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Linux Filesystems How-To

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9.32 XFS - Extended filesystem (IRIX)

XFS(tm) is the next-generation file system for Silicon Graphics[TM] systems, from desktop workstations to supercomputers. XFS provides full 64-bit file capabilities that scale easily to handle extremely large files and file systems that grow to 1 terabyte. The XFS file system integrates volume management, guaranteed rate I/O, and journaling technology for fast, reliable recovery. File systems can be backed up while still in use, significantly reducing administrative overhead.

XFS is designed for a very high performance; sustained throughput in excess of 300MB per second has been demonstrated on CHALLENGE systems. The XFS file system scales in performance to match the CHALLENGE MP architecture. Traditional files, directories, and file systems have reduced performance as they grow in size. With the XFS file system, there is no performance penalty. For example, XFS directories have been tested with up to 32 million files in a single directory.

XFS is a journalled file system. It logs changes to the inodes, directories and bitmaps to the disk before the original entries are updated. Should the system crash before the updates are done they can be recreated using the log and updated as intended.

XFS uses a space manager to allocate disk space for the file system and control the inodes. It uses a namespace manager to control allocation of directory files. These managers use B-tree indexing to store file location information, significantly decreasing the access time needed to retrieve file information.

Inodes are created as needed and are not restricted to a particular area on a disk partition. XFS tries to position the inodes close to the files and directories they reference. Very small files, such as symbolic links and some directories, are stored as part of the inode, to increase performance and save space. Large directories use B-tree indexing within the directory file to speed up directory searches, additions and deletions.

Useful XFS links:

  • http://www.sgi.com/Technology/xfs-whitepaper.html XFS whitepaper

XFS Linux port covered by the GNU General Public License is available from SGI Inc.:

* License

* Linux Filesystem How-To Index

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