Linux File Systems Workshop

Linux File Systems Workshop
June 14-17, 2006
Portland, Oregon


Val Henson, Intel
Zach Brown, Oracle
Arjan van de Ven, Intel

Quick Links


  1. Val Henson, Intel
  2. Zach Brown, Oracle
  3. Arjan van de Ven, Intel
  4. Andreas Dilger, Cluster File Systems
  5. James Bottomley, SteelEye
  6. Chris Mason, SuSE
  7. Christoph Hellwig, himself
  8. Mark Fasheh, Oracle
  9. Ric Wheeler, EMC
  10. Theodore T'so, IBM
  11. Mingming Cao, IBM
  12. Felix Blyakher, SGI
  13. Linus Torvalds, OSDL



The Linux File Systems Workshop will be an extremely technical brain-storming session on the future of on-disk file systems in Linux. The goals of this invitation-only workshop are to discuss new file system concepts, share relevant data and experiences, and produce multiple competing designs for a new community-developed and supported file system.


Linux has a plethora of file systems, seemingly enough variety and choice to satisfy anyone. However, the majority of these file systems were developed outside the Linux community and never attracted a significant community support base; these file systems are often "thrown over the fence" and sometimes abandoned by their original creators. For example, JFS has been end-of-lifed by IBM, XFS is supported mainly by SGI, and the future of Reiserfs is uncertain.

The only viable file system in terms of long-term support is ext3. However, ext3 has hard limits on its longevity - most notably a limit of 8-32 TB on file system size, already too small for a significant number of Linux users. A straight-forward extension of the ext2/3 on-disk format beyond 32-bit block addresses does not solve higher-level scalability issues, such as file system repair time and existing journal-related performance limitations. In addition, fundamental hardware changes (track buffers, write caches, growing random vs. sequential bandwidth ratio) have invalidated many design assumptions. In short, Linux file systems are rapidly approaching a crisis point.

Linux needs a community supported file system which can grow into the next decade. Incremental improvements on existing file systems are unlikely to fill this gap. This workshop is the first step in designing and implementing a new file system to fill the needs of the Linux community in the coming years. Participants will have the opportunity to shape the design and implementation of the next generation of Linux file systems.

Getting the most out of your workshop

The short version is:

Full length version here


Topics for discussion include but are not limited to:

Format and schedule

As creative thinking is best done in small groups working in an informal atmosphere, the workshop is invitation-only and limited to about 15 participants. The workshop will be structured in order to encourage new and risky ideas, and discussion will be conducted in a polite and professional manner. The workshop is three days long, beginning with an opening reception and dinner Wednesday evening and ending with an optional wrap-up session on Saturday morning.

Each day will have a different theme. Themes:

Thursday: Data - Hardware trends, known problems
Friday: Wild ideas - Discuss crazy new design notions
Saturday: Weeding out - Narrow down candidates, plan future work

Tentative schedule:

Wednesday, June 14th
7:00pmMeet at Days Inn lobby for dinner, sponsored by Intel
Thursday, June 15th
9:00amBreakfast served in workshop room, sponsored by Intel
10:00amOpening remarks, workshop goals
10:30amPresentation/discussion: Recent trends in hardware
11:15amPresentation/discussion: Review of existing fs techniques
12:00pmLunch served in workshop room, sponsored by Intel
2:00pmOpen discussion, break up into groups
6:30pmMeet at Days Inn lobby for dinner, sponsored by Google
After dinnerPlan next day's talks while at restaurant
Friday, June 16th
9:00amBreakfast served in workshop room, sponsored by Intel
10:00amPresentations/discussions: To be determined
12:00pmLunch served in workshop room, sponsored by Intel
2:00pmOpen discussion, break up into groups
6:30pmMeet at Days Inn lobby for dinner, sponsored by Oracle
Saturday, June 17th
10:00amWrap up, figure out next steps
12:00pmWorkshop finished! Take a break!
3:00pmMeet at Days Inn to carpool to Linux Beer Summit (optional)

Only the first day's talks will be planned in advance; the second day's will be planned during the evening sessions and given by workshop participants. Slideware other than high-density graphical information is discouraged.

We strongly encourage participants to remain in Portland until Sunday afternoon, as other Linux-related activities will be occurring in the Portland area during the weekend. Contact the organizers for details.


The workshop will be held in the center of downtown Portland, Oregon, in conference space courtesy of Oracle. It is located within easy walking distance of hotels, fine restaurants, brew pubs, museums, and a large portion of the Linux developer community. Portland weather in June is usually mild and sunny.

The workshop will be at the Oracle office:

1211 SW 5th Ave
Suite 800
Portland, OR 97204
Main Phone: 503.228.1520

Contact the Organizers

Questions? Contact:

val_henson at linux dot intel dot com