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Reiser4 For New Kernels? Don't Hold Your Breath

Linux Kernel

Published on 03 May 2012 12:44 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
7 Comments

Hopefully you're not anxiously waiting for the Reiser4 file-system to appear for new Linux kernel releases...

For those visiting the Reiser4 Kernel.org Wiki, it hasn't been touched since last August prior to the kernel.org breach. The latest news on the Reiser4 Wiki is more than one year old. If visiting the patch directory so you can enable Reiser4 support for your kernel, it's 404'ing -- and it's been that way since the kernel.org breach.

There still is some activity these days on the reiserfs-devel mailing list where a patch will appear from time-to-time or a question will be answered by Edward Shishkin, the former Namesys developer who's now basically the only main developer left working on Reiser4. However, nothing radically new has happened in many months.

In fact, the latest patches that have tipped up for Reiser4 are based on the Linux 2.6.38/2.6.39 kernel. The Reiser4 file-system hasn't been officially updated to run with the newer Linux 3.x kernels, but just works with the older 2.6 kernels that are more than one year old.

This week I asked Edward if he plans to even update Reiser4 to support the newer Linux kernel releases. Here's the response from Shishkin:
The most recent patch is reiser4-for-2.6.39. This patch also works for 3.0. Marcin BaczyƄski also has prepared patch for 3.1, but I didn't check this yet.

Reiser4 will be ported to recent kernels, however I can not specify precisely the kernel version for the port: my time is restricted and now I prefer to concentrate on the stability issues.

Thanks,
Edward.
So the 2.6.39 Reiser4 support can work with the Linux 3.0 kernel, and there is an independent and unconfirmed patch to make it work on Linux 3.1, but nothing newer at this point. Shishkin is just focusing upon stability fixes for the controversial Reiser4 file-system.

In 2010 he originally hoped to mainline the Reiser4 file-system, but that obviously didn't happen. Last October Shishkin mentioned to me that he decided pushing Reiser4 is not a high priority and in January it still lacked mainline ambitions.

One has to wonder whether Reiser4 will ever hit the mainline Linux kernel, even if Edward pushed for it, he would have a tough time getting it approved by Linus and other kernel developers.

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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