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  • Fedora 18 Will Go For Tmpfs

    Phoronix: Fedora 18 Will Go For Tmpfs

    Fedora 18 will look to use tmpfs for its /tmp directory, after the feature proposal was approved today by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA4MTg

  • #2
    I have been using tmpfs for /tmp and /var/tmp for years and years on my gentoo system. Why is this such a big deal?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Flyser View Post
      I have been using tmpfs for /tmp and /var/tmp for years and years on my gentoo system. Why is this such a big deal?
      /tmp is fine but /var/tmp is supposed to be persistent across reboots.

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      • #4
        It's not really a big deal if your individual user configuration uses tmpfs, but it's a big deal for huge (general purpose) distros. They have to take into account the amount of RAM their users have and maybe change their minimum spec requirements (could cause outrage). And even if we can assume that all users have 6Gb of RAM, we'll still have to consider their workloads. For example, I have /var/tmp/portage as tmpfs, but neither libreoffice nor chromium will compile because they're so huge. Granted, the portage problem is easily fixed, but this is Gentoo, and it's meant to be tweaked heavily.

        The other distros don't have it so easy. They must "please everyone" or die trying.

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        • #5
          "Do NOT use it on /var/tmp, because that folder is meant for temporary files that are preserved across reboots. " https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fstab

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          • #6
            Originally posted by renkin View Post
            It's not really a big deal if your individual user configuration uses tmpfs, but it's a big deal for huge (general purpose) distros. They have to take into account the amount of RAM their users have and maybe change their minimum spec requirements (could cause outrage). And even if we can assume that all users have 6Gb of RAM, we'll still have to consider their workloads. For example, I have /var/tmp/portage as tmpfs, but neither libreoffice nor chromium will compile because they're so huge. Granted, the portage problem is easily fixed, but this is Gentoo, and it's meant to be tweaked heavily.

            The other distros don't have it so easy. They must "please everyone" or die trying.
            tmpfs can (and probably will) go to swap as well, which should still perform better than a real on-disk FS. As long as there's enough swap available, running out of memory shouldn't be an issue, or cause slow-downs.

            Oh, and as long as you set your /var/tmp/portage-tmpfs to >6GB and have enough swap, libreoffice will compile fine, without slowing down your machine more than running it on a real FS.

            As for putting /var/tmp on a tmpfs: aufs it with a squashfs that you auto-recreate once in a while, including during shutdown. Best of both worlds (apart from losing your temporary data in-between the last recreation and a crash/power-failure...), plus it's now compressed.

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            • #7
              I have had /tmp, /var/tmp and /var/log on tmpfs on my laptop (with an SSD that doesn't do trim) for years running ubuntu. I know /var/tmp should be persistant, but on my laptop, I just didn't care enough

              "Do NOT use it on /var/tmp, because that folder is meant for temporary files that are preserved across reboots. " https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fstab
              Though I appreciate the link, I think the FHS should be the correct link
              http://www.pathname.com/fhs/2.2/fhs-5.15.html

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              • #8
                tmpfs made Arch a miserable experience since packer and yaourt need a shit-ton of tmp space. It runs out far too quick if /tmp is mounted separately with a statically-sized tmpfs.

                You could always unmount /tmp to get around that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LLStarks View Post
                  tmpfs made Arch a miserable experience since packer and yaourt need a shit-ton of tmp space. It runs out far too quick if /tmp is mounted separately with a statically-sized tmpfs.

                  You could always unmount /tmp to get around that.
                  thats weird, i've never had that issue. however, if there was ever the occasion where something from yaourt failed, i never assumed it was because of the tmpfs.

                  what i don't get is why don't distros use ramfs? that dynamically expands, so you pretty much only use up what you need.

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                  • #10
                    Have they mentioned what video editing and CD/DVD/BD burning programs are supposed to do with their multi-GB temporary files after the switch? Where are we supposed to render our movies and build our ISOs?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                      thats weird, i've never had that issue. however, if there was ever the occasion where something from yaourt failed, i never assumed it was because of the tmpfs.

                      what i don't get is why don't distros use ramfs? that dynamically expands, so you pretty much only use up what you need.
                      Try building kernels with packer. tmpfs will run out of space.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by unix_epoch View Post
                        Have they mentioned what video editing and CD/DVD/BD burning programs are supposed to do with their multi-GB temporary files after the switch? Where are we supposed to render our movies and build our ISOs?
                        If you read the article, the answer is in it. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/tmp-on-tmpfs is the specification and such programs should be fixed to use /var/tmp instead of /tmp. A direct quote

                        "My CD burning application writes huge .iso files to /tmp, and this breaks on tmpfs!

                        The application should be fixed to use /var/tmp. "

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                        • #13
                          Have the Nvidia binary drivers been fixed? They used to break when /tmp was tmpfs.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Flyser View Post
                            I have been using tmpfs for /tmp and /var/tmp for years and years on my gentoo system. Why is this such a big deal?
                            Mine are also tmpfs and I also picked up the habit when a Gentoo user (long since switched to Ubuntu). I have 24 GB for each so I don't have issues with ISOs being created there. On server systems I have 64GB allocated.

                            I've yet to see a file in /var/tmp - does any software actually use it?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shiftyphil View Post
                              Have the Nvidia binary drivers been fixed? They used to break when /tmp was tmpfs.
                              Binary blob has had no problems with this for a while now. I ran my ThinkPad T410 containing an nVidia 3100M in such a configuration ever since I got it back in January 2011. (Don't have that laptop anymore now, though.)

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