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Reiser4 is a new journaled filesystem written by Hans Reiser and his team at NameSys. Reiser4 offers speed, a wide variety of plugins, and security benefits over other current filesystems; check out his website to see the various benchmarks and plugins available.

You should know that the reiser4 filesystem is currently quite buggy, and also currently has poor latency. So unless you're brave, you may want to stay away from this one. If you are on sparc32/64, do not attempt to use reiser4 because it does not work on those architectures at this time. For all other architectures, only use this filesystem for testing, and expect your system to break -- you have been warned!

Installing Reiser4

The easiest way to install reiser4 is to use Andrew Morton's mm patchset. Make sure you're root.

echo "sys-kernel/mm-sources ~x86" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords
emerge mm-sources

To config your kernel:

Linux Kernel Configuration:
File systems  --->
   <*> Reiser4 support
Kernel hacking --->
   [ ] Use 4Kb for kernel stacks instead of 8Kb
// This last part is needed for some kernels
Cryptographic Options --->
    <*> Cryptography API
         <*> Deflate compression algorithm

If you fail to see the Reiser4 entry, please check that Kernel hacking->Use 4Kb for kernel stacks instead of 8Kb is off.

Compile the kernel, update grub, and reboot into your new kernel.

To create and manage your Reiser4 partitions, you'll need the package reiser4progs...

emerge reiser4progs
mkfs.reiser4 /dev/????
mount /dev/???? /mnt/gentoo

It should be noted that Andrew Morton's mm patchset is experimental and relatively unstable compared to plain vanilla Linux. This means that crashes, data loss, or other problems must be examined carefully before being attributed to Reiser4. For a more stable experience, or for a sound test of Reiser4's stability, see HOWTO Reiser4 With Gentoo-Sources.

If you're attempting a Gentoo install at the beginning with the intent of using reiser4 as your root, I use and enjoy Lxnay's set of LiveCD and DVDs. Another Live CD that supports Reiser 4 is available from The Jackass! Project.

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Last modified: Sun, 25 May 2008 18:47:00 +0000 Hits: 23,081