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Mixing file systems on install (/brtfs,/home Ext4)


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:40 am   
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I was a bit asleep at the switch when installing OpenSuSE Leap and allowed it to default to brtfs for the / partition. Coasting along, I had no problem until one day I try to open Korganizer and found the "akonadi" stuff was not working properly. I added another user to test, and all the K_el_bloatware apps worked just fine for the new user. After considerable googling, fiddling, removing, re-installing, etc. nothing would get akonadi to connect my original /home partition stuff. Solved the problem when I did a reinstall which included formatting the / partition with Ext4 to match my /home partition.

Is this just a fluke, or should one seriously make certain the root and /home partitions are of the same format??

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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:12 am   
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One factor is that the ext family of file systems, with ext4 being the current one, has a lot more history and stability than most other file systems available on Linux distributions. Although I recently read that for small removable USB thumb drives the btrfs file system is, in some respects, possibly one of the better ones to consider, and if you have an SSD, that's also a factor in it's favor. Though I believe it has been around for five years or so, I'd still rate it as more volatile than any ext file system.

I've not read about any issues between different file systems, but I also suspect that testing use cases between a / file system using btrfs and a /home file system using ext4 are not very plentiful, and that may factor into the reason that there are unintended side effects - this scenario of file systems and applications likely has minimal test coverage, and it's a high likelihood that / = btrfs, /home = ext4, and a heavy collection of Korganizer and akonadi are rarely tested in that exact combination with tests that expose the issue that you discovered.

If you can explain it well, it may be worth mentioning either to the openSUSE team, the KDE team, or the filesystem teams and if they collaborate, your problem may uncover other infrequent occurences leading to defects, but I wonder if they'd take it seriously or not. - worth a try to suggest the combinations and scenarios in the interest of more robust system software.

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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:52 pm   
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Did you check to see how many snapshots were created by btrfs ?? The size of the partition even though it says it's not full, could have been full... snapshot sizes are hidden unless you use btrfs commands to see them.

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 PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:59 am   
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Unless, as Dave points out, the file system is full - questionable unless the new account you created was on a different file system - this appears to be a defect, and it would be worth discussing this in the openSUSE Leap forum for starters, explaining what the setup looked like, what resources were available, what worked and what didn't. If you can readily reproduce it on file systems with plenty of space, that would greatly raise the usefulness of a defect report, showing the steps needed to reproduce the observed behavior.

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 PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:49 pm   
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Well Crouse, you are obviously under the impression that I would have a clue what you are suggesting :)

I don't have any btrfs formatted partitions any more so would have to use an external drive to set up a test. Could the root partition have been too small?? As I remember, it was 12-15 gigs. Maybe those "snapshots" are bigger than I thought. Are the snapshots "stored" in the /home ??

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