XFS: SGI's extended file system goes open source

A beta release of the code is planned for the winter (northern hemisphere summer) 2000. The alpha release code can now be downloaded from SGI at ftp://oss.sgi.com/www/projects/xfs/download/. This code has been demonstrated on several large machines, notably on an SGI 1400L running SGI Linux and a 100GB SGI RAID box. Under this setup, programs used to manage file systems, such as file(1), cpio(1), dd(1) and cat(1), all functioned correctly. File system creation, mounting/unmounting, file creation and removal and other file system-related operations were demonstrated to function. File system recovery was shown to be equal in performance to that under IRIX, by shutting off the machine with the file system active. Once the machine was rebooted, the file system took about one second to recover.

This is clearly impressive stuff. The only down side is the speed at which the porting is occuring. Moving the code to Linux is less a technical issue than a legal one. Much of the code in IRIX is tied up in what SGI calls ‘legal encumbrances', so final releases will depend on legal expediency rather than programming. Regardless, the wait will most definitely be worth it!

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Gavin Sherry

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