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Btrfs & Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Gaming

Published on 23 March 2012 03:27 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
39 Comments

What does the Linux Btrfs file-system and Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive game have in common?

Both topics -- Btrfs and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive -- were the subjects of some of the emails into the Phoronix news box this week that weren't yet covered in other articles -- it was a busy week with the open-source NVIDIA Kepler announcements, Intel Haswell open-source code, breaking the news about Intel Valleyview Atom SoCs with Ivy Bridge graphics, Gallium3D OpenCL/Compute coming together, etc.

As far as Btrfs goes, there isn't any major Btrfs file-system announcement at the moment (though it looks like Oracle will be making some Linux-related announcements next week). The Btrfs email carried a subject of: Btrfs is already outdated with B-Tree, now we have "Fractal Tree." Below is the email from "markg85", the frequent Phoronix news contributor and forum member, who wrote in about a new fractal-tree concept that may eventually make Btrfs' B-Tree design seem obsolete.
I was searching for some information of the various different types of *-tree (b-tree, red-black-tree .... there really are a million of those trees) Then i stumbled upon "Fractal Tree" from some oddly named "database" called "TokuDB". Yeah, a bunch of weird names indeed.

When diving in it more deeply i found some nice articles, i would recommend taking a look at them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TokuDB In short this technique makes use of the speed of hard drives, not the (relatively slow) access times. It even beats SSD's in one of those articles. Another one is that those "Fractal Tree" things really scale very very very well across multiple cores and with hundreds of millions of entries. B-Trees don't work that well anymore when there are so much entries which is exactly what is happening on file systems!

So there you go, "Fractal Tree", probably the future for B-Tree which would make btrfs obsolete i guess. Or they start using this stuff and rename there fs to "ftrfs" hehehe ^_- (furst f stands for Fractal)
TokuDB itself is a MySQL storage engine designed for high performance on write-intensive workloads, which uses fractal tree indexing. Those wishing to learn more about this topic can see How TokuDB Fractal Tree Databases Work Presentation (PDF presentation from O'Reilly 2010 MySQL Conference & Expo).

The other topic, which resulted in several emails from various individuals into the Phoronix news box, was about Valve's forthcoming Source-based Counter-Strike: Global Offensive game. Basically, there's reports of new Linux references within the latest beta of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For example:
Phoronix:

The beta version of Counter-Strike Global Offensive has an empty (currently empty, at least) 'linux32' directory inside the 'bin' directory. Here's the full path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\bin\linux32

Have you guys heard this yet?
On the topic of Counter-Strike / Source Engine games on Linux, I don't have anything new to say at the moment besides that I continue to stand by my earlier statements. For those that haven't seen the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trailer, it's embedded below.


About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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