A Log-Structured File System for UNIX

Margo Seltzer, Keith Bostic, Marshall Kirk McKusick, Carl Staelin

Abstract

Research results demonstrate that a log-structured file system offers the potential for dramatically improved write performance, faster recovery time, and faster file creation and deletion than traditional UNIX file systems. This paper presents a redesign and implementation of the Sprite log-structured file system that is more robust and integrated into the vnode interface. Measurements show its performance to be superior to the 4BSD Fast File System in a variety of benchmarks and not significantly less than FFS in any test. Unfortunately, an enhanced version of FFS (with read and write clustering) provides comparable and sometimes superior performance to our LFS. However, LFS can be extended to provide additional functionality such as embedded transactions and versioning, not easily implemented in traditional file systems.
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