Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (837 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Can we see BTRFS as the default in the next version of openSUSE 11.5-12.0
On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM, Per Jessen <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
todd rme wrote:

On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 6:43 AM, Per Jessen <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I only asked a question, which you didn't answer.  Note - I'm
specifically NOT interested in discussing the dis/advantages of
btrfs, I'm only interested in the reasoning behind making (or not) it
the default for openSUSE.  (is my English really that difficult to
read?)

I would say there are two main reasons:

1. There are a bunch of features that both users and administrators
will find useful (depending on the feature)

That goes for just about any filesystems we currently support in YaST.

Yes, but the other filesystems also lack major features (or are less
stable) than ext2/3/4 (whichever was being used at the time). The
whole point of btrfs is that it has all of the features of ext, or it
will before we decide to use it.

2. If we don't make it default, the majority of people who know enough
to change it likely will, making it harder to offer support to users
and encouraging less-advanced users to fiddle with the partitioning
configuration which they really shouldn't touch.

That goes for every other filesystem that is not the default.

That is mathematically impossible. There are at least 6 or 7 possible
filesystems, a majority of people can't pick all of them.

Todd, thanks your attempt at arguing why we should change the default
filesystem.
Can someone advocating btrfs as the default filesystem in the next
openSUSE please provide an argument along these lines:

"We should make btrfs the default filesystem in openSUSE because the
vast majority [= at least 80%] of openSUSE users will significantly
benefit from the following new features or qualities:

[please list at least two].

You just said that you didn't want to discuss the advantages of btrfs.
We can't give you the information you are asking for without
discussing the benefits of btrfs.

It also seems pretty arbitrary to say that every feature of btrfs has
to benefit at least 80% of the people, and is an impossible condition
to satisfy. We would never have switched to ext4 if we used this
criteria.

A fair assessment would ask

1. Are there any drawbacks of using btrfs compared to ext4 that will
effect a significant number of users
2. Are there any advantages of using btrfs compared to ext4 that will
effect a significant number of users
3. Do the advantages outweigh the drawbacks for the majority of users?
4. Are there any major flaws in btrfs that should be deal-killers

If the answer to 3 is yes and the answer to 4 is no, then I think we
should use btrfs.

Currently, issues like fsck and grub I would say are deal-killers.
They may not be by the time of the next openSUSE release.

As for features that could be useful to a significant number of people
but are not present in ext4:

1. Per-directory compression
2. Per-directory encryption (not implemented yet, but planned and it
may be done by the next release)
3. Data deduplication (not implemented yet, but planned and it may be
done by the next release)
4. Incremental dumps
5. Combining multiple physical drives into a single directory tree
without needing logical volumes

Probably others I am not aware of.

-Todd
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