When it comes to adopting the newest technologies, Fedora is always at the front among the major Linux distributions. Well, Fedora might very well do it again by adopting a new file system for its next release.
According to proposals for Fedora 16, Btrfs will be the default filesystem used in that release. The proposal has been approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In Fedora 16, the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs will be a "simple switch" - it means that major Btrfs features such as RAID and LVM capabilities will not be forced onto users.
Btrfs is a new copy-on-write file system for Linux that supports a number of features lacking in other Linux file systems such as pooling, snapshot, checksum and integral multiple device spanning.
So, far the most popular filesystem in use for a majority of the Linux distributions is EXT4. Using Btrfs as the default will open up a number of new features such as better data integrity through checksum, snapshot of the filesystem before any major change, better volume management and RAID.
Fedora 16 is planned for release in late October or early November. The development and testing for Fedora 16 will go ahead with Btrfs as the default filesystem. If any problem comes up during the testing, the switch to Btrfs will be postponed to Fedora 17.
If Fedora 16 does end up with Btrfs as the default filesystem, it will be the first wide scale use of the filesystem. Btrfs has been supported in some of the major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu as an experimental feature for some time now.
The switch to Btrfs might also mean the arrival of GRUB2 in Fedora 16 as the legacy GRUB does not support Btrfs. The change will be invisible to most of the normal users of Fedora, unless they want to make use of the new features that Btrfs offers. EXT4 might still be retained as the filesystem for those upgrading from Fedora 15.
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