Re: ReiserFS with Debian (Potato)?
Morten Liebach <email@example.com> writes:
> Hi all.
> I'm contemplating installing debian on ReiserFS like this:
> 1: Install Debian.
> 2: Patch & compile kernel with ReiserFS support.
> 3: Backup the partitons  one after one and reformat them with
> ReiserFS, restore from backup.
> 4: Be very happy! :-)
> Has anyone reading this done this before?
Yes. I'm running ReiserFS under my /home partition. It's
particularly nice when I'm booting after an unclean shutdown. It
takes the ext2 partitions 5 minutes or more to fsck, and the reiserfs
partition of the same size just replays the journal and mounts, all in
about 5 *seconds*.
There are reports of ReiserFS not working with kernel-space NFS and
some problems with tar (because tar depends on certain inode behavior,
which is not present in ReiserFS). I'm happy with user-space NFS, and
I use afio for backups, which works. Some people actually recommend
using Samba/smbfs as a replacement for NFS.
Note: you *can* use ReiserFS on your root partition. It involves
making a boot disk with ReiserFS support compiled into the kernel, and
mounting your root partition with the -notails option. The latter is
to enable lilo to find the whole kernel -- it may not be necessary if
you use grub instead.
Also Note: I'm using stable ReiserFS, for 2.2.x kernels. Things are
changing a lot for the 2.4-pre branch.
> : What should I use for this, I have two HDD's, and will have the
> backup on one (6Gig), and work on the other (10Gig). A simple ``cp''
> will do, but there might be somthing better, recommendations?
I used cpio to retain all possible file attributes. Don't ask about
specifics - I'd have to look it up again on the manpage at this point.
As for the method, mine was essentially identical to what you outlined
above. One difficulty I ran into was that lilo stopped booting from
the hard drive, and the newest boot disk I had was from Hamm. Turns
out that the ext2 filesystem has changed since then in a
non-backward-compatible way. Things got a little hairy, but after a
hamm install on top of Potato, some manual tweaking, and recovery of
my dpkg data from backup tapes, things were smoothed over in a matter
of a couple days. But that was probably my fault; I wouldn't worry
about it. (But how nice it would have been to have a working rescue
floppy for Potato at that time!) As long as you know what to watch
out for, you'll be fine.
I'm pasting below the contents of a recent post to the reiserfs
mailing list that is becoming a reiserfs FAQ. For more information,
I'd suggest the Reiser web site (which you probably have already
perused) and the mailing list.
Q> From: Dr A V Le Blanc <LeBlanc@mcc.ac.uk>
Q> Subject: (reiserfs) Debian install a success
Q> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q> Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 18:17:40 +0100
Q> Reply-To: Dr A V Le Blanc <LeBlanc@mcc.ac.uk>
Q> I succeeded with little trouble in installing Debian potato with
Q> reiserfs as its root partition. I'll summarise the process for those
Q> who are interested.
Q> I created a boot floppy with a kernel supporting reiserfs and
Q> a root floppy with the mkfs.reiserfs on it. I did find it useful
Q> to mount and umount each mkfs-ed partition, since it takes a
Q> good deal of time for the first install.
Q> I rebooted using my reiserfs kernel but the potato root disk.
Q> I then installed as normal, with the following exceptions:
Q> (1) The Debian install procedure does not know about reiserfs,
Q> so I had to mount the various filesystems manually. Then
Q> I picked another item from the menu. The first time this
Q> fails since the install program does not know the root
Q> partition is mounted (on target), but then it figures this
Q> out and proceeds normally.
Q> (2) The install procedure writes a correct /etc/fstab for all
Q> partitions except the root, to which it incorrectly gives
Q> a file type of ext2. Simply edit this before rebooting.
Q> (3) The install procedure installs a kernel which knows nothing
Q> about reiserfs. I just replaced this with my kernel, and
Q> put the appropriate modules in /lib/modules.
Q> (4) I use grub instead of Debian's mbr or LILO, so I simply
Q> 'dpkg --delete mbr' and install grub before rebooting the
Q> first time. The latest grub supports reiserfs.
Q> I chose to do this because I had a machine with a hardware fault
Q> which needed frequent rebooting. This of course led to a number
Q> of corruption problems even with reiserfs, but we eventually
Q> ran the problem down to faulty sims (thanks to memcheck-86).
Q> To avoid possible problems, I've reinstalled again, again using
Q> reiserfs. The machine has run beautifully ever since.
Q> I've been digging through the mailing list, and seen occasional
Q> remarks about FAQs, but no pointer to a reiserfs FAQ. Can I
Q> presume none exists at this time?
Q> -- Owen
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should