Tips on reiserfs

By Nicholas Petreley , ITworld |  How-to

I decided to live dangerously last week and create a couple of reiserfs
partitions on my primary Linux server. Reiserfs is a journaling file
system that is purportedly more efficient at handling many small files
than the de facto standard ext2fs file system and just as efficient as
ext2fs in other cases.

What I like most about reiserfs is that it recovers from things such as
power failures extremely fast, since it doesn't have to perform the
lengthy consistency checks required by ext2fs. Like many other
journaling file systems (such as the one used in Windows 2000, I
believe), reiserfs won't necessarily protect your data in the event of
a power outage. But it will protect the consistency of the file system
itself.

Now put down that keyboard if you're about to send me a flame for not
using a UPS. I am using a UPS. In fact, I strongly suspect my UPS has
actually been the source of some recent power outages. My PK
Electronics Blackout Buster UPS and regulator decided to go funky on me
last week. It turned off my server twice, and I think it blew up my
Viewsonic P815 monitor with voltage spikes. I suspect the UPS because
I've had no real power outages, and I've only had problems with the
equipment plugged into the UPS. I replaced it with a UPS from Belkin,
and everything has behaved normally since.

Anyway, I reconfigured my server so that all my shared files for NFS
and Samba are now on their own reiserfs partition. I put my CommuniGate
pro mail directories on a reiserfs partition, too. My /var partition is
also a reiserfs partition, which means my Squid Web cache now operates
on reiserfs. I haven't done any benchmarks yet, but the performance of
my Web cache and proxy seems to have improved dramatically since I put
all its files on the reiserfs partition. There are supposedly Squid
cache optimizations in reiserfs, so perhaps that's why I'm seeing
noticeable results. Regardless, consider me a big fan of reiserfs so
far.

In fact, I like it so much that I converted a few of my client
partitions to reiserfs. The only thing I haven't done yet is convert a
root partition. I tried but have failed so far. The partition that I
tried to convert is small, but it resides on a 40 GB hard drive. I
noticed afterward in the FAQ that reiserfs has problems with IDE drives
larger than 32 GB unless you apply a patch. Perhaps that is the problem
I'm experiencing. I'll work on it and get back to you.

The only other problem I've had is bizarre. I run the squidGuard
redirector along with the Squid Web cache in order to block porn sites.
(By the way, if you haven't looked at squidGuard, now is the time. It
is one delightful piece of software!

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