Re: Filesystem for mobile hard drive

From: Nicolas George
Date: Mon Feb 13 2006 - 05:34:06 EST

Le quartidi 24 pluviôse, an CCXIV, Phillip Susi a écrit :
> Ahh yes, the per file limit. BTW, why are you saying "To" and "Go" when
> you apparently mean "TB" and "GB"?

I use the french word octet instead of byte, because it is less error prone
(when you read "mb", does-it really mean megabit, or does it mean that the
author is lazy about capitalization?) and a little bit more precise. Tough I
actually am French, I did not start using a French word in English by
myself. I copy a practice of the IETF: the RFCs use octet more than byte.

> The fat data structures do not encourage fragmentation any more or less
> than ext2/3. NTFS is slightly better, more comparable to reiserfs than
> ext2/3, but the difference is small. What causes massive fragmentation
> is how the driver chooses to allocate new blocks as you write to files.
> Microsoft has always used about the worst possible algorithm for doing
> this you can imagine, which is why fragmentation has always been a big
> problem on their OSes. Linux is smarter and allocates blocks such that
> fragmentation is kept to a minimum.

I believe you about that.

> I have not done any testing, but I know no reason why it would be worse
> than fat.

That is a very good point. If windows can read UDF on hard drives and not
only DVD, UDF could probably supersede FAT completely.

Thank you for pointing me that direction.

> It does not do transaction logging, and there currently is no
> fsck for it, so for safety reasons, it may not be such a good choice.

I have a Solaris 9 near at hand, and I see a /lib/fs/udfs/fsck, and in the
source tarball of OpenSolaris, I find a directory
usr/src/cmd/fs.d/udfs/fsck/. It does not compile out of the box, but it may
be possible to port it with limited effort.

> I agree. I think the VFS layer should process the uid/gid options. By
> default it should replace nobody with the specified id, and fat and ntfs
> should just report all files as owned by nobody. Then a new option
> should be added to force the translation for all ids, not just nobody.

I agree with that (except maybe for the NTFS part, which I do not know; let
us just say "UID-less filesystems"). Maybe a full UID translation system
similar th the one in NFS could be useful, or a generic hook for modules,
but having basic UID overriding would be great.

Unfortunately, the VFS subsystem is something too complex for me at this

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