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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Christie don't recognize Ext2 formated disks (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Christie don't recognize Ext2 formated disks
Jordi Aguila
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Barcelona / Spain
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted 03-16-2017 06:23 AM      Profile for Jordi Aguila   Email Jordi Aguila   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi,

I have got a feedback from a cinema with Christie projector with integrated imb that don't recognize the disks formated in Ext2, it recognizes Ext3 and NTFS. The projectionist says that in the lasts Christie firmwares the Ext2 is not supported by the system and all the disks must be in Ext3.

It is true? And Ext3 could generate any issue in another server (Dolby, XDC, GDC, Sony...?

Thank you.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 03-16-2017 07:53 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think there must be something else with this disc. Ext2 and ext3 have so much in common that even old Linux systems with no ext3 support can read ext3. Ext3 is ext2 with journaling.

Ext2 is still the international DCP distribution format, any server manufacturer dropping support for it would be brain damaged.

Aside from that, no server has issues with ext3. Note this is not the same with ext4! Absolutely stay away from ext4 for DCP distribution.

http://isdcf.com/papers/ISDCF-Doc3-Disk-Drive-Recs-2015-07-21-Clean.pdf

- Carsten

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1521
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 03-16-2017 10:20 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jordi Aguila
The projectionist says that in the lasts Christie firmwares the
Ext2 is not supported by the system

I find this very unlikely, especially since here in USA just about
every major film release is sent out on Ext2 formatted drives, which
is usually considered the most "universal format" for DCP's

If it were true that Christie's new software did not read Ext2 formats,
they would be creating huge problems for most of their customers.

> Find out from the projectionist the exact version number of the new
firmware he claims won't accept Ext 2. I'd sure like to know.

But chances are pretty high, as Carsten says, that there is some problem
with the Ext2 formatting on whatever he's trying to ingest from.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-16-2017 12:08 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is probably an "advanced format" drive. Can you ask the server to look at partition 2 (/dev/sda2 or similar)? You may find the content there.

Do you have a Linux computer (or any PC-type computer with a bootable DVD or USB Linux distribution)? If so, can you mount the disk on that?

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Jordi Aguila
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Barcelona / Spain
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted 06-02-2017 07:13 AM      Profile for Jordi Aguila   Email Jordi Aguila   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok 2nd cinema with the same problem. They have one Barco server, our Ext2 formated disck was ingested without problem. In the other room with Christie server (with firmware installed 2weeks ago) they can not be able to reed the disk and the technical support of the cinema says that Christie now don't accept Ext2 disks they must be in Ext3.

My question at that point is:

If I decide to do the distributions in Ext3 formated disks, they will work without problems in all servers and all firmwares?

I don't want to assume the risk to do the distributions in Ext3 and have more problems that now in Ext2 because other servers don't accept Ext3 format disks.

Thank you.

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Greg Routenburg
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 137
From: Toronto, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 06-02-2017 10:56 AM      Profile for Greg Routenburg   Email Greg Routenburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you tried calling Christie for confirmation on this? Their support number in Spain is +34 91 633 9990. I wouldn't believe anything unless it came directly from the horses mouth on this. As mentioned before, a package version number would be helpful.

I suspect that Carsten is correct. Unless the EXT2 partition is created exactly as specified in the document that he linked to, the server may or may not read it. I've seen this a number of times with Dolby DSS100s as well. We've received EXT2 drives form independent film makers who didn't use the correct drive formatting and they would read in some servers but not our DSS100s.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6839
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 06-02-2017 12:35 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Two things it could be.

1 - The partition table is GPT, not MBR (MS-DOS).

2 - There is an EFI partition, a crapware partition (often found on some USB sticks and drives sold in Office Depot type places), or something other than the content partition, on the start of the drive.

In my experience, a DSS200 with a recent software version can tolerate a GPT partition table as long as there isn't a non-content partition on the start of the drive, but will not see the content partition if both problems are present on the drive. The Doremi DCP2000 won't read drives with a GPT partition table at all. One of the few positive things I have to say about the Barco Alchemy is that it does seem to be capable of scanning a drive and finding DCP content wherever it is and however the drive is configured, with the sole exception of exFAT partitions, which it can't read.

I don't have any experience working with Christie servers or ICMPs, so can't give you any specific pointers - sorry.

If I were faced with this problem, I'd hook it to a PC running Ubuntu with hfsprogs and GPartEd added to it (if you don't have one, download an Ubuntu live ISO, burn it to a disc or stick, and boot from it). GPartEd will show you how the drive is configured. Whatever the issue is, you should then be able to copy the DCP files from it to a drive that your server can read, or FTP them straight into the DCP server if the computer you're using is on the same LAN as the server.

IMHO, a Linux PC with GPartEd and the plugins needed to read HFS+ and exFAT added, running on the same LAN as the DCP server, is an essential tool for any projection booth that plays anything other than routine, Deluxe Technicolor DCPs (i.e. ones made by professional post houses that know what the ISDCF rules are, and how to obey them). The bottom line is that if a drive is not 100% compliant, any given DCP server or ICMP may or may not read it, and you need a plan B if it won't.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2035
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-02-2017 02:31 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Formatting Linux ext2/3 drives is something of a black art.
Technicolor and Deluxe are certainly good at formatting drives that will be read by most/all servers. This is not true of many independent producers. This is a constant aggravation with film festivals or when playing independent product.
There is no (zero!!) possibility that any D-Cinema server will not read ext2 drives. All distribution drives for all US features are sent on ext2 drives.

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Jordi Aguila
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Barcelona / Spain
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted 06-06-2017 05:58 AM      Profile for Jordi Aguila   Email Jordi Aguila   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm waiting to recive a call from the Christie engineer in Spain to talk about the issue that I have had with Ext2 and last firmware versions of Christie.

We're not an independent lab, we made distributions to all Spain and our DCPs are made following the DCI spects. (MBR / Linux 0x83 / Ext2 / Unique partition...)

By other hand, our discs are delivered to other cinemas that have Christie servers and are loaded and ingested without problems.

I have had feedback from two cinema installation companyies that confirms to me that in the lasts Christie firmwares Ext2 discks are not be able to be loaded by the server.

When I'll have the confirmation from Christie I'll reply it in this post and from what firmware version hapens.

Thank you to all.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-06-2017 06:48 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With those cinemas that have these problems, make extra sure wether these DCPs are actually ingested locally ON the Christie IMS ingest port, not through any other means.

Don't trust cinema staff blindly on this. Some are very knowledgeable, some not at all.

And no, ext3 is no problem on any other server. Then again, ext2 must not be a problem on any server just as well... Maybe Christie introduced a weird quirk in recent firmware. However then, I can hardly believe these sites have only trouble with your discs.

Are these CRU drives, or general USB discs?

- Carsten

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Jordi Aguila
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Barcelona / Spain
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted 06-06-2017 08:01 AM      Profile for Jordi Aguila   Email Jordi Aguila   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In this case is a no CRU drive, is a Stardom with USB 3.0 and SATA conexion. But our discs where ingested in other cinemas with Christie servers without problems. This disc, for example, is from a distribution that we had made and all the discs are identically because we generate one disc master and then we clone the disc in a clone station with MD5 verification. And in other cinemas with Christie servers worked well.

I'm waiting to talk with Christie engineer.

Thank you.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-06-2017 10:35 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Christie IMS has both local USB and eSATA ingest ports. Did they try both with the same disc (REALLY???)? Maybe the problem is not with the formatting, but the interface. Yet it could still work with the Barco.

What's weird is this (from the Christie IMB-S2 manual):
'Ingest drives can contain Microsoft Windows (FAT, FAT-32, NTFS) or Linux (ext3, ext4) file systems.'

But that manual is three years old, and I am sure this was never meant to actually exclude ext2, it is more like a typo... It would be completely braindamaged to actively support ext4 on ingest drives, but exclude ext2, back then, and now...

- Carsten

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Jordi Aguila
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Barcelona / Spain
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted 06-07-2017 09:37 AM      Profile for Jordi Aguila   Email Jordi Aguila   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Reply from Christie:

Ingest drives can contain Microsoft Windows (FAT, FAT-32, NTFS) or
Linux (ext3, ext4) file systems.

The DCI specification available here: http://www.dcimovies.com/specification/ to my knowledge doesn’t actually specify a format for the ingest drive only a definition of the speed categorization and the format of the DCP folders and files on the drive.
The format of the drive itself is down to server preference, I can understand your confusion as EXT 2 was standard on the older Doremi and Dolby servers however this is not industry wide and not all servers accept it.
From my personal experience more and more drives are either EXT3/4 or NTFS, hopefully moving forward knowing what our server accepts this will not be a problem for you.

What do you think about??!!

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-07-2017 11:05 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Correct that the DCI specification does not address disk formats. There is an ISDCF document about this, though. The web link is here

http://isdcf.com/papers/ISDCF-Doc3-Disk-Drive-Recs-2015-07-21-Clean.pdf

It is giving me a 404 not found error right now.

The short version is that it specifies MBR partition table and ext2 or ext3 filesystem with an inode size of 128 bytes.

I still don't see why anything would accept ext3, but not ext2. In the context of a read-only mount, the two are esseentially identical, and ext3 provides no advantages. ext4 is a significantly different filesystem, however.

Most, if not all, servers will read NTFS, but it is not an open standard and not a common format for DCPs. Some newer servers will read HFS+, but that is rare and I would discourage anyone from distributing a DCP on an HFS+ filesystem. I have yet to find anything that will read exFAT natively.

Did we ever rule out "advanced format"/GPT as the original problem here?

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3582
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 06-07-2017 05:12 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jordi - actually I think Christie (or whoever acted under that name) was BS'ing you...

NO ONE is advancing ingest drive formats towards ext4 or NTFS, and leaving out ext2. This is plain rubbish.

quote: Jordi Aguila
The format of the drive itself is down to server preference
It is not down to server preference. And as someone who seems to make a living from shipping DCP drives to cinemas, you should know that.

ISDCF is issuing the current drive format specs - and a Christie engineer is attending ISDCF meetings regularly.

That hard drive format recommendation is currently under revision and thus not available on the ISDCF site - the current latest draft is circulating on the ISDCF mailing list. It is identical to the previous versions in most parts, but especially as far as ext2/ext3 is concerned:

---
2. The partition on the storage device shall be formatted as EXT3 or EXT2, with the inode size set to 128 bytes.
...
4. Distribution service providers should recognize that the current deployed base of player and library systems in the field may already be several years old, and are expected to have an extended lifetime relative to typical computer system installations. Thus new or upgraded mastering and duplication systems should be thoroughly vetted for backward compatibility prior to deployment.
---

Now go and kick Christie's ass on that BS answer they just copy/pasted from the IMB-S2 manual. I suggest you go back and find someone at Christie who knows what he is talking about.

- Carsten

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