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What's New in File Systems in the Solaris 9 Release


The Solaris 9 release provides the following new file system features.

  • The UFS, NFS, and TMPFS file systems are enhanced to include extended file attributes. Application developers can use extended file attributes to associate specific attributes with a file. Extended file attributes are represented as files within a hidden attribute directory associated with the target file. You can use the runat(1) command to add attributes and execute shell commands in the hidden attribute directory. Many Solaris file system commands now have an -@ option that you can use to query, copy, or find file attributes.

  • You can use the new fssnap(1M) command to create a read-only snapshot of a UFS file system. You can use this temporary image as a stable and unchanging device interface to back up a file system. See "Creating a Snapshot of a UFS File System" on page 218 for information on how to use the fssnap command.

  • Direct I/O performance—used by database applications to access unbuffered file system data—now permits concurrent read and write access to regular UFS files. In previous releases, an operation that updated file data locked out other read or write access until the update operation was completed. Consider enabling direct I/O if you are already using UFS to store database tables. You can enable direct I/O with your database administrative procedures. If you cannot enable direct I/O through your database product, you can use the mount -forcedirectio option to enable direct I/O for each file system. Alternatively, use the directio(3C) library call to enable direct I/O. See mount_ufs(1M) or directio(3C) for more information.

  • When you create file systems, mkfs command performance is often 10 times faster than in previous Solaris releases. The biggest performance improvements occur when creating file systems on systems with high-capacity or high-speed disks.

  • The labelit(1M) command provides new options for use with Universal Disk Format (UDF) file systems. You can use new options to identify the author name (-o lvinfo1), organization (-o lvinfo2), and contact information (-o lvinfo3) for a UDF volume. In previous releases, no mechanism was available to update this information. The maximum length of each option is 35 bytes. See labelit_udfs(1M) for more information.

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