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Displaying posts with tag: linux-kernel (reset)
really unstable laptop

I’m currently getting hard crashes about five times a day.

I thought it was the sound driver, as i got a crash during dist-upgrade (again) while on console and saw the backtrace. Basically looked like something bad happenned when the sound was muted.

So, running without sound muted - just turned down.

Well, today, just crashed again. Since running X, no backtrace. ARRRGHHH.

Also crashed when waking up too. ACPI stuff in the backtrace.

Not a happy camper at the moment. I have work to do, not futzing around with trying to find out what the fuck is wrong with my laptop (probably software) when I should be running a stable system.

I’ve already have to re-add all my liferea RSS feeds as liferea obviously isn’t doing the right thing (at least the version shipping with Ubuntu) regards writing the feeds file to disk.

So, I’m trying to prepare presentations for our DevConf on an …

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Microsoft?s file system patent upheld: ZDNet Australia: News: Software

Microsoft’s file system patent upheld: ZDNet Australia: News: Software

Saying any part of the FAT file system is “novel and non-obvious” is rather like saying being stabbed in the eye with a fork is “novel and a good way to spend a sunday afternoon”.

Seriously - what the?

I’m really glad I work for a company that opposes software patents.

Thanks to Pia for the links.

disk space allocation (part 4: allocating an extent)

For XFS, in normal operation, an extent is only allocated when data has to be written to disk. This is called delayed allocation. If we are extending a file by 50MB - that space is deducted from the total free space on the filesystem, but no decision on where to place that data is made until we start writing it out - due to memory pressure or the kernel automatically starts writing the dirty pages out (the sync once every 5 seconds on linux).

When an extent needs to be allocated, XFS looks it up in one of two b+trees it has of free space. There is one sorted by starting block number (so you can search for “an extent near here”) and one by size (so you can search for “an extent of x size”).

The ideal situation being that you want as large an extent as possible as close to the tail end of the file as possible (i.e. just making the current extent bigger).

The worst-case scenario is having to allocate extents to …

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disk space allocation (part 3: storing extents on disk)

Here I’m going to talk about how file systems store what part of the disk a part of the file occupies. If your database files are very fragmented, performance will suffer. How much depends on a number of things however.

XFS can store some extents directly in the inode (see xfs_dinode.h). If I’m reading things correctly, this can be 2 extents per fork (data fork and attribute fork). If more than this number of extents are needed, a btree is used instead.

HFS/HFS+ can store up to 8 extents directly in the catalog file entry (see Apple TechNote 1150 - which was updated in March 2004 with information on the journal format). If the file has more than 8 extents, a lookup then needs to be done into the extents overflow file. Interestingly enough, in MacOS X 10.4 and above (i think it was 10.4… may have been 10.3 as well) if a file is …

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disk space allocation (part 2: examining your database files)
   0: [0..943]:        5898248..5899191  3 (36536..37479)     944
   1: [944..1023]:     6071640..6071719  3 (209928..210007)    80
   2: [1024..1127]:    6093664..6093767  3 (231952..232055)   104
   3: [1128..1279]:    6074800..6074951  3 (213088..213239)   152
   4: [1280..1407]:    6074672..6074799  3 (212960..213087)   128
   5: [1408..1423]:    6074264..6074279  3 (212552..212567)    16
   0: [0..7]:          10165832..10165839  5 (396312..396319)     8

The interesting thing about this is that the log table grows very slowly. This table stores a bunch of debugging output for my memberdb applicaiton. It should possibly be a partitioned ARCHIVE table (and probably will in the future).

The thing about a file growing slowly over time is that it’s more likely to have more than 1 …

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disk space allocation (part 1: seeing what?s happenned)

(a little while ago I was writing a really long entry on everything possible. I realised that this would be a long read for people and that less people would look at it, so I’ve split it up).

This sprung out of doing work on the NDB disk data tree. Anything where efficient use of the filesystem is concerned tickles my fancy, so I went to have a look at what was going on.

Filesystems store what part of the disk belongs to what file in one of two ways. The first is to keep a list of every disk block (typically 4kb) that’s being used by the file. A 400kb file will have 100 block numbers. The second way is to store a range (extent). That is, a 400kb file could use 100 blocks starting at disk block number 1000.

XFS has a tool called xfs_bmap. It gives you a list of the extents allocated to a file.

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LKML: Linus Torvalds: Re: [OT]Linus trademarks Linux?!!

LKML: Linus Torvalds: Re: [OT]Linus trademarks Linux?!!

thoughts on the trademark and notes about slashdot being a big public wanking session (which is, if nothing else - quite accurrate and quite funny)

An old year-2000 mail about the same stuff

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