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POWER9, ARM64 and 64k page sizes

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The GNU/Linux kernel for these platforms can be compiled with either 4k or 64k page size. The distribution chooses which of these options to select. The kernel created by the distribution is included in the installation disk for the distribution.

One acute consequence of this is the relationship between Btrfs sectorsize and kernel page size. Btrfs filesystems can only be used on systems with the same page size. The Btrfs driver is being improved to remove this restriction but for users of Fedora 34 and older systems, this is a very inconvenient issue. If you need to move Btrfs filesystems between systems with different page sizes then they simply won't work.

It appears that nobody tests the kernel and amdgpu drivers on these non-standard page sizes before each official release. Consequently, if there is a problem, it is only discovered by users after the upstream release. This means that users on these platforms are always a step behind users on other platforms.

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