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2<!DOCTYPE sections SYSTEM "/dtd/book.dtd"> 2<!DOCTYPE sections SYSTEM "/dtd/book.dtd">
3 3
4<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license --> 4<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
5<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 --> 5<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
6 6
7<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/handbook/hb-install-arm-disk.xml,v 1.7 2007/07/10 22:57:37 nightmorph Exp $ --> 7<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/handbook/hb-install-arm-disk.xml,v 1.8 2008/04/01 08:53:46 nightmorph Exp $ -->
8 8
9<sections> 9<sections>
10 10
11<version>5.1</version> 11<version>6.0</version>
12<date>2007-06-26</date> 12<date>2008-04-01</date>
13 13
14<!-- TODO: Add section about MTD and such --> 14<!-- TODO: Add section about MTD and such -->
15 15
16<section> 16<section>
17<title>Introduction to Block Devices</title> 17<title>Introduction to Block Devices</title>
18<subsection>
19<title>Block Devices</title>
20<body>
21 18
22<p>
23We'll take a good look at disk-oriented aspects of Gentoo Linux
24and Linux in general, including Linux filesystems, partitions and block devices.
25Then, once you're familiar with the ins and outs of disks and filesystems,
26you'll be guided through the process of setting up partitions and filesystems
27for your Gentoo Linux installation.
28</p>
29
30<p>
31To begin, we'll introduce <e>block devices</e>. The most famous block device is
32probably the one that represents the first IDE drive in a Linux system, namely
33<path>/dev/hda</path>. If your system uses SCSI or SATA drives, then your
34first hard drive would be <path>/dev/sda</path>.
35</p>
36
37<p>
38The block devices above represent an abstract interface to the disk. User
39programs can use these block devices to interact with your disk without worrying
40about whether your drives are IDE, SCSI or something else. The program can
41simply address the storage on the disk as a bunch of contiguous,
42randomly-accessible 512-byte blocks.
43</p>
44
45</body>
46</subsection> 19<subsection>
20<include href="hb-install-blockdevices.xml"/>
21</subsection>
22
47<subsection> 23<subsection>
48<title>Partitions</title> 24<title>Partitions</title>
49<body> 25<body>
50 26
51<p> 27<p>
493Otherwise read on to learn about the available filesystems... 469Otherwise read on to learn about the available filesystems...
494</p> 470</p>
495 471
496</body> 472</body>
497</subsection> 473</subsection>
498<subsection>
499<title>Filesystems?</title>
500<body>
501 474
502<p>
503Several filesystems are available. Some of them are found stable on the arm
504architecture, others aren't. The following filesystems are found to be stable:
505ext2 and ext3. jfs and reiserfs may work but need more testing. If you're
506really adventurous you can try the unsupported filesystems.
507</p>
508
509<p>
510<b>ext2</b> is the tried and true Linux filesystem but doesn't have metadata
511journaling, which means that routine ext2 filesystem checks at startup time can
512be quite time-consuming. There is now quite a selection of newer-generation
513journaled filesystems that can be checked for consistency very quickly and are
514thus generally preferred over their non-journaled counterparts. Journaled
515filesystems prevent long delays when you boot your system and your filesystem
516happens to be in an inconsistent state.
517</p>
518
519<p>
520<b>ext3</b> is the journaled version of the ext2 filesystem, providing metadata
521journaling for fast recovery in addition to other enhanced journaling modes like
522full data and ordered data journaling. It uses an HTree index that enables high
523performance in almost all situations. In short, ext3 is a very good and reliable
524filesystem.
525</p>
526
527<p>
528<b>ReiserFS</b> is a B+tree-based filesystem that has very good overall
529performance and greatly outperforms both ext2 and ext3 when dealing with small
530files (files less than 4k), often by a factor of 10x-15x. ReiserFS also scales
531extremely well and has metadata journaling. ReiserFS is solid and usable as
532both general-purpose filesystem and for extreme cases such as the creation of
533large filesystems, very large files and directories containing tens of
534thousands of small files.
535</p>
536
537<p>
538<b>XFS</b> is a filesystem with metadata journaling which comes with a robust
539feature-set and is optimized for scalability. We only recommend using this
540filesystem on Linux systems with high-end SCSI and/or fibre channel storage and
541an uninterruptible power supply. Because XFS aggressively caches in-transit data
542in RAM, improperly designed programs (those that don't take proper precautions
543when writing files to disk and there are quite a few of them) can lose a good
544deal of data if the system goes down unexpectedly.
545</p>
546
547<p>
548<b>JFS</b> is IBM's high-performance journaling filesystem. It has recently
549become production-ready and there hasn't been a sufficient track record to
550comment positively nor negatively on its general stability at this point.
551</p>
552
553</body>
554</subsection> 475<subsection>
476<include href="hb-install-filesystems.xml"/>
477</subsection>
478
555<subsection id="filesystems-apply"> 479<subsection id="filesystems-apply">
556<title>Applying a Filesystem to a Partition</title> 480<title>Applying a Filesystem to a Partition</title>
557<body> 481<body>
558 482
559<p> 483<p>

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