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SubjectRe: Volume Managers in Linux
On Fri, 6 Nov 1998, Troy Benjegerdes wrote:

> On Fri, 6 Nov 1998, Alan Cox wrote:
> > > stopped using Linux due to the 2GB file limit. I have tar files over 2GB
> > > routinetly. I've been pretty much forced to switch to Solaris. Now, my
> > > question is, does UFS supporting writing to the disks, because, Solaris UFS
> > > supports files over 2GB. Could we make a UFS root partition?
> >
> > We don't need to. ext2fs supports over 2Gig files. What doesn't is the
> > core vfs layer for 32bit machines. 2.1.x on an Alpha will let you have
> > huge ext2 files happily
> >
> Okay, if the core vfs layer doesn't handle over 2 GB, how does mke2fs make
> a filesystem on a > 2GB partition? (or does this not work?). For that
> matter, couldn't fdisk have potential problems with extended partitions
> that are beyond 2 GB? (it has to write the extended partition map out
> there).

Access to the raw device(s) is/are via blocks. Files use byte offsets,
i.e., fpos_t (file-pointer). You can build file-systems on large media.
The current limitation is for individual files which can't be larger than
fpos_t can handle on any system. Linux's fpos_t is a longword which
limits the file-size.

Rumors are that it will be changed to long-long on ext3 which should
allow 64 bit file lengths. Of course this will not be enough so soon
we will be using 128 bit file lengths, then 256, which will still not
be large enough even though the dynamic range of the Universe is less
than that. Eventually somebody will have to use files as files rather
than gigantic storage dumps.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.1.126 on an i586 machine (66.15 BogoMips).
Warning : It's hard to remain at the trailing edge of technology.

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