Most of the documentation is a snapshot of the old Namesys site (, 2007-09-29).

There was also a Reiser4 Wiki (, 2007-07-06) once on

Reiser4 development appears to have stalled and ReiserFS is deprecated and scheduled to be removed from mainline Linux in 2025.

FAQ/change fs

From Reiser4 FS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

We'd first suggest you copy everything on your regular ext2 partition to the spare partition. If the spare is smaller than your original data, compress your whole partition into a tar.gz file on the spare partition. After making sure this worked correctly and all your files are there (and/or you have a good backup!), copy the /bin, /etc, /lib and /sbin directories (plus the mkreiserfs utility) to the spare partition. This is in preparation for booting off that partition so you can reformat the original ext2 partition as reiserfs.

Next, make a boot diskette with a ReiserFS-enabled kernel on it (don't forget to run lilo on the diskette!) and make sure it works (so you won't get stuck with an unbootable system.) After booting this diskette, you should get a lilo: prompt. Enter "linux root=/dev/hd init=/bin/bash at the lilo prompt. Your system should boot and stop at a bare shell prompt.

At the prompt (now off of your spare partition), try tar ztvf to test the backup archive if you did the compression step above (just to make sure you can get at your data still). If you're convinced that you want to go ahead with the conversion, run mkreiserfs on your original ext2 partition, ERASING ALL DATA THERE (but you have the backup of course.) Then, mount the new partition somewhere as reiserfs and cd to the mount directory. Make sure the amount of free disk space is what you expected (just as a double check), and untar your backup archive to restore everything.

At this point, your data is on ReiserFS and you should be able to rerun lilo (make sure your default kernel supports ReiserFS!) on your normal root partition to get the kernel set up again. Unmount all partitions and reboot. If everything goes as planned, Linux should say "VFS: Mounted root ... as reiserfs" at some point, and you should be all set. If the system doesn't boot, etc. you have your backup diskette and can just boot off the spare partition to fix things. Make sure you have the right ReiserFS-enabled kernel installed beforehand and all configuration files (especially lilo.conf) are up to date.

   This mini-howto has been written by:
   Matt T. Yourst	Massachusetts Institute of Technology	617.225.7690
   513 French House	476 Memorial Drive - Cambridge, MA 02136
Personal tools