Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (776 mails)

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[opensuse-factory] Re: BtrFS as default fs?
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 00:36:26 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <l05va9$7cj$>
On Tue, 03 Sep 2013 19:59:06 -0400, Jeff Mahoney wrote:

Well that's the main thrust behind the "allow unsupported" module
option. We have the feature set that we've evaluated to be mature and
that's what we allow by default.

That seems a little counterintuitive to me. Allowing unsupported
features would seem to indicate those features are immature, rather than
mature. Am I missing something?

When I cast a wide net across forums and mailing lists last month asking
for user experiences, I got a lot of uninformed opinion and very little
concrete data.

Concrete data might be hard to come by, but I don't know that the way to
get it is to risk new users' data (I assume upgrades wouldn't be affected
- but is that a safe assumption?) to gather it. It needs to be an opt-
in, not a default that's set that may result in users losing data.

Most of the negative data was in the area of snapper
being too aggressive in creating snapshots and not aggressive enough in
cleaning them up. There was some negative opinion WRT the file system
itself, but most of it was in the realm of "I heard..." or "I don't
trust it" based on too much hearsay and too little experience. It's that
kind of rumor-response that is unhelpful in making decisions or
improving the pain points with the file system. There were a few reports
of people having troubles with the file system itself, but they tended
to be with compression or RAID enabled -- the features that we don't
entirely trust yet and want to disable so the casual user doesn't become
an unwitting beta tester.

So whether it's "considered" unstable or experimental largely depends on
what features are being tested and who's doing the testing. A lot of
times it involves armchair punditry and no testing at all.

So for users to accept that their data is safe (or at least no less safe
than it is with current - more mature - filesystems like ext4), don't set
the default, but sell us on the idea. Tell us more about how the
filesystem has improved, what the current outstanding issues are, and how
they're being addressed.

A lot of individuals aren't willing to test an unproven filesystem
because of the risk to their data, or end up in a situation where the
system has to be reinstalled. Myself, my openSUSE systems are my
production work environment - so I need to be confident that I'm not
going to lose critical data (which yes, I do back up the most critical
data) and I'm not going to lose billable hours having to rebuild a system
because the filesystem became inconsistent. I can certainly put it in a
VM, but it's not going to get a thorough "real-world" workout there.

OSS is all about transparency, so let's hear a little more about how btrfs
has improved in the past 12-18 months.

Jim Henderson
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