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Old 10-17-2011, 10:51 PM
Linuxis Linuxis is offline
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Default UFS vs ZFS
I'm still relatively new to BSD, I've only used it two times and that's the Beta3 of PCBSD. I had to use UFS for the install because my older machine has a mere one gig on it and I was simulating that in vmware. However I only picked UFS because ZFS is recommended for 4 gigs of ram.

All and all I didn't see much difference between UFS and EXT3/4. I'd like to try ZFS because everyone keeps harping about it, but I'm frightened to install it on low ram.

Someone explain the pros and cons of UFS and ZFS. What is the main difference here? What am I missing?
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:34 PM
thnewguy thnewguy is offline
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For a home machine, especially one with low RAM, there really isn't a strong reason to install ZFS. The ZFS file system is ideal for places where a lot of data will be used (a lot in this case meaning multiple terabytes), probably across multiple hard disks.
The one area where ZFS would be good for home use is with file system snapshots, which works similar to Windows Shadow Copy or OS X Time Machine. However, if you have a good backup procedure in place, ZFS for home boxes becomes a bit redundant.

As you noticed, UFS is pretty similar to ext3 on Linux. UFS is a solid, dependable file system without many special features or overhead. It's probably the best file system for low-end machines or home users who don't need massive amounts of storage.

I'm over simplifying a bit, but unless you have a need for large amounts of data or regular snapshots, stick with UFS. It's mature, reliable technology and uses fewer resources.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:06 AM
bgalakazam bgalakazam is offline
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I picked ZFS, my machine is 4GB RAM, AMD64 and a 1TB HDD. RAM gets filled up past 2GB easily and this is partly due to ZFS. I am not sure if I really need it since 1TB is not that much, but it's nice have the ZFS layout.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:44 AM
forquare forquare is offline
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I've got an OpenIndiana box here with two 2TB hdds, they are mirrored together with ZFS and have snapshotting enabled.

I personally count this as a fairly reliable backup for those "oh bugger one of the hdds just died", or "oh bugger, I didn't meant to rm that file". It isn't sufficient if your machine blows up, or something happens to both hdds.

I really just like ZFS for simplifying disk and filesystem managament (especially it's easy "share this filesystem" feature).
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:59 AM
Abdul Abdul is offline
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Originally Posted by thnewguy View Post
I'm over simplifying a bit, but unless you have a need for large amounts of data or regular snapshots, stick with UFS. It's mature, reliable technology and uses fewer resources.
I disagree with you here. ZFS has many properties that are useful almost everywhere:
-space pooling. You can have separate filesystems for different things and you won't run into problems with one partition that was sized too small
-checksums. Much less useful w/out redundancy, but anyway it will be able to tell you when you should pull something from a backup instead of silently keeping corrupted data
-compression
-already mentioned snapshots
-no need for fsck, data is always intact

So as long as system has enough RAM, I always suggest to default to ZFS. If you don't - I don't know, I don't have experience with such cases. And the use of more resources is a good thing - because it's better to use memory for caching then let if lay waste. When applications don't need RAM, ZFS makes a good use of it, when they do - it simply gives it away.
Sometimes performance is worse than UFS and this is the second and last reason to use UFS for me. But filesystem performance is a complex matter and it's absolutely not clearly cut here.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:19 AM
Linuxis Linuxis is offline
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How good is performance for UFS? I am really hoping that it blazes quickly on my older hardware.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:23 AM
thnewguy thnewguy is offline
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Honestly, I don't notice a different between ZFS, UFS and ext3/ext4 performance for day to day usage. Unless you're planning on doing some seriously large copy/move/delete tasks you probably won't be able to tell one from the other. However, if you want to see some benchmarks there is one here:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...t4_btrfs&num=1
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:10 PM
Linuxis Linuxis is offline
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Wait! I thought I posted this in the pbi request board. I must have been preoccupied and didn't notice.

Actually as an aspiring author, the book structures of LyX appeal to me. Also LyX claims to have several presets for articles and college theses.

I think a few people might benefit from that.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:07 AM
marsum marsum is offline
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I have to agree with thenewguy on ZFS, given Linuxis' amount of RAM. forquare's use of ZFS is a good one for his hardware setup on OpenIndiana and more in mind of what it was designed for.

Abdul's right in "So long as system has enough RAM..." but Linuxis doesn't. I'd use ZFS only with 6+ gb RAM myself, but YMMV.

Linuxis...on your !oops! LyX post...Kile in a KDE environment would be a better use than LyX. Whoever is doing your production work would also have to have LyX to access a file compiled with LyX correctly. Or at least that used to be the case. LyX results in a less-compatible file(s) than other editors. A quirk of LyX.

Make a separate thread on this if you want and I'll go on about it. I'm guessing you have specific layout needs, and/or you're dealing with a lot of specialized symbols. (I do text production with TeX daily, so I tend to know where I'm coming from here.)

Last edited by marsum; 10-23-2011 at 01:10 AM. Reason: correct sentence parsing
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:32 AM
fluca1978 fluca1978 is offline
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My opinion is that ZFS does make sense if you have a system with very important data, that require snapshots and strong data integrity. Of course your data is important, but if you do regular backups you are safe.
I already posted that the guide lines for FreeNAS is to have 1GB of ram for each TB (available ram). For home usage, I guess UFS and FFS are a very solid choice.
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