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How We Are Using Btrfs To Find Regressions Incredibly Fast

Jun 30, 2010, 16:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"In previous articles I have hinted that at Phoronix we are working to take advantage of the Btrfs file-system within the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic to provide an interesting feature that will further expand our automated testing capabilities, but how does this file-system come into play? Well, here is what's being worked on and it should be of terrific value to many people.

"One of the features of Btrfs not found in other Linux file-systems (like EXT4) is support for copy-on-write snapshots / sub-volumes. With this Btrfs snapshotting support is the ability to mount different snapshots in a very easy manner and since they are copy-on-write, the disk storage requirements are not extreme. The Btrfs snapshot ability is being taken advantage of by Red Hat to provide Linux system rollback support whereby a Btrfs snapshot is created before a yum/RPM transaction takes place and if the installed package(s) wreak havoc on the system or something goes awry, you can simply choose an earlier snapshot to set your system's software back to an earlier state following a system reboot. We though are leveraging Btrfs snapshots in a different manner."

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