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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » EXT 4 FORMATTED DRIVES FOR DCP S (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: EXT 4 FORMATTED DRIVES FOR DCP S
John Rizzo
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Demarest, NJ, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 11-01-2014 04:34 PM      Profile for John Rizzo   Email John Rizzo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can someone tell me if EXT 4 formatted drives are acceptable to theaters for DCP Delivery. We just had to up grade our linux to the newest Centos and I can only format in EXT 4

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Gavin Lewarne
Master Film Handler

Posts: 278
From: Plymouth, UK
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-01-2014 04:41 PM      Profile for Gavin Lewarne   Email Gavin Lewarne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have used ext4 drives successfully on my Dolby DSS200 and a doremi

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-02-2014 10:27 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John - what do you mean with 'delivery'? EXT4 is not officially supported and there are a lot of servers out there who do not support it and more with unknown support for it.

I don't think it's a good idea to make a choice towards a distribution filesystem because your own machine supports it. You should aim for the format that all servers support.

If you know the machines you are creating/copying the content for, then of course you can use any format they support or that you have tested.

The fact that your CENTOS version creates EXT4 by default does not mean it can not create EXT2/3 partitions.
Also, bear in mind, you should use MBR partition scheme, not GPT/GUID.

Gavin - to my knowledge, ext4 experimental support was added in linux kernel 2.6.19, and finalized in 2.6.28. Doremis I know run kernel version 2.6.18. Of course Doremi could have added ext4 support on their own roadmap, but I think one is safe by using ext2/3, followed by NTFS on MBR partitioned dics.

http://dcinemaforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=440.0

- Carsten

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Dave Macaulay
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From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 11-02-2014 11:08 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Centos 7 uses ext4 as default during setup for its system and data drives, but you can format drives as ext2 or ext3 (or many other fs choices) using the normal makefs command. Centos 7 will mount ext2 or ext3 drives with no issues.
I would format external drives destined for content storage/moving as ext2. The journaling feature of ext3 isn't very valuable for an archive drive in my opinion.

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 11-02-2014 02:20 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Centos (RHEL) 7 uses the xfs format by default; Centos 6 uses xfs4. Other formats can be specified if desired.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-02-2014 05:17 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I fully agree with Dave and Carsten, only because some popular servers with "recentish" software do support it, it's no reason to go against the accepted standard.

Also, like Dave already put it, ext3 only adds journaling to ext2 and journaling isn't a particular useful feature for a filesystem that's supposed to be read-only.

I have no hands-on experience with the most recent CentOS (mostly Debian and some Ubuntu around here), but I highly doubt they stripped all functionality to create EXT2 partitions and filesystems. Maybe the GUI tool you're using somehow stripped it and maybe the installation process doesn't offer it anymore, but I'm almost certain the cli utilities like fdisk and mkfs still will support EXT2 and your system will surely still be capable of mounting EXT2 partitions.

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 11-02-2014 05:34 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just noticed that I put xfs4 (which isn't a thing) instead of ext4 as being the default filesystem in Centos 6. The time to edit that post expired, so this is to correct that bit of misinformation.

Sorry about that, folks!

To add to my previous post, Centos 7 comes with mkfs builders for the following filesystems: btrfs, ext2, ext4, minix, vfat, cramfs, ext3, fat, msdos, and xfs.

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John Rizzo
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Demarest, NJ, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 11-03-2014 11:18 AM      Profile for John Rizzo   Email John Rizzo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank You All for your help

I see that with Centos 7 we can format to ext 2 or ext4 however
I still can't copy the dcp s Im making onto the newly formatted drives. Does anyone know what I can do so I would be able to write to these newly formatted drives?

Another question I have is one of my customers asked me to put her dcp on a mac formatted drive (so she can easily make copies) She told me that all of the venues were she played it
at had no problem copying off of a mac drive. any thoughts on that?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-03-2014 12:56 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you give us some details of how you're copying those files to the distribution disk and provide the errors you encounter, it would probably help tremendously.

Furthermore, if the Mac-formatted disk story is true, it's just asking for trouble. HFS+ support in Linux is still far from perfect, although for Read-Only purposes it should be sufficiently stable. Doremi servers with recent software are capable of reading HFS+ disks, I'm not sure about Dolby though and I'm quite certain systems based on Windows are having a hard time reading it. MacOS X is capable of reading and writing ext2, so why you would you even try HFS+ for this purpose?

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Gavin Lewarne
Master Film Handler

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From: Plymouth, UK
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-03-2014 02:29 PM      Profile for Gavin Lewarne   Email Gavin Lewarne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My dolby DSS200 does not read HFS drives at all, I have to copy them using my Windows PC with the HFS file system driver.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4340
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-03-2014 05:33 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as I know, Dolby and Doremi support HFS+ officially. Wether that means it is really solid for full feature ingests, I do not know. I guess support for NTFS and HFS+ has been implemented to facilitate trailer and KDM ingest through USB memory sticks. We never had issues ingesting NTFS, but I would still recommend ext2/3. OS X fuse with fuse-ext2 will also allow to format drives to ext2 under OS X. For most people not running Linux regularly, formatting is a problem as well.

Also, very important, most current versions of windows and OS X create GPT/GUID partition schemes by default for EFI based machines. This will not work with any server I know - they need MBR partition schemes. Practically, this also limits ingest drives to 2TB max. Similarly, most current Linux releases default to inode size=256, while the best compatible format is MBR, ext2, inode size=128, for those servers running under windows with ext-drivers (most of these drivers can not deal with inode size=256).

Whenever I need to format a drive for distribution, I boot into a minimal linux on a CDR or USB stick and use mkfs and tunefs to create a file system.

I guess it would also work on USB drives connected to a VM.

I never had issues with alien ext2 or NTFS drivers, but then I would never use these volumes as working/OS/system volumes, only for single-process copying of directory structures and leave the system alone during the copying process.

- Carsten

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-04-2014 04:29 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carsten Kurz
Similarly, most current Linux releases default to inode size=256, while the best compatible format is MBR, ext2, inode size=128, for those servers running under windows with ext-drivers (most of these drivers can not deal with inode size=256).
Do you know which drivers are being used by the vendors using Windows?

There are two popular (one freeware, the other open source) products supporting EXT2 under Windows. Ext2-ifs is known to have this limit, but ext2fsd, while it used to be rather wonky, now works fine with inodes of 256 bytes.

I've seen GPT work with recentish Doremi servers. Which would make sense, since later kernels (don't know which kernel added it by default though) all support GPT. Still I fully agree that, for reasons of compatibility, you should go the MBR route. Unless your distribution really grows beyond 2TByte, it wouldn't make sense to do anything different.

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Mattias Mattsson
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Göteborg, Sweden
Registered: May 2007


 - posted 11-04-2014 09:51 AM      Profile for Mattias Mattsson   Email Mattias Mattsson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carsten Kurz
Also, very important, most current versions of windows and OS X create GPT/GUID partition schemes by default for EFI based machines. This will not work with any server I know - they need MBR partition schemes.
This is not the case. At least Dolby (with recent firmware) supports GPT just fine.

The problem is that e.g. Mac OS X creates an EFI System Partition (ESP) as the first partition on a GPT partitioned drive. This is a small FAT partition at the beginning of the drive normally hidden from Apple's Disk Utility (unless "debug mode" is enabled). The user partition is created directly after this partition.

The reason it will not work on a Dolby (and most other?) D-Cinema servers is that the ESP will be mounted instead of the user partition because it is the first filesystem on the disk.

I have successfully used >2 TB disks with a single GPT partition as backup disks with Dolby DSS200 servers. The easiest way is to partition the disk using a Linux based program like GParted, gdisk, parted etc.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3357
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-04-2014 11:33 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, both Doremi and Dolby seem to accept GPT partitioned disks in their later releases. Still, I'm not sure it is officially supported though.

And Carsten's point is still valid though. We're talking about disks for distribution, not about disks for internal use only.

Regarding this MacOS X Disk Utility... That's an interesting note which I will try to remember for cases I would need their Disk Utility. Still, I think it's somewhat wrong to just put an EPS on each disk. Those partitions should only be used for disks that are supposed to be booted via EFI.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4340
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-04-2014 01:52 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I tried mounting a GPT partition recently on a Doremi running 2.6.4 - nothing showed up in ingest manager. Some on a Dolby running 4.8.1.

I have seen the EFI/Windows thing on GUID partitioned drives coming from a Mac, yes.

But the disc I am talking about was a 2TB drive formatted on a WIN7 system using the default GPT partition scheme. Both machines had no issues once the same drive was changed to MBR/ext2. Before, I was able to mount the GPT drive on a TMS machine running a current Linux system with GPT support enabled, and copied the content over the network to the Dolby.

GPT discs also carry a protective MBR so non-GPT capable OS's do not consider the drive being unformatted and refrain from suggesting Inititialization, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table#Legacy_MBR_.28LBA_0.29

- Carsten

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