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Gnome's Nautilus Gets ZFS Integration, In OpenSolaris 38

13bpower writes "Sun developer Erwann Chenede posted a new plugin for Nautilus that will integrate ZFS's backup capabilities with Nautilus. This should be a pretty killer feature." As one of the comments puts it, this adds a "Time Machine-esque" function to Solaris, through which a user can specify backup frequency, and when needed browse from available snapshots to restore files.
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Gnome's Nautilus Gets ZFS Integration, In OpenSolaris

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  • by bperkins ( 12056 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @02:43PM (#25387091) Homepage Journal

    Why not go all the way?

    Gnome's Nautilus: Gets "ZFS" Integration! (In OpenSolaris)

  • Hurrah..zzz (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @02:51PM (#25387217)

    So what it gets integration with OpenSolaris.

    You know what? Basic SMB mounting doesnt even work right in Ubuntu. Instead, it mounts crap via ~/.gvfs and fake handles for Gnome-only apps.

    Instead, if Ubuntu used standard mounting techniques, it would mount as something sane like ~/mnt/$computer/$share_name/ so that all programs could use it easily.

    Most likely, this ZFS setup uses the same non-standard techniques that make the features ONLY for gnome programs.


    • Erm, you do realize that's because Gnome now mounts per-user, not system wide. If you REALLY REALLY want system wide mounts then use fstab to specify them or use the mount command manually.

      I don't see the problem. Any app can use the mount in ~/.gvfs anyway.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        Did you NOT read what I typed???

        My issue is with the link that Gnome creates on the desktop. Evidently, it points towards a "x-nautilus-desktop:///name_of_share on server.volume"

        They could have made a symlink to ~/.gvfs/server/share/ instead. This would have kept compatibility with non-gnome programs.

        Instead, they used some gnome handler.

        Like I said...FAIL

        • OK, firstly, I *DID* read your post and you didn't mention anything about the desktop icon if you mean "fake handles for Gnome-only apps." then that's not very specific.

          Secondly, there is a REASON those links are different. Right click on them and look at the menu items; there are special ones there, like for example, "unmount". That's the reason they aren't just symlinks.

    • Re:Hurrah..zzz (Score:4, Informative)

      by kylegordon ( 159137 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:32PM (#25389067) Homepage

      Gnome failure. Not Ubuntu failure.

    • Uh WOW, you realize that all the same zfs administration commands still work right?
      However, browsing thousands of five-minute incremental snapshots for a file you deleted IS something that makes more sense in a GUI. Or, at least a nice interactive CLI program.

      This is not quite the same as how GNOME speaks to samba shares that COULD just as easily be system mounted.

      Jesus, if you want to mount up individual snapshots yourself to look for a missing file, more power to you. That's insane though.

    • I think the point is that this is something quite like Apple's much-heralded Time Machine, but wastes a lot less space, and is made available in a free OS. Might want to try the Live CD (when it becomes 2008.11) that you can get at I also think that the underpinnings are part of the Solaris Management Facility, which means you can do all kinds of servery goodness in addition to Apple-y goodness with the described Gnome tool.
  • I don't use OpenSolaris, so I won't be seeing the benefits of this any time soon. (I once tried to install it, and couldn't work out the partitioning scheme, I don't install operating systems for fun any more.)

    This is a great example of free software. Someone wants a feature, and they code it up.

    Anyway, I was looking at getting something like this for MS Windows or Ubuntu the other month (instead of a proper version control system for people who couldn't cope). I found some interesting projects.

    For example:

  • That's great, except ZFS is currently stable only on Solaris 64 bit systems. The freebsd port is listed as alpha and is plain broken on 32 bit systems.

    • It works reasonably enough, you just have to be careful not to have it run through all available memory.

      I've been using it for a while now and it does actually work pretty well. Not that it doesn't have a ways to go, but for non-production use it's pretty stable. Additionally in the times that it has crashed I've not lost any files or had any corruption.

      Right now I've got a mirrored portion of my hard disk on which I store my home directory. The ability to self-heal those files is quite nice.

    • by d3vi1 ( 710592 )

      I am running ZFS successfully on 6 32bit systems for 2 years now. Actually, for file servers in our company we always use slower servers. In our case, we have dual CPU Xeon 2.8 GHz (Prestonia) systems with 2 or 3 GBytes of RAM running Solaris 10 with ZFS and Samba and NFS sharing.

      Get your facts right. I don't know about FreeBSD 32bit vs 64bit, but on Solaris, it works regardless and it works brilliantly.

      The only problem I am having is the reordering of the NFSv4 ACLs in ZFS and inheritance with Samba's ZFS

    • I'm posting this from OpenSolaris with a ZFS boot disk, running on a 32-bit ThinkPad T43 :)
  • The screen shot in the Sun blog shows Time Slider having 2.4 MB of snapshots available for possible recovery. I'm sure office workers writing memos and Slashdot posters whose posts regularly get eaten by the browser would love this feature. But what happens when the OS has to deal with the sort of big files churned out in a multimedia setting, say, a a multi-GB cache of digital video. Granted that someone dealing with such big files ought to make backups using other means, the question remains: does ZFS hav
    • ZFS uses copy-on-write at the block level, so a snapshot takes no space, so the question doesn't really apply.

      • by pammon ( 831694 )

        Snapshots can take a lot of space!

        Imagine you have a 5 GB movie file that you snapshot. If you then try to delete the file, you will not recover the space, because the snapshot holds onto the file. Effectively, the snapshot is consuming 5 GB.

        "Unsung" asks whether ZFS is smart about how it removes snapshots as space is needed. This is a reasonable question with a trivial answer: no, because ZFS never removes snapshots, even if space is needed. It is the user's responsibility to remove snapshots.

        • Snapshotting works for any sized file.
          Yes, if you remove a large file, then the snapshot gets the blocks allocated to that large file, and yes the space isn't released to the filesystem.

          If your filesystem is so short on space that you are removing 5GB files to try and free up space, then you probably shouldn't be snapshotting.

          Oh - you should also be able to write a simple routine to make passes through the .snapshot directories to *clean up* any of those large files permanently by removing them from the sna

          • by welshie ( 796807 )
            Indeed, and ZFS makes it utterly trivial to add new disks to the pool, so if you're getting short on space, go down to your local computer retailer, and add a few of those cheap half a terabyte external disks to your system. If you are running a laptop, then get yourself a bigger disk.
  • ... some time ago for a usable time-machine substitute [] for linux, but failed miserably on the gnome integration.

    Unfortunately when we tried we were informed [] by the kind folk of the nautilus mailing list that it would be pretty difficult, as it's not feasible by using the python nautilus-extensions, and we would have to rewrite a lot of code. Gvfs was not ready yet (and mostly undocumented) so our code would be instantly deprecated, and many of the supposed options of a quick google were hopeleslly outda
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know it's not zfs-related, but nautilus is such a freaking *hog* that I can't avoid this opportunity to *beg* nautilus developers to lighten their memory footprint.

  • I've been able to do better than time-machine feature-wise since snapshotting was online with zfs.
    I've had automated jobs taking snapshots every 5 minutes and keeping them for as long as I had space available for them (sitting at around 9 months worth atm).

    The script rotates through the snapshots, and passes through the snapshots where no changes were made and marking them for my approval to remove, just to try and keep the listings tolerable...(12 * 24 * 275)....

    From there I wrote a routine to allow me to

    • That does sound quite cool, but it doesn't really solve the problem for your average office worker who just wants to get that file they deleted back.

      Providing a GUI for it frees up IT support to do something other then run a bunch of command line scripts to find the older version, and also makes it possible for users to find out that it's even possible to do this.

      • Hmmm... Yes a gui would be nice, and someday there may be one... but for now, on my personal Solaris system at home, I don't need one - although I'd like to get the RAM up to 64GB on that thing for a better all around ZFS experience...

        It's kind of nice booting up multiple xVM virtual PCs running various operating systems and barely using the disk at all...

        Windows XP (after initial load, and running, can reboot and operate with almost zero disk I/O running off the ARC) - Linux is almost none as well...


        • What sort of hardware are you running on? Having seen some of the features that Solaris provides (especially ZFS, and Zones), I'd love to set up a server to play with it on, but I have a feeling I'm going to need some sort of exotic hardware to get started.

          • Well, I happened to have fallen into an Intel test platform that sat around for a year or two..

            Supermicro server chassis, two dual core Xeon 64-bit processors (2.x ghz), 12 GB DDR3 RAM (with enough slots left that I can take it to 16GB with 1GB sticks), dual adaptec ultra 320 controllers, 6 sata controllers (on the motherboard), currently configured with 8 x 75GB drives - with the intent to replace them with terabyte (900ish GiB) sata drives.

            I need to get a 2nd 700watt hot-swap psu and another 1400VA ups to

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