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Re: ReiserFS Installation support on RedHat 7.1

On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Thiago Vinhas de Moraes wrote:

>Does anyone know why RedHat refuse adding support for ReiserFS partitions on
>the installation of RedHat. Neither fisher or wolverine has support for it.
>It's a very trivial thing. Some guys from a Brazilian university has made a
>patch to be applied on Anaconda, so we can regenerate the installation CD's,
>and be able to install a system with the ReiserFS option.

ReiserFS is experimental.  One arguement for it that people use
is that Linus considered it stable enough to include in 2.4.1, so
Red Hat should include it as an install option in our next
release.  The problem with that arguement is that Linus didn't
include it based on its stability.  NTFS support is in the kernel
and certainly isn't stable, nor was it included because of its
stability.  By including it in the "Linus" kernel, it gets
exposed to the masses much more, and will eventually stabilize.
I predict it will be 6 months to a year until ReiserFS is
remotely stable.

>Can anyone explains me why RedHat doesn not want to add
>ReiserFS to their distro?

Currently - it is.  I do not know if Reiserfs will remain for our
final release or not, however it is in our kernel builds
currently, and the tools are included with the distro as well.

>All other distros already has this possibility. Mandrake, SuSE,
>Conectiva, etc...

That argument means absolutely nothing.  Just because someone
else is doing it, doesn't mean it is a good idea.  Do you really
think if Reiserfs was currently as stable and robust as people
think it is that we would not include it?  That would be crazy.
Red Hat Linux is intended to be a stable and reliable platform.
Including experimental features is ok as long as they are known
not to cause corruption, but reiserfs is known to cause
corruption.  It also has security issues occasionally, and new
bugs discovered often.  At the time of its inclusion into the
kernel there was no time to add support to the installer, etc.
even if we considered it a good idea (which we do not).

>You can find the Anaconda patches and howto's on the following page:

Those pages will allow those that want to experiment to do so.
That is where it should stay for now though IMHO.  When Reiserfs
is considered robust, then it can be added as an install time
feature to Red Hat Linux.

A thing to note - if this were 1996 or even maybe 1997, such an
addition may have been acceptible for its "cool" factor.  Right
now however Red Hat Linux is used by big customers as an
enterprise level operating system.  Linux is no longer a "hackers
toy OS", and has now grown into a serious business OS now.  As
such, we need to ensure that the people using it continue to
think of Linux as a stable and robust OS - by screening out
features that are not 100% ready for primetime.

Other Linux vendors may allow experimental features as reiserfs
for general usage, as their customers/target market may not
require the stability and reliability levels that are
expected/provided by Red Hat Linux.

This is all IMHO of course.

Mike A. Harris                  Shipping/mailing address:
OS Systems Engineer             190 Pittsburgh Ave., Sault Ste. Marie,
Red Hat Inc.                    Ontario, Canada, P6C 5B3
http://www.redhat.com           Phone: (705)949-2136

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