, just because you can run OpenSolaris with ZFS on a lowly laptop or desktop with 512 MB of RAM doesn't make it the best idea. Did you hear the story about Windows 7 being hacked down enough to run on a system with a paltry 96 MB of RAM? Sure you could do it, but it's a pain in the butt to use when you could really just use something better suited.

Reply Parent Score: -1

More voting abuses
by OddFox on Mon 20th Jul 2009 23:21 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by OddFox"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

To the person who down-voted my comment: Where was the troll, off-topic or inaccurate information in my post? *sigh* It's ridiculous that people down-vote just because they don't like what a post is saying, that's not the purpose of the system.

I said myself that I like OpenSolaris and would probably use it on my desktop with little to no issue, so I can't be trolling. The subject of discussion is our experiences with OpenSolaris, since Thom asked at the end of the article, so I can't be off-topic. There's also nothing inaccurate in my post, so it can't be that. Oh well.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by OddFox
by kragil on Mon 20th Jul 2009 22:59 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by OddFox"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

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.


Utter bullshit.

You cannot run OpenSolaris with ZFS on a 512mb machine and start apps. It just does not work. It nearly does not work with 1GB in my experience. Programms take ages to start it is ridiculous. It is just crap. You just have to have 2GB.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by OddFox
by binarycrusader on Tue 21st Jul 2009 02:06 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by OddFox"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

"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.


Utter bullshit.

You cannot run OpenSolaris with ZFS on a 512mb machine and start apps. It just does not work. It nearly does not work with 1GB in my experience. Programms take ages to start it is ridiculous. It is just crap. You just have to have 2GB.
"

Sorry, but that isn't true. While it is true that performance will increase with more memory, you can definitely run OpenSolaris on zfs with 512MB of memory. It is the *minimum* requirement for OpenSolaris, and is an officially supported configuration.

Reply Parent Score: 2