FreeBSD on EXT filesystem?

Xtender

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Hello!

Is it possible to install and use FreeBSD using ext2 or ext3 partitions only? If yes, what could be the benefits/drawbacks to this? I believe ext filesystems are harder to crash and also I could access them from any linux recovery cd if system fails (these I consider being benefits).
 

brd@

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This would be problematic.. and well, you have the FreeBSD Rescue CD to use if they have problems with a FreeBSD Filesystem. I think your belief in ext file systems might be a little misplaced, but that is just my opinion.

FWIW ext3 is not supported as such, but since ext3 is just an extension of ext2, you can mount an ext3 filesystem as ext2 on FreeBSD.
 

Oko

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brd@ said:
This would be problematic.. and well, you have the FreeBSD Rescue CD to use if they have problems with a FreeBSD Filesystem. I think your belief in ext file systems might be a little misplaced, but that is just my opinion.

FWIW ext3 is not supported as such, but since ext3 is just an extension of ext2, you can mount an ext3 filesystem as ext2 on FreeBSD.
Don't feed the troll.
 

Djn

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It's an interesting question, though - what would need to be added to support root-on-ext2?

If /boot on UFS2 is acceptable, it shouldn't be that hard - if it's a good idea is of course another matter entirely.
 

keramida@

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Xtender said:
I believe ext filesystems are harder to crash
I recently lost a week's worth of nightly backups from an ext3 crash, so I wouldn't bet my money on that particular belief :)
 
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Xtender

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Thanks! And I had to roll back my backup because UFS became unusable (the actual cause was hdd failure). I found freebsd rescue CDs somewhat crippled (I had my backup gzipped, which was not present on fixit live fs cd, and the pc has wifi only, which is never recognised by freebsd, so it was problematic to install that) and couldn't boot any FreeBSD livecd (like FreeSBIE, Frenzy) for some reason (DVD-ROM DMA problem). So I lost lots of time and got backup restored by installing another freebsd on an older disk. I just thought that if I could bzcat | rescue from a linux livecd, that would have been much easier. I also was surprised that you can not operate FreeBSD partitions from OpenBSD livecd, because as I found out UFS filesystems between BSDs are not compatible.
 

tomh009

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keramida@ said:
I recently lost a week's worth of nightly backups from an ext3 crash, so I wouldn't bet my money on that particular belief :)
Earlier this year my RAID array's protection came to naught because the EXT3 filesystem corrupted its journal. Apparently MySQL is known to stress EXT3 to beyond the breaking point. :(
 

nakal

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I have somehow exactly the opposite opinion about the availability of restore tools on FreeBSD. I can restore the entire system very easily. There is dump/restore for backup and g(un)zip/b(un)zip2 for compression, openssl for encryption. fdisk, bsdlabel, gpart for partitioning and restoring bootcode, ssh for remote access. I can do everything I want.

Are you sure, that you have found the tools under /dist/sbin, /dist/usr/sbin and /dist/usr/bin?

One thing that was a bit scary for me is that dump/restore has been changed somewhere between 7.0R and 7.1BETA2. So dumps made with -STABLE were impossible to restore with a 7.0R live CD.

I once had to restore the system with a Linux distribution. Now that was a mess, I tell you! I had to compile a static version of ext2fsdump/restore somewhere else to get the backups restored.
 

hedwards

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I just use ZFS, seems to work better than any of the forementioned filesystems. But in my experience ext is terrible. I was playing around with linux for a while and had to reinstall literally everyday because of extreme file corruption. I did eventually figure out that you have to install onto multiple partitions. But still one partition shouldn't be the suggested solution for newbies.

Right now it's still a bit of a pain in that you have to still have that one non-ZFS slice on the computer, but I've yet to have that get even the slightest bit corrupt, mainly because it doesn't get written to very often.
 

Djn

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A-hah!


I basically used the same idea as ZFS-root: A small separate boot partition, and then mounting / from the ext2 partition. It has some problems at the moment (nothing happens on the console between the loader menu and the login prompt, and I can't get it to mount rw), though some of that might be because I use an untested fresh CURRENT and qemu-devel. I'll update this post if I do anything interesting with it.

Note that this is not a good idea, though it was fun to set up.
 

ajh

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If I remember correctly, FreeBSD cannot run fsck on EXT2 filesystems. If so, you would have to check your EXT2/3 partitions outside of FreeBSD.
 

Djn

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There's a fsck_ext2fs in sysutils/e2fsprogs that works fine; I've copied it to the disk image I'm using.
Getting it to actually run is another matter, but it feels like it should be doable.
 
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