Jan 16, 2009

2B Free || ! 2B Free

Recently ext4 filesystem was marked as stable with release of Linux 2.6.28. Since I like bleeding edge from time to time and backup my files regularly anyway I decided to give it a spin. As far as performance is concerned, I have nothing to report yet, since I haven't been using it that long. But as usuall I found certain annoyance :-)

I was going through my filesystems and converting them one-by-one (after doing one more backup). When it came to /var I hit the wall though. df showed that there is free space (more than 400MB) but tar was telling me there is not enough space on the filesystem to create a directory (ENOSPC). So what was it? I was looking around and finally found the problem. Since the size of /var is only 1GB on my computer, mkfs.ext4 decided I will never use more than ~65000 inodes. Problem is that I have a lot of small files on the filesystem. Ebuilds, git and svn repositories and standard /var stuff. This together meant that I hit the 65000 mark quite easily whithout filling up the filesystem.

Solution to my problem was obvious from this point on. Recreate /var filesystem while manually overriding mkfs.ext4's choice for maximum inode count. Voila, ext4 seems working well from this point on.

Jan 13, 2009
First of all...All hail our new overlord. And by overlord I mean year 2009. I hope you all will have a great time. I know I will :-). I didn't write for some time, because I was travelling then I was celebrating holidays with my family and friends. All in all I didn't have so much time to keep my information up to date not to mention doing anything resembling work. That's changing NOW!.

I recently bought new camera (lovely Nikon D90) and also decided I need to backup my previous photos to more than 2 places. I realized you can never have enough backups after a few failed HDDs. So what were the options I was considering?
  • Google's Picasa: 20$/year for 10GB  storage space
  • Flickr: 25$/year for unlimited storage and better sharing/privacy settings, presentation options etc.
I didn't consider other services because...well because I didn't.

Now the issue was...How to upload all of my photos (several gigabytes)? Flickr has client for Windows/MacOS, but not for Linux (The orignal client appears to work through wine though). Kflickr to the rescue! I started uploading photos in no time. But I wouldn't be writing this blog entry if everything went according to plan now would I?

Everything seemed to work, the photos were on the web. I could see them, organize them, tag them...you name it. Then I wanted to download original file from certain photo (for reason I don't remember). How great was my surprise when the file was <1MB in size. The originals I had were ~3 MB. Something rotten in here. The files were obviously recompressed with lower jpeg quality settings before being uploaded. Not all of them were this way though. It seemed like it has something to do with license I used for the files. Power is in the source, Luke so there I was. I wanted to investigate the problem and maybe fix it.

Unfortunately opening Kflickr project files with Kdevelop and trying to debug didn't work. For some reason the gdb was ignoring my breakpoins as if the application was compiled without debugging information. It was however compiled with -g3 (all debugging info). So far I was unable to properly diagnose the orignal bug, but I wrote to author of Kflickr asking for information. Now let's wait.