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25 February 2011, 12:47

Fedora 15 alpha delayed - Btrfs may be default in 16

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The Fedora project has postponed the release of the first and only alpha version of Fedora 15, originally scheduled for 1 March, by a week. This was due, at least in part, to a bug in X Server that occurred in connection with keyboard layouts for such languages as German or French and prevented users from successfully logging into GDM. Subsequent milestones in the release schedule for Fedora 15 remain unaffected at present, and the final release is still scheduled for 10 May.

The fifteenth Fedora release is currently planned to be the first version that won't require a special boot parameter to be submitted to the installer in order to format a storage device with the experimental Btrfs file system. Red Hat employee Josef Bacik, who is heavily involved in the development of Btrfs, has now proposed on the project's most important developer mailing list that Btrfs should be made the default file system in Fedora 16, which is expected in late October or early November. One of the reasons given by Bacik is that 90% of the development of a tool for checking and repairing Btrfs have reportedly already been completed, and that the tool is due to be released within the next two months.

The pros and cons of his proposal are still being discussed on the mailing list. For example, one Red Hat employee commented that he has had problems with Btrfs every time he has tried it; file system and storage specialist Ric Wheeler, who also works at Red Hat, replied that Btrfs has proven quite stable in internal tests.

Several months will probably pass before the project will decide, giving the open source world the opportunity to gain more experience with the stability of Btrfs. Although Btrfs is currently still experimental, the file system is already used as the default file system in MeeGo. Earlier this month, contributors to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) discussed a bug which can be reproduced in 2.6.37 and has been found to cause data loss when copying a file from a compressed Btrfs system.


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