[lsb-discuss] statfs specification addition: review

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Thu Dec 21 14:38:44 PST 2006

On Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 11:31:23AM -0800, Camp, TracyX E wrote:
> I'd think this is a more general problem than LSB, even source-code only
> applications will eventually age-out if they have things that optionally
> depend on XFS,EXT3 features and XFS and EXT3 both disappear from common
> usage.  File systems in Linux have a really short life span when you
> compare against UFS, FAT and NTFS historically.

Well, the xattr interface is currently shared between JFS, ext3, XFS,
and REiserfs.  There are different restrictions about the size of the
supported extended attribute names and values, so depending on what
you are doing you may still need to be aware of which filesystem you
are using, but at least the core API is the same, and if you're only
storing 8 or 16 bytes worth of xattr, you're not going to have a
serious problem.  (If you're going to store several megabytes worth of
rootkit for example --- which seems to the primary use of NTFS streams
on Windows at the moment --- then you will need to be aware of what
filesystem you are using.)

I will note, BTW, that the ext2 filesystem format actually has been
around longer than NTFS has ever been in existence.  New features have
been added, sure, but the original filesystem format has still been
supported, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  And if you
claim that ext2 isn't being used because it's been replaced by newer
filesystems with more functionality, well, the same can be said about
FAT; and FAT isn't even backwards compatible with NTFS.

Anyway, before we go into the effort to standardize xattr and ACL
interfaces --- do people care?  Are there applications who would be
interested in coding against the LSB if we added those interfaces?
And if those aren't the filesystem interests, what are?  I've heard
Direct I/O and locking semantics --- what else?  And what are the
locking issues that people are most worried about?

					- Ted

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