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EarthWeb: XFS: It's worth the wait

Jul 31, 2000, 23:20 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Vincent Danen)

"In 1994, Silicon Graphics Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., (SGI) released a new journaled file system on IRIX, the company's System V-based version of UNIX. This advanced file system, called XFS, replaced SGI's old EFS (Extent File System) file system, which was designed similar to the Berkeley Fast File System. Coordinating with many other kernel developers, SGI is currently working to tightly integrate the XFS file system with the Linux operating system so that we can take advantage of the many benefits of XFS over the current ext2 file system. This article discusses XFS and its technical specifications."

"XFS uses B+ trees extensively in place of the traditional linear file system structure. B+ trees use a highly efficient indexing method to index directory entries, manage file extents, locate free space, and keep track of the locations of file index information. As a result, reading file systems and retrieving information from them happens quickly--without using large amounts of system resources."

"Currently, the XFS team is developing enhancements to the Linux page cache so XFS can be tightly integrated with the Linux kernel. This work is being done so XFS relies solely on the page cache to store both file data and file system metadata. This work can also be used to enhance other file systems to improve overall system performance, because it is being developed at a kernel level. These features will most likely be unavailable until Linux 2.5, except as a part of XFS itself."

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