I can't find a patch for reiser4 for kernels newer than 2.6.38.

  1. How to access reiser4 on modern kernels? The only workaround I know is to use a thing like mountlo (filesystem running in UML kernel with reiser4, with FUSE interface).
  2. Are there well-supported filesystems like reiser4 (transparent compression, fast, good support for small files). With reiser4 I can store 2 VMs that is 10 GB uncompressed on 2 GB partition (plus 40% free space), I can use small individual file for each entry in some ad-hoc database (like parse big wikipedia XML dump, store each article in a separate file, then compress it again in other way). I heard somewhere that BTRFS supports compression, but metadata overhead is considerable and that it is slow, is it true?

you can try ZFS over FUSE. It's not that fast but quite flexible.


From what I can see there is no official patch for anything newer than 2.6.38, and I would be wary of using unofficial patches of something as fundamental as the filesystem on a production machine (without doing lots of testing first to ensure it is stable).

You could try applying the 2.6.38 patch against a newer kernel - if the relevant files have not been changed significantly (or at all) between then and the release you are trying to use the patch may apply cleanly without further work. If not, you make need to perform a diff of those parts and try mould the patch to fit around the differences. As with any unofficial patch I would be wary of using this on any important systems without a lot of testing first - I'd feel safer with the UML based method however hacky it feels.

It might be worth asking on the official mailing lists or forums for reiser4 - there may be people who have working patches on there, either home-grown ones (made using the above method) or beta releases of the official patch that are still in testing (though these should not be considered any safer than unofficial patches - if the devs considered them to be proven safe and stable they would have released them!

  • I usually don't use reiser4 for important data, usually more for temporary things, caches or things I can create/download again (especially where I need both speed and transparent compression). – Vi. Aug 31 '11 at 17:03
  • Do you know alternatives of reiser4 (speed + transparent compression)? – Vi. Aug 31 '11 at 17:03

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