Holy Cow – BTRFS!

Recently I have been experimenting with BTRFS. BTRFS is a relatively new filesystem which has modern features, high performance, scalability, supporting file-system snapshots and on-the-fly compression.

After spending the week running BTRFS on Ubuntu from within a Virtualbox VM I reinstalled my laptop using it. Ubuntu’s installer supports creating btrfs partitions, which is handy, and it is reported to work even as a boot partition. I had problems using BTRFS as the boot partition however, so elected to use ext2 for boot in the real install.

The installer doesn’t support enabling the on the fly compression, so once I had the system installed I edited /etc/fstab adding “compress=lzo”, I added “ssd” as I have an SSD and “space_cache” which is reported to improve performance. After I rebooted I ran a filesystem balance to compress any existing compressible data like so:-

btrfs fi balance /
btrfs fi balance /home

It’s worth pointing out here that there still isn’t a utility which can fix BTRFS filesystem corruption, so although BTRFS is considered stable, you may want to stay away from it just in case. There is also a nasty condition that can cause a kernel crash if the file-system runs out of space, so that is another one to watch for.

Continue reading Holy Cow – BTRFS!

Revenue Online Service in Ubuntu

With the release of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal on April 28th, it is now possible to use the Revenenue Online Service, hitherto referred to as ROS, on a default install of Ubuntu desktop in Firefox (still doesn’t work in Chromium).

Copy the certificate files into “ROS/RosCerts” (case sensitive) in your home directory. When you go to the ROS website for the first time you will get a security warning, say “yes” or “accept” and enjoy!