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RHEL7 XFS Is A Step Backwards Forensically

Red Hat changed the default filesystem in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) to XFS. In RHEL 6, the default filesystem was EXT4. The rational for this change, according Denise Dumas, Director of Software Engineering for Red Hat was because “it is a better match for our enterprise customers”. I agree with this position, which incidentally is the position SUSE have maintained for a long time, except that forensically it is somewhat of a step backwards. You can examine a XFS file’s metadata using xfs_db but it is much easier to use the xfs_io utility. Just like xfs_db, xfs_io

Native ZFS support on GNU/Linux

ZFS (Zettabyte File System) is a 128-bit advanced file system and volume manager developed by Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) as open-source software licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). When first introduced in 2004, ZFS was an entirely new approach to managing disk storage space and protecting the integrity of data. All metadata is stored dynamically and file systems do not need to preallocate inodes or other space when created. Other advantages include scalability, provable data integrity, atomic updates to ensure data consistency, instantaneous snapshots and clones, optional data compression and block-level de-duplication. The four major