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09 June 2011, 11:15

Fedora 16 with Btrfs as standard file system

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At its IRC meeting on Wednesday, the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) resolved to use Btrfs as the standard file system in Fedora 16 "Verne". Btrfs was called the "Next Generation File System for Linux" by numerous major kernel developers two years ago and is still labelled as experimental. For Fedora 16 there will be a "simple switch" from Ext4 to the new file system; therefore Fedora's installation program will not force Btrfs' RAID- and LVM-like capabilities onto users.

It will probably not be known until August or September whether Fedora 16, which is planned for the end of October, will actually use Btrfs as the standard, because testers and developers need time to gain additional experience with the upcoming alpha and beta versions. If major problems crop up or the criteria for the switch, which have yet to be fully specified, are not fulfilled, the Fedora Project will probably postpone the switch until Fedora 17, just as it did with the switch to the Sysvinit and Upstart alternative from Fedora 14 to 15.

One of the criteria for the switch to Btrfs is a proper program to check and repair Btrfs file systems. The current tool only offers basic functions; a much better one was vaguely announced for the end of May but has yet to show up. According to Btrfs and Red Hat developer Josef Bacik, it will soon be released but has not appeared yet because it is being thoroughly tested. Fedora developers state in the IRC log that they do not expect quota support to be finished in Btrfs by the time Fedora 16 is released and that they can live with that.

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