[CentOS] Filers, filesystems, etc.

Johnny Hughes mailing-lists at hughesjr.com
Wed Nov 9 15:53:41 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-11-09 at 06:43 -0800, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> Joe Landman <landman at scalableinformatics.com> wrote:
> > xfs is in the Centosplus repository.   On the
> > "enterprise class" if you mean "Redhat derived" then
> > you have a point.  However, SuSE and most of the other
> > major distributions have native xfs support (and have had 
> > it for years).
> XFS working correctly an completely is another matter
> entirely.  It was much better back in the days when SGI
> officially released XFS for select Red Hat Linux releases for
> kernel 2.4.  The XFS support in the stock kernel has always
> been suspect (especially the 2.4 backport).
> As someone who has been on the XFS lists over the last 5+
> years, especially early on, SGI only supported XFS in its
> official releases (for Red Hat Linux).  There was always
> massive breakage in various distros.  SuSE is no exception
> (and don't get me started on Mandrake ;-).
> E.g., SuSE has never been known for their attention to NFS
> compatibility.  At one point in 2000, one SuSE engineer said
> I was much better off with Ext3 on Red Hat than ReiserFS on
> SuSE.  Every now and then the Red Hat v. SuSE debate comes up
> on the XFS list and you'll quickly note people who have had
> nightmares with XFS on SuSE's distros.
> > Redhat is rather alone in this regard, and this may be 
> > due to all their investment in ext3.
> Or the fact that Red Hat actually supports what it ships. 
> SuSE has bit me in the @$$ too many times on NFS (let alone
> other distros).  If you don't need NFS services, great!  If
> you do, I would deter you from anything but Red Hat (or Sun
> ;-) in a distribution release.
> At the same time, I agree that the lack of Red Hat interest
> in XFS is rather troubling.  Especially the insistence that
> Ext3 can do everything XFS -- and those statements go silent
> when I start talking about everything from storing EAs in
> dumps to scalability to defragmentation.  I documented that
> in my past blog entry here:  
> http://thebs413.blogspot.com/2005/08/filesystem-fundamentals-and-practices.html
> But there are some real issues with XFS on 4K stack kernels
> and NFS compatibility right now.  And I don't trust XFS in
> kernel 2.4, period (except for the older releases).

The 4k stack problem are a major issue with XFS.  I am working with
someone at SGI to get some better code for our unsupported kernel, but
that cods still has 4k stack issues. 

I tried, very unsuccessfully, to get a RH patched 2.6.9-22.0.1 kernel to
compile with 8K stacks.

To be honest, I would not use XFS in the CentOS kernel on a mission
critical server.

The code we will roll in from SGI will be similar to the latest release
on SuSE, but (as I said) that has 4k stack issues too.

I am sorry to say, ext3 is just the best and most stable bet.

The kernel in CentOS plus will run XFS, ReiserFS, and JFS ... but only
ext2/ext3 are really rated as production stable (or the others would be
in the standard kernel).

> If you're going to run any XFS kernel, I recommend you pull a
> stable-tag'd version of the kernel out of XFS' CVS
> repository.  How compatible/able it is with FC/RHEL/CentOS, I
> just don't know.  But trying to add in patches for other
> things is not a nightmare I want to deal with.  ;->
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