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SGI releases XFS file system to Linux community

Company embarks on open source support in earnest

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Reducing security risks from open source software

SGI yesterday followed up on its promise to wholeheartedly support Linux and the open source community -- it released under the General Public Licence (GPL) those portions of its XFS journaling file system that it owns. The decision to release XFS under an open source licence was announced last may, but the actual release of the software yesterday was an important signal that SGI is serious about its support for Linux, part of CEO Rick Belluzzo's recovery strategy for the company. XFS will bring to Linux a file system that not only tracks the location of files within a storage medium but records file access activity and how the location of those files changes over time. That ensures a system's state can be more fully restored after a crash and guards against data corruption in the event of, say, power failure. That's a significant addition to Linux's feature set, and will give it a significant lead over rival operating systems. So far, the BeOS and OS/2 Warp Server are the only mainstream OSes with a journaled file system. SGI said the first open source sub-set of XFS is now available from the company's Web site. More components of the software will be released when SGI is sure they don't infringe other developers' copyrights -- portions of XFS belong to Bell Labs/Lucent and the University of California at Berkeley, among others. ®

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