Oracle Loses Top Linux Filesystem Dev


From the ‘Oracle Open Source (?)’ files:

Oracle is losing one of its key Linux developers. Chris Mason, leader of the Btrfs filesystem effort officially left Oracle on Friday.

In his farewell note, Mason took an indirect shot at Oracle.

Oracle has been a fantastic place to work, and I really appreciate their support for my projects. But, I’ve decided to take a new position at Fusion-io….Fusion-io really believes in open source, and I’m excited to help them shape the future of high performance storage.

The first time I ever spoke to Mason, was back in October of 2008. Oracle’s PR team was eager to get me connected to Mason, to talk about the future of Linux storage. That was of course, before Oracle acquired Sun and before they had Solaris. Btrfs has matured over the last four years such that it is now beginning to appear as a fully supported technology in enterprise Linux distributions. Throughout it all, Oracle has helped to lead the effort, though it is wider now with lots of contributions.

As a note of pure speculation, perhaps Oracle was looking to tighten up the Btrfs process (kinda/sorta like ZFS) and steer it to become a bit less open. Or perhaps Oracle’s not so ‘hidden’ intellectual property agenda has made it a distasteful place to be for an open source dev — I’m not sure.

Oracle has lost one of their leading developers, but thanks to the open source model, Oracle will still continue to benefit from his work. Oracle Linux will continue to use Btrfs and no doubt there are other devs at Oracle that will still contribute to the effort as well.


**UPDATE** Got an email from Chris Mason today clarifying the situation. Turns out my speculation is off the mark. Here’s what Chris wrote to me:

Oracle has strongly supported my GPL projects over the years, and I was
in no way implying that Oracle does not believe in open source.

Oracle always encouraged and rewarded my contributions to open source


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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