Andreas Dilger wrote:
On Jun 29, 2007  16:55 -0400, Theodore Tso wrote:

What's the eventual goal of this work?  Would it be for mainline use,
or just something that would be used internally at Google?  I'm not
particularly ennthused about supporting two ways of doing fallocate();
one for ext4 and one for bitmap-based files in ext2/3/4.  Is the
benefit reallyworth it?

What I would suggest, which would make much easier, is to make this be
an incompatible extensions (which you as you point out is needed for
security reasons anyway) and then steal the high bit from the block
number field to indicate whether or not the block has been initialized
or not.  That way you don't end up having to seek to a potentially
distant part of the disk to check out the bitmap.  Also, you don't
have to worry about how to recover if the "block initialized bitmap"
inode gets smashed.
The downside is that it reduces the maximum size of the filesystem
supported by ext2 by a factor of two.  But, there are at least two
patch series floating about that promise to allow filesystem block
sizes > than PAGE_SIZE which would allow you to recover the maximum
size supported by the filesytem.

I don't think ext2 is safe for > 8TB filesystems anyways, so this
isn't a huge loss.

This is reference to the idea of overloading the high-bit and not related to the >PAGE_SIZE blocks correct?

The other possibility is, assuming Google likes ext2 because they
don't care about e2fsck, is to patch ext4 to not use any
journaling (i.e. make all of the ext4_journal*() wrappers be
no-ops).  That way they would get extents, mballoc and other speedups.

We do care about the e2fsck problem, though the cost/benefit of e2fsck times/memory problems vs the overhead of journalling doesn't weigh in journalling's favour for a lot of our per-spindle-latency bound applications. These apps manage to get pretty good disk locality guarantees and the journal overheads can induce undesired head movement.

ext4 does look very promising, though I'm not certain it's ready for our consumption.

What are people's thoughts on providing ext3 non-journal mode? We could benefit from several of the additions to ext3 that aren't available in ext2 and disabling journalling there sounds much more feasible for us instead of trying to backport each ext3 component to ext2.

Mike Waychison

That said, what is the reason for not using ext3?  Presumably performance
(which is greatly improved in ext4) or is there something else?

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger
Principal Software Engineer
Cluster File Systems, Inc.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-ext4" in
the body of a message to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
More majordomo info at

Reply via email to