hubertf's NetBSD Blog
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[20060216] Do you know what disk your data is on?
Do you really know what disk your data is on? This may be an easy question when you only have single harddisks, but with vnd(4), ccd(4) and raid(4) it's not so obvious any more, and to get the real fun started, who said you can't use things like a RAID 1+0 configuration?!

The problem appears when you try to check filesystems: in order to avoid hitting a disk with partitions used in two vnd/ccd/raid/whatever configurations, some intelligence is needed. One approach is to leave this to the system administrator (which has some drawbacks), another one is to figure it out automatically, and teach fsck(8) to not hit a disk (spindle) twice at the same time.

Robert Elz has proposed a framework for sorting this out. It includes the start of a patch, but more work is needed, and some help is needed. Please mail the missing pieces of the puzzle back to Robert!

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[20050717] Compressed vnd support (read-part) committed
As of right now, NetBSD-current can make use of cloop2-compressed filesystem images (in any format - iso9660, ufs, whatever) via the vnd(4) driver, thanks to patches by Cliff Wright. Usage is with the -z switch of vnconfig(8). Coming soon: A tool to compress existing filesystem images into cloop2 format (Hi Florian! :-)

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[20050614] Compressed vnd(4) handling tested
After being mostly offline for the weekend (/* no comment */), I had some time to test the patch for vnd to handle compressed files in cloop2 format, and also test it with images made by a program written by Florian Stoehr to compress and uncompress images to/from cloop2 format. (I have Florian's code after I sat over it a bit, doing a code walkthrough during a past BSE meeting :). Both parts worked really well - see my posting to tech-kern and the discussion that resulted from it.

According to the patch's author, Cliff Wright, the vnd(4) patch still has problems, and I hope to get an updated patch from him soon, then either commit this myself or find someone to move this into NetBSD (kernel/userland stuff is not really my work area :).

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[20050329] Compression handling, vnd & cloop
Funny enough, I talked to someone (whom I'll let speak himself) about a BSD-licensed implementation of a compressed loopback device as is available in the 'cloop' device on Linux (and I think FreeBSD too, with Freesbie). Now someone else -- Cliff Wright -- has posted diffs for adding compression in the vnd driver to tech-kern@. This is only a start with no usage examples, but when this is in the tree, it should be doable to put a lot more data on Live CDs...

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Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here is purely my own. No responsibility is taken for anything.

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