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The next4 team has a goal of adding or incorporating full filesystem snapshot support into openSUSE.

There are a number of sources of filesystem snapshots on which next4 team is drawing on including:

  • btrfs
  • ext4+ snapshots
  • and others

There are 3 active projects going on within this team:

  • Extend Snapper (a YaST module) to support other snapshot solutions beyond just btrfs.
  • Make a patched kernel and e2fsprogs packages available which over ext4+ snapshot support.
  • Extend the xfstests package to test snapshot based functionality and corner cases SDB:XFStests

At present a OBS home project exists with releases of e2fsprogs and a patched kernel. These have not yet been tested within the openSUSE platform, but any issues should be packaging related.

In addition, two GSoC (Google Summer of Code) projects are ongoing. One is focused on Snapper and the other on xfstests.

The current top priority for the team is to test the newly created packages and get them to a level that other openSUSE team members can start to experiment with them.

It is hoped that the 2 ext4+ snapshot patches can get into factory during the summer of 2011.


At present the team is small and does not have any formal communications channels.

  • Mailing List
  • IRC channel
  • Forum
  • Meetings
  • and any special thing to be taken care of while contacting


A short intro and then list the member with a link to the wiki members page.

Amir Goldstein is leading the overall ext4+ snapshot kernel integration across all distros.

Greg Freemyer is leading the openSUSE specific aspects of the team effort.

How to join

This should include answers to questions like

  • When is someone eligible to join?
  • What has one to do to join?
  • Is openSUSE Membership required for the task?

Additions (optional)

Development is very early and testing these tools can conceivably cause data loss.

Be sure and allow multiple kernels to be installed on your test box. This is done by editing /etc/zypp/zypp.conf:

multiversion = provides:multiversion(kernel)

  If you are using 12.1 (or factory), there are new kernel management features available.

It is recommended that testers have a safe test environment. That is one that if it comes crashing down, there will be no worries that other valuable data and files was lost.

You should have openSUSE 11.4 or Factory installed.

At present, the ext4dev patched openSUSE kernel and e2fsprogs userspace build, install, and appear to run. In particular, at least one system has successfully booted to init 5 functionality with these 2 packages installed.

The patched version of e2fsprogs is not well tested. A great initial test would be to install it per the below without installing the kernel. Then boot single usermode and test it out in various fsck modes. Report successful file system tests here.

At present these systems appear to be working fine:

  ext4 s appear not to properly pass through a fsck.ext3 pass.

(As of Jun 5, 2011 fsck began providing at least basic functionality. More testing still needed, but it should no longer keep your opensuse install from booting.)


For 11.4 users, pick the Tumbleweed distro versions.

You can find the kernel one-click installer by searching for it at:

There are w repos to consider. home:next4 is the more stable of the 2. It got its first packages in Mid-June 2011. Initial patch deployment and basic testing goes to home:next4:next4-devel. In general only use the -devel repos if you have a specific patch you want and you know it has not been submitted to home:next4 yet.

So look for the version associated with home:next4/openSUSE_Tumbleweed as an example.

Alternatively, experts can install the dev kernel directly from: or

e2fsprogs is also needed and can be found at:

Again, look for the next4 repos version