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SubjectRe: Partition Sizing
Greg Lindahl <> said:
> "Fred Reimer" at Jul 25, 99 04:55:48 pm said:
> > > So, educate me please: why don't you install all of Solaris on a tmpfs
> > > partition, if it's faster? ;)

> > It's my understanding that one of the reasons that one would use a
> > tmpfs for the /tmp directory is because by definition it would start
> > out "clean" upon reboot.

> Ahem. The actual reason that tmpfs is not widely used is that it
> completely turns off synchronous writes of metadata, leading to
> filesystems which can't possibly survive a reboot.

tmpfs on Solaris lives just in virtual memory; if you'd installed Solaris
only on tmpfs, you'd have to do so on each reboot. Not really useful, is
it ;-)

> Linux already has un-agressive metadata writes in ext2fs, so ext2fs is
> almost as fast as tmpfs, albeit riskier (frequent minor damage on
> reboot, needlessly requiring human intervention.) Someday I need to
> rewrite my boot scripts so that they do "fsck -y" and save me a log of
> what got clobbered. When you're rebooting 4096 machines, you can't go
> fix all the filesystems by hand. Grrrr.

"Frequently"? Happens roughly as often as with Solaris, in my experience.
But the machines I have at hand have different workloads, so my experience
might not count much. OTOH, my SS4 here is now Linux (was Solaris 2.5.1),
and I see _less_ frequency of hand intervention on boot now...

> > Others have mentioned that a "good" use of such a system would be for
> > diskless stations, so that they would not have to transfer "temporary"
> > files over the 'net because they didn't have local disk storage...

But they would swap over the net, with the same (or worse) end result.

> Yes, in that case an automatically-resizing memory filesystem would be
> quite handy. But it's easy to crash your machine that way by running
> out of memory, so it's better to use (less efficient) NFS or samba
> filesystems.

That _do_ store your data permanently. It's just part of the cost you pay
for persistent data.

PS: Nice troll, not overdone.
Dr. Horst H. von Brand
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513

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