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Re: EXT3 Worries


On Wed, Jul 25, 2001 at 04:35:49PM -0700, IT3 Stuart B. Tener, USNR-R wrote:

> 	I am interested to think about implementing EXT3 onto my servers here.
> However, I have some concerns and am hoping someone can address them.
> 1) If I install ext3 what is the likelihood that the extent of damage caused
> by its bugs will be limited to just the fact that the journals may not work
> properly? Alternatively, do I risk real damage to files and the filesystem
> at this stage in its development?

There's always risk.  The 2.4 kernel may have VM bugs, driver bugs,
VFS bugs and there may be ext3 bugs.  Your hardware may be flaky, too,
in any of a thousand different unpredictable ways.  You just can't
ever guarantee anything to be risk-free.

However, I've had ext3 on laptops and workstations for 18 months and
have never once had any data loss.  I've almost never had any data
corruption at all --- ext3's internal consistency checks have, in the
past, tended to trap problems way before they ever got to disk.

> 2) Is there a projected period when you suspect it will be added to the
> Linus version of the kernel, and be available in all distributions (not just
> RH)?

That's up to Linus, but I'll be pushing for it in 2.5.  Linus has
already said he's happy about it in principle, but the devil is always
in the details.  In this particular case, ext3's data journaling
facilities try to do things which the core VM doesn't really support,
so the ext3 patches extend the core in a few self-contained ways to
allow it to work happily.  Merging into 2.5 will require either for
Linus to approve those changes or for ext3 to work around the core
problems, but the changes we want are compatible with a significant
cleanup of some VM bits so I don't envisage a problem there.

> 3) Is there an ISO, which is inclusive of EXT3 so that I can boot it up in
> rescue mode and get to an EXT3 partition for repair purposes if, need be
> yet?

Any iso with a recent e2fsprogs will be able to run fsck on an ext3
filesystem.  e2fsprogs-1.22 is recommended, and the e2fsck in it fully
understands ext3.


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