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Interview with FOSDEM team about nbdkit loop mounting

I did an email interview which you can read online about my FOSDEM talk about nbdkit loop mounting.

Other FOSDEM 2019 interviews are here.


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FOSDEM 2019 – Better loop mounting with NBD

My talk was accepted:

If you’re coming to FOSDEM, please come and say hello. In the meantime if you want to watch a rough early run-through of the talk, see:

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Looks great, and nbdkit compiles out of the box.

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Gigatron – chips are down

Looks like I’ll need to spend some time “debugging” all my solder joints because although all the chips are in the blinkenlights aren’t lighting up 😔


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Gigatron – some assembly required

I don’t know if 74 chips have got smaller since I was a kid or if I’ve just got bigger but this is a test of dexterity.

There’s a reason why although I started out my career in hardware I soon decided to stick to software!

Amazingly nothing blew up when I connected the power.


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nbdkit inline scripts

I have proposed a patch for nbdkit, our flexible, pluggable Network Block Device server, to make writing Linux block devices into a (long) single command.

Here’s a simple block device with virtual size 1M that reads as zeroes:

nbdkit sh - <<'EOF'
    case "$1" in
        get_size) echo 1M ;;
        pread) dd if=/dev/zero count=$3 iflag=count_bytes ;;
        *) exit 2 ;;

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nbdkit / FOSDEM test presentation about better loop mounts for Linux

I’ve submitted a talk about nbdkit, our flexible pluggable NBD server, to FOSDEM next February. This is going to be about using NBD as a better way to do loop mounts in Linux.

In preparation I gave a very early version of the talk to a small Red Hat audience.

Video link:

Sorry about the slow start. You may want to skip to 2 mins to get past the intro.

Summary of what’s in the talk:

  1. Demo of regular, plain loop mounting.
  2. Demo of loop mounting an XZ-compressed disk image using NBD + nbdkit.
  3. Slides about how loop device compares to NBD.
  4. Slides about nbdkit plugins and filters.
  5. Using VMware VDDK to access a VMDK file.
  6. Creating a giant disk costing EUR 300 million(!)
  7. Visualizing a single filesystem.
  8. Visualizing RAID 5.
  9. Writing a plugin in shell script (live demo).
  10. Summary.



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