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FreeBSD/ZFS, openSUSE/BTRFS or Ubuntu/ZFS(experimental)?

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RoGeorge:
Thank you for clarifying it all.

The disk is consumer level https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/consumer/850pro/ but from the PRO family, with 10 years warranty and recommended for small business server.  The cheaper Samsung SSDs with less endurance and shorter warranty for normal workstations is their EVO series (EVO cost/GB was about 2/3 of PRO).

I've benchmark mine and it does sustained writing at about 500 MB/s, never less than 400 MB/s (advertised as 550 MB/s), and reads up to 600 MB/s.  Maybe I've hit a bug in openSUSE, because for anything else other than YaST rollback, it all works very fast no matter which OS.   :-//



For now I settled on Ubuntu with ZFS on root + KDE Plasma on top.  They had to develop their own tool, ZSys, to make automated ZFS snapshots, and to add restore menus in the Grub boot screen, with option to restore either the OS, or OS+users data.

ZSys is another layer that came with a new concept on top of the ZFS datasets/snapshots, they called it "states".  One can still do ZFS handling from command line, but ZSys (zsysctrl) is integrated with Systemd and Grub, and doesn't need ZFS knowledge to save/restore a "state".

For now ZSys is command line only, it is working OK but still in development, and not very well documented.  The only intro/docs I could find apart from man pages is a blog from one of the ZSys devs, but don't expect that to be like a user manual:  https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/zfs-focus-on-ubuntu-20-04-lts-blog-posts/16355



I kept FreeBSD as a second OS on a uSD card, I'm very pleased with FreeBSD so far but I'm not yet ready to use FreeBSD only, as a daily OS.  I've found a very promising book called "Absolute FreeBSD" by Michael W. Lucas, which I like a lot, oriented for learning the principles, more than "how to set x".  Not only educational (has some tales and inside story from the history of UNIX and BSD apparition, etc.) but sometimes even funny.

https://books.google.com/books?id=oEfWtQH7YK8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
there is a 3rd edition already:  https://nostarch.com/absfreebsd3

It's a book about FreeBSD, but since I start reading it, I've learned more about Linux than from all other sources combined.  Yes, it's a BSD book that unintended also teaches Linux.  ;D

Wuerstchenhund:

--- Quote from: RoGeorge on November 24, 2021, 12:06:59 pm ---The disk is consumer level https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/consumer/850pro/ but from the PRO family, with 10 years warranty and recommended for small business server.  The cheaper Samsung SSDs with less endurance and shorter warranty for normal workstations is their EVO series (EVO cost/GB was about 2/3 of PRO).
--- End quote ---

I know Samsung calls it "Pro" but as you said it's still consumer grade (the endurance rating is pretty poor, but in line with what's common for consumer grade drives).

I know many people like Samsungs but personally I'm not a fan of them, as my experience with a larger number of them was quite poor (lots of premature deaths plus a number of compatibility issues with their firmware).


--- Quote ---I've benchmark mine and it does sustained writing at about 500 MB/s, never less than 400 MB/s (advertised as 550 MB/s), and reads up to 600 MB/s.  Maybe I've hit a bug in openSUSE, because for anything else other than YaST rollback, it all works very fast no matter which OS.   :-//
--- End quote ---

That's what I'd expect from a good SATA drive.

But I doubt that there is problem with what is a commonly used SSD and openSUSE or BTRFS.

Have you checked if your SSD is on the latest firmware?

RoGeorge:
I've looked for an update only weeks ago, and it wasn't any new one for the last 1-2 years.  MB FW was updated when I start reinstalling, there were some microcode updates for the proc.  Both the SSD and the MB are about 4 years old, so if it were to be a HW bug somebody else would have noticed and fixed that already.

The SSD was not used more than a year.  Then I've start installing Linux "for testing" on some HDDs, and since then, never returned to Windows.  Didn't use the SSD in the last 3 years, it is not wear out.  It used less than 10% of its guaranteed TBW so far.



I remember when the rollbacks were running, there was a windows scrolling files all the time.  TBH I suspect it might have took that long because of displaying all those rolled back files.  But I doubt nobody did a rollback from Plasma before.  I don't know what it was.   :-//

Either way, I don't have the will to reinstall again after spending more than a day time customizing Ubuntu themes and colors to make a decent dark desktop.   ;D

So far Ubuntu with ZFS still working well, thought in the last days I was tinkering mostly with a new FreeBSD install, which also works very well.




--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on November 19, 2021, 01:12:34 pm ---...reinstall my system from scratch and copy back my user preferences...
--- End quote ---

"Is it possible to learn this power?"  ;D
What to save, and does this saves the pages/settings/passwords from Firefox?

Youtube, Github and alike are killing me with email reactivations each time I change the browser.  Everybody is possessed and obsessed about "protecting" me.  Why TF do they ask for a user/password if they are not gonna consider it!?!

I want a law for a mandatory checkbox to opt out of unsolicited "protection".   >:(

Nominal Animal:

--- Quote from: RoGeorge on November 25, 2021, 07:46:19 pm ---
--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on November 19, 2021, 01:12:34 pm ---...reinstall my system from scratch and copy back my user preferences...
--- End quote ---
What to save, and does this saves the pages/settings/passwords from Firefox?

--- End quote ---
Your Firefox profile in Debian derivatives is in $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/.  It can contain more than one profile directory (identifier.default, where the identifier part is an alphanumeric semi-random identifier).  The profiles.ini in that directory describes them, with the currently active/default one having the default=1 key.  On machines with 64-128 MiB of RAM to spare, but with slow storage, I've used a pair of scripts (either session scripts, or wrapped around the firefox startup script) to keep the profile in an uncompressed tarball when not in use, and on an tmpfs ramdisk when used.

In general, your user preferences are all in files or directories located in your home directory, starting with a dot ($HOME/.file or ~/.directory/).  The exact ones vary depending on the Desktop Environment you use (Gnome, KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXDE).  You can run for example find ~ -maxdepth 1 -name '.[a-z0-9]*' to see the entire list.  (In shell paths, $HOME/ at the start of the path is equivalent to ~/.)

Because I regularly take tarballs from my home directory in the background via
    ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 tar -cf yyyymmdd-username.tar -C ~username/ .
and then generate a detailed list their contents via
    ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 tar -tvf yyyymmdd-username.tar > yyyymmdd-username.files
and finally compress them using xz via
    ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 xz -z yyyymmdd-username.tar
I can extract for example only my custom binaries, Firefox profile, Thunderbird emails, and any stuff I have under Documents, quickly from a backup by running
    tar -xf path/to/yyyymmdd-username.tar.xz ./bin/ ./.mozilla/firefox/ ./.thunderbird/ ./Documents/
in the newly created user home directory.  When creating users, it makes sense to keep track of the user and group ID's, so that the numeric IDs match across your machines for the same accounts.  (There is no need for UIDs and GIDs to be continuous.)

If I am only looking for a specific file, I simply grep the yyyymmdd-username.files files to see which version I want.

You can exclude specific paths by using --exclude glob-pattern, so if you have lots of large files or say a media directory, you probably want to backup those separately.  I typically only care about my preferences, emails, and answer/code snippets (that I keep in a separate tree), which all only come to a few dozen megabytes per tarball, so I take a backup of those most often.

ve7xen:

--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on November 19, 2021, 01:12:34 pm ---
--- Quote from: RoGeorge on November 19, 2021, 12:57:27 pm ---it took a little more than 1 hour to finish the rollback.
--- End quote ---
Definitely not using LVM snapshots, then.  They're basically instantaneous.  (As are VM snapshots also, by the way.)

--- End quote ---

Since btrfs snapshots can be mounted in parallel with the filesystem they are snapshots of, the same should be true here. If you want to restore the whole root system, the idiomatic way would be to either change the default snapshot so a different one gets mounted as root, or rename the snapshot over top of the 'default' one, and then reboot the system. YaST may have some tricks up its sleeve to do it on the live system instead, but I'm not sure what that would entail, since it's generally not possible to unmount root. It might also be deleting the defunct snapshot that is taking the time, as this involves a lot more 'work' (finding the now-invalid blocks and freeing them) than restoring (change a pointer).


--- Quote ---Of course, with LVMs (and virtual machine snapshots), you do need to create every snapshot you may wish to roll back to; they're not auto-created.  Thus, LVM does not support stuff like "roll back to yesterday", unless 'yesterday' is a specific snapshot you've created.
--- End quote ---

LVM snapshots are incredibly cumbersome and limited compared to btrfs/ZFS snapshots, so they aren't really comparable.

btrfs can be considered stable as long as you're not using the parity RAID modes, IMO. On a Linux desktop, it is the ideal choice if you want something like Apple's Time Machine; it's trivial to explore the state of the system years back and restore a single file or subtree as necessary, you can just mount and browse the snapshots in your file manager. Maybe there is a case for OpenZFS on a dedicated storage machine, but I would not trust that choice on a machine with a complex workload like a desktop, and don't really see a good reason to wedge ZFS in a place it doesn't belong and where it offers little additional functionality.

FWIW I agree that OpenSUSE is underrated, and easily the best of the commercial distributions for daily desktop use. However, personally I am using Arch/KDE (on btrfs).

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