Saturday, September 13, 2008

zfs-fuse 0.5.0 released


After resyncing the ZFS code in zfs-fuse to OpenSolaris build 98, I have (finally!) decided to make a new release.

I know that going from 0.4.0_beta1 to 0.5.0 is not the most logical thing to do.

However, if you consider that 0.4.0_beta1 was released more than 18 months ago and if you consider all the improvements that have been made since then, it makes a little more sense :-)

(By the way, if you still running 0.4.0_beta1... please, please, please upgrade *now* - serious bugs have been fixed).

This release brings us up-to-date with ZFS pool version 13 (try "zpool upgrade -v").
You can read about any zfs-fuse specific fixes or enhancements in the CHANGES file, although I'm sure I missed a few things.

One thing to mention is that there's no development going on in zfs-fuse in terms of missing features (the ones in the STATUS file). At the moment you can only expect bug fixes and ZFS code updates.

For those of you who have not been following zfs-fuse development closely, please be assured that if you are using IDE, SATA or SCSI disks, you no longer need to disable the write caches of your devices (thanks to Eric Anopolsky).

However, that is only true if you use raw disks or partitions as your vdevs -- if you use LVM, EVMS or other devices (such as loop devices), the disks' write caches still should be manually disabled to avoid potential problems.

If you want peace of mind you can check your syslog right after zfs-fuse starts to do any I/O - zfs-fuse will notify you if it can't flush the write cache.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Status update

Some people have (quite understandably) requested me to post a status update, so here it goes:

The good news:

  • The project is not dead.
  • The code is being updated every month with new features and bug fixes from OpenSolaris.
  • Critical bugs, and especially any bug reports of corruption, will receive my full attention, so please report them if that happens to you. I am 100% committed to fix any such bugs, but I haven't received any such reports in quite a time. However, I'm not sure if this issue has been truly fixed simply because I've been unable to reproduce it.
  • I will make an effort to review and integrate any patches that I receive that improve zfs-fuse.
The bad news:
  • The beta release is quite old already, so I should definitely make a new release..
  • I haven't been able to work on improving zfs-fuse, except for the monthly updates and the occasional bug fixes.
  • I have a couple of features that I've started to work on but haven't had the time to finish. One of them is async I/O and the other one is automatic disabling of disk write caching with hdparm and sdparm.
That said, if you would like to use zfs-fuse without having to worry about your data safety, please do the following:

  • Use the latest development code, from the Mercurial trunk (very important)
  • Disable disk write caching on your disks with hdparm and sdparm (very important)
  • Create and import your pools with devices from /dev/disk/by-id (highly recommended)

I am reluctant to release a new version until these last 2 points are dealt with in a safe way, either by displaying flashing big red warnings along with setting the mixer volume to the maximum and playing sounds of sirens, or by making zfs-fuse handle it automatically (probably better).