[GTALUG] From BTRFS to what?

Dhaval Giani dhaval.giani at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 12:19:06 EDT 2017

On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 11:49 AM, D. Hugh Redelmeier via talk
<talk at gtalug.org> wrote:
> | From: Dhaval Giani via talk <talk at gtalug.org>
> | Redhat was never a major contributor to btrfs. The folks who are on btrfs
> | like it and will continue fund its development. We might see a btrfs v2
> | similar to ext3 and ext4. But only time will tell. Please let's not equate
> | red hat with upstream kernel development. There are a lot of us who are
> | unrelated to red hat doing it as well.
> I agree with all that.  However...
> I use RedHat distros.  I use RedHat as my quality control.  Generally
> I have to seriously disagree with them to go to the bother of using
> something that they intentionally don't support.

You use Red Hat as your quality control. Lot of us do not. (Fedora is
a different issue), but the red hat kernel is a beast. I have
complaints against it, but that is for another forum. However, my
point is, it is not necessarily quality control. What gets red hat its
customers is it is support contracts, and the fact that it hires mores
of the upstream developers.

> I've only used BTRFS by accident (I installed Fedora and somehow got
> it).  It was not a problem.  So I have no actual technical complaint
> about BTRFS.
> Here are the strikes against it:
> - it has taken way too long to be technically mature (at least I've
>   inferred this)

How long do you think it took for it to be technically mature? How
long did say, xfs take, or ext4 take in comparison? Also, how much of
a radical change was btrfs? btrfs is probably not the answer, and
there will be other filesystems that will be better, but it is a
pioneering filesystem in linux land.

> - long time-to-develop suggests complexity.  Complexity is a really
>   bad thing if you want reliability.


> - I'm *very* conservative about filesystems.  When they go wrong they
>   can cause long-term consequences.

Almost everyone is, which is why btrfs adoption has not happened.
People trust their xfses and like, and don't want to move unless there
is a real compelling reason.

> - my distros of choice no longer support BTRFS.  That's much more
>   negative than "don't yet support".  It's a really big deal when
>   RHEL drops something, especially in a point release.

Again, the emphasis being *your*.

> - BTRFS looks to have a big fat niche and yet it has failed to fill
>   it.  Perhaps it has even blocked others from entering that niche.
> I'd love BTRFS to be developed and prove the nay-sayers (like me)
> wrong.  It does a bunch of things we could really use.

And as I have repeatedly said in this thread. Btrfs development is
*NOT* stopping. All that is stopping is Red Hat's support in RHEL.
While it might be a big deal for some (as you have rightly pointed
out), upstream development will continue to happen, fixes will keep
coming in, until something new and shiny comes in. But let's not say,
"Red Hat no longer supports feature X in the kernel, so it is game
over". That is a disservice to a lot of us who do this, and are not
employed by Red Hat. The linux kernel is a community effort, let's not
give Red Hat all the credit.


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