Home > Red Hat > Fedora Postpones Btrfs Filesystem Switch To Fedora 17 Fedora Postpones Btrfs Filesystem Switch To Fedora 17 Submitted by Debjit 2011-08-12 Red Hat 29 Comments The Fedora developers have decided that Fedora 16 will not use Btrfs by default. The announcement was made by Josef Bacik, Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat. Instead the switch to Btrfs filesystem has now been postponed to Fedora 17. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 29 Comments 2011-08-12 6:17 am sukru I have hope that they will manage it in the next release. Fedora has been the best way for new open source experiments to shine in the last years (Gnome 3, SELinux, and many others), thus I believe they will not abandon brtfs, and keep pushing it mainstream. Good work! 2011-08-12 7:34 am MORB Josef Bacik is one of the main developers of btrfs, so it’s definitely unlikely they’ll abandon it. 2011-08-12 11:07 am Sabz I have hope that they will manage it in the next release. Fedora has been the best way for new open source experiments to shine in the last years (Gnome 3, SELinux, and many others), thus I believe they will not abandon btrfs, and keep pushing it mainstream. Good work! why would fedora or any Distro abandon a new File System when they can gain from this new File System. have you actually read the Benefits of BTRFS compared to EXT4 ? 2011-08-12 9:57 pm Bill Shooter of Bul Probably they would abandon it for the same reasons as Reiser. Lack of maintinence. Or those of Microsoft abandoning WinFS: poor performance, with little hope of improvement after years of trying. Don’t get me wrong, by all accounts Btrfs is awesome. But, anything can look great in the design phase. 2011-08-13 1:42 am Luminair BTRFS IS NOT IN THE DESIGN PHASE 2011-08-13 8:50 am evert [sarcasm] not in the design phase? so the fschk utility is not even designed yet? [/sarcasm] i have great hopes for btrfs but for the moment, i stay with fixable filesystems 2011-08-12 11:40 am bjesus BtrFS needs fsck tool before it can be a default FS anywhere 2011-08-12 9:55 pm Bill Shooter of Bul Yes, thats why fedora is waiting for. 2011-08-12 11:40 am Lennie The subject pretty much says it all. The ideas and avenue of implementating a good fsck tools changed again and again during development. So now the latest idea is being implemented and should be ready in a few weeks after which it needs a lot of testing obviously. 2011-08-12 12:26 pm rklrkl It’ll be interesting to see how good btrfs is compared to ext4 – I hope performance won’t be significantly worse because ext4 is already a fairly fast FS. Remember that we’re still in the “early” days of ext4 at the moment – CentOS 6/RHEL 6 now finally use it as their default FS and they have 7 years of updates with ext4 presumably remaining the default during that period. I’d like to see work continuing on ext4 to make sure it’s as fast and robust as possible (and that all the tools work correctly for formatting, fsck’ing, resizing etc.), because it’s looking like until RHEL 7 comes out, ext4 will be the dominant FS in the enterprise Linux arena (exspecially since it was recently backported to RHEL 5/CentOS 5 too). Edited 2011-08-12 12:27 UTC 2011-08-12 4:11 pm orestes Nice to see that Fedora’s love for the bleeding edge, the main reason I run Fedora actually, didn’t get in the way of making sane choices for defaults. 2011-08-12 4:28 pm UltraZelda64 It already did several times in the past… which is why I’m surprised they made this choice. 2011-08-12 4:43 pm orestes Only one relating to defaults that I recall being questionable was the switch to the open source video drivers… and possibly SELinux, which while a pain in the ass was stable. 2011-08-12 4:59 pm Tom9729 SElinux: I think it was disappointing to a lot of people (“hey look at this cool new security feature? too bad we can’t use it because our software breaks”) but if you ran into an issue with it, it was easy to switch off. In addition to the video drivers, I’d add pulseaudio and kde4. Both of these initially led to bad user experiences for a lot of people. However I think the difference between those and making btrfs default is that no one wants to risk losing their data. For example having my music stutter when the system load gets high is annoying but trivial in comparison to finding out that a ten page report I was working on was corrupted because of some obscure FS bug. 2011-08-12 6:51 pm UltraZelda64 How about KDE4 instead of KDE3 (far before it was ready) and, more recently, GNOME3 instead of GNOME 2 (once again, seemingly before ready)? 2011-08-12 8:55 pm orestes Gnome 3 is debatable, yeah it’s the default desktop and yeah it’s polarizing to some people but compared to Gnome 2 it’s been an extremely smooth transition and Fedora’s implementation is quite well done. KDE4 on the other hand was never the default of Fedora proper. It was put out there so the bleeding edge lovers could play with it and so the Fedora guys could clean their version of it up, but I don’t recall it being really treated as an equal citizen for a few releases. 2011-08-13 10:09 pm UltraZelda64 You can argue that “GNOME is the default Desktop environment, not KDE,” but it doesn’t change the fact that for KDE users, Fedora made KDE4 the *default version* of KDE long before it was ready. There no longer was a KDE3 in the repositories, for KDE users, KDE4 was the default. They had to real choice other than to switch to a different desktop environment, or an entirely different distribution altogether if no alternative environments were good enough. Edited 2011-08-13 22:11 UTC 2011-08-14 10:54 pm Delgarde How about KDE4 instead of KDE3 (far before it was ready) and, more recently, GNOME3 instead of GNOME 2 (once again, seemingly before ready)? I disagree that Gnome 3 was included before it was ready. Granted, it doesn’t have 100% of the functionality of it’s predecessor, but it *is* stable, and mostly usable with a little adjustment. Works pretty well for me… Quite the opposite of KDE 4.0, where the distros shipped it even though the developers were saying “it’s not ready yet” and “don’t ship it as default”. 2011-08-12 10:44 pm Jason Bourne I was a fan of Fedora 14. Really. At that time, it was much more stable than Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. With GNOME Shell being the default deployment of Fedora 15, I confess that I really tried, tried and tried. But GNOME Shell is not for me. I also find that F15 was the most “beta” Fedora ever released. The branded and costumized wallpapers and KDE settings were so unprofessional looking and low quality design, it was ridiculous. With forthcoming Ubuntu being without GNOME 2, and having default options like Unity 3D and 2D, I am forced to move to Kubuntu. And tweaking a little here and there, KDE 4.6 is confortable now. In fact, what led me to go to Kubuntu was a review from Dedoimedo.com. If Kubuntu doesn’t decide to “take a dump” as far as a distro have what it takes to be the leader, I may stick with it for the time being. I am not very much fond of Linux Mint because of all the green and inherited bugs of Ubuntu. The other day I built a fast box with Kubuntu, and I was really impressed. All the benefits of Ubuntu, running KDE. For sure I spent 30 minutes trying to find how to make titlebar buttons large, make scrollbar larger and coloured, make fonts bigger, etc. But it was worth it. If KDE guys don’t take a new fresh dump again, KDE will reign. I miss Fedora tools, more specifically, Red Hat tools. I could have stuck with Fedora 15. I was loving F14. But somehow, this time, F15 blew it. I think developers should consider at least make KDE the default environment instead of GNOME Shell. I have seen many many people giving up on GNOME Shell. Linus criticized. I criticize it too. GNOME Shell is for smartphone lovers, and I don’t even have one, and don’t plan purchasing one. One thing for sure I know, this year things are very hectic in Linux world. 2011-08-13 12:00 am tuaris On Fedora 15, when you force fallback mode on GNOME 3, it’s actually very good and a step up from GNOME 2. 2011-08-13 12:44 am Jason Bourne …and you’re the only person on earth to think that way, right? 2011-08-14 7:46 am ggeldenhuys One thing for sure I know, this year things are very hectic in Linux world. You can say that again! The state of the Linux desktop is absolutely appalling at the moment. So much so that I switched to JWM (a simple window manager), instead of these bloated and user unfriendly desktop environments. JWM is lightning fast, stays out of my way while I get my work done. Menus are easy to configure to your liking. I even have a script that integrates the “Gnome menu”, so if I install new app, they are automatically visible in JwM’s menu. New is clearly not always better. Go with the time-tested and trusted software that works. I’m even considering moving back to Slackware (from Ubuntu). The simplicity of installing and compiling software (optimized for your hardware) is just great. 2011-08-14 3:40 pm Jason Bourne going to try this jwm! 2011-08-13 1:46 am Luminair “we are working very hard on trying to get everything more stable and it is a slow going process. With your help we will be in a better situation for F17.” That is a mature comment. Maybe next year they’ll be ready for serious use. It can’t be much longer before they catch ZFS. It’s been a long fricking marathon. 2011-08-13 10:34 am Kebabbert “we are working very hard on trying to get everything more stable and it is a slow going process. With your help we will be in a better situation for F17.” That is a mature comment. Maybe next year they’ll be ready for serious use. It can’t be much longer before they catch ZFS. It’s been a long fricking marathon. You know, it took ZFS several years AFTER it was released to iron out most bugs. It takes years to make a filesystem stable. If a kernel crashes, then you loose a few hours of work. If a filesystem crashes, you loose years of work. It is much more important that a filesystem is bug free, than a kernel. There are many sysadmins that wont let ZFS into their server halls, because it is too young. ZFS is almost 10 years old today. But ZFS had a good reputation with a strong team. Sun knew servers. They knew server halls. They knew Enterprise and had much experience. Sun only did enterprise. Still ZFS is not really trusted yet by sysadmins. To really believe that BTRFS will be trusted by sysadmins is a bit strange. It will take at least 10 years after it has been released. BTRFS does not have a strong team of server Enterprise guys. They are mostly some hackers that never ever been in a Enterprise server hall, nor any experience. I doubt BTRFS will be mature even after 10 years. Regarding BTRFS performance. Just scrap that discussion. If you have a fast filesystem, then it is not safe and might corrupt your data. There is a reason ZFS is slow: it calculates many checksums all the time. If there is a fast filesystem, it does not compute checksums, and hence your data might corrupt. I would never trust anything fast. I heard one guy said that XFS did fsck his RAID in 15 seconds or so. Well, if you fsck a 6TB raid in 15 sec, it means you never read the actual data. To read 6TB data takes many hours. Needless to say, I dont trust XFS fsck. Because it is too fast, it is not thorough. Fast and reliable works against each other. Choose one of them, but not both. There is a reason IBM Mainframes have slow cpus: they double check calculations I heard. 2011-08-14 2:40 pm NorthWay There is a reason IBM Mainframes have slow cpus: they double check calculations I heard. Yes. And no (AFAIK). They do run the same instruction on two different units and compare. That has implications on how much exotics you can do to out-of-order and suchlike, plus the instruction set is old and archaic. Which results in less opportunities to become speed demons. They take a lot back in having an IO interface definition that can be co-processor accelerated. 2011-08-15 7:58 am korpenkraxar ZFS is a fine FS that’s for sure. As a Linux guy, I have not used myself though and have a question. About the checksum, if something is not correctly stored on the disk (lets say I save an ODF file), how is the end user informed of the problem? Assuming a hardware problem, what will ZFS do to avoid writing to that sector again? I mean, what is the level of interactivity and robustness of the checksum system to make it useful to say desktop users? 2011-08-15 9:14 am Kebabbert ZFS is a fine FS that’s for sure. As a Linux guy, I have not used myself though and have a question. About the checksum, if something is not correctly stored on the disk (lets say I save an ODF file), how is the end user informed of the problem? Assuming a hardware problem, what will ZFS do to avoid writing to that sector again? I mean, what is the level of interactivity and robustness of the checksum system to make it useful to say desktop users? When you type “zpool status” you will see that there are problems. If you are using some kind of raid, then ZFS will detect and repair the problem. If you are using single disk, ZFS will detect the problem, but can not repair the problem. (Actually, ZFS can also repair errors on single disk too. In effect, everything will be duplicated on the single disk, resulting is halving the storage capacity. You need to specify “copies=2” when you format the single disk for this to happen). If you see any errors, you should do “fsck” but it is actally called “scrub” instead. And scrubbing data can be performed while you are using your ZFS raid. “fsck” needs to take the raid offline and you have to wait until fsck is done before you can use the raid again. Here is more information on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS#Data_Integrity 2011-08-14 7:58 am ggeldenhuys It can’t be much longer before they catch ZFS. I haven’t used ZFS, but do read a lot about it. The features it has, and the enterprise support it has doesn’t come overnight. Btrfs has promise, but it is still a long way from ZFS. I watched a YouTube video demoing some of ZFS features. The ease of setting up a Raid5, growing or shrinking the array by adding or removing hard drives (without total array rebuilds or loosing data), built-in compression etc was all just astonishing! Btrfs is not there yet. It’s a real pity ZFS licensing conflict with Linux.