What file system? ext3, reiser, xfs?, which one to choose?

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What file system? ext3, reiser, xfs?, which one to choose?

Postby wdc on Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:03 am

hello, I couldn't find the answer to this in the forum but maybe I didn't now how to search. sorry.

I always use ext3 but I was wondering which filesystem is the best for Celena?

thanks.

w.
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Postby sanguinemoon on Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:10 am

I use ext3 myself. I don't think it really matters, though. If partitions are all ext3 now, there's no compelling reason to change that.
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Postby Ede on Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:25 am

Depends on your taste. ext3 is VERY reliable. ReiserFS is faster, alot faster on small files, but not so reliable. If you want a very very fast computer, ReiserFS is the thing for you. If you like your files and care about them, use ext3.

The difference is so minor it does not really matter for normal use.
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Postby linuxviolin on Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:28 am

ext3 is the way to go, believe me :lol:
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Re: What file system? ext3, reiser, xfs?, which one to choos

Postby scorp123 on Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:11 am

wdc wrote:I always use ext3 but I was wondering which filesystem is the best for Celena?
If you don't know it ... stick to ext3.

Ext2:
The fastest of them all. But it is not journaled and considered "obsolete" now. Requires lengthy filesystem checks after a crash (and also in regular intervals!) and can lose data as there is no journal to keep track of what filesystem operation were successfull or not. Given how fast today's disks are there is hardly a reason to use Ext2. If I were to "recycle" an old computer (e.g. Pentium-II and anything slower than 300 MHz) and if I had to get the max. speed out of the box I would go for Ext2 ... But then again, as I said: No journal here. You *will* lose data at some point.

Ext3:
A good allrounder. Ext2's younger brother with a filesystem journal. Does everything "just right". Can be tuned with various parameters if really needed but 99% of the users won't ever need that. Ext3 "just works" and is very reliable. Even after sudden crashes (e.g. power failure on a desktop system) chances are that your data is still there. I'd highly recommend using this if you don't really know what to use. Ext3 is your safest bet, and it isn't so bad at all, in fact it's quite good for everyday use. If you use Linux on a laptop I'd recommend Ext3 too.

ReiserFS:
Very fast if you have many small files scattered all around your filesystem. ReiserFS would make an ideal filesystem for e.g. mail servers or "Usenet" NNTP servers, where thousands of small messages come in, get temporarily stored, and then get shipped elsewhere (and the temporary files get deleted again). I personally hate it. Despite it being journaled I have once lost 500 GB of data ... and of course I didn't yet have a backup as this was a (too) fresh installation. In my experience ReiserFS has the nasty habit of having some obscure corruptions all of a sudden. Other people I know swear by it and say they never had any data loss. Well .... Not that I want to call those people liars, but I *did* have a massive data loss with ReiserFS and I don't really trust it anymore. I'd use it if I had to setup a mail server ... ReiserFS would be ideal for filesystems such as /var where logs and temporary files would constantly show up and then get deleted again (e.g. when mails are shipped elsewhere ...). But I'd never again use ReiserFS on important locations such as / and /usr ....

XFS:
Very fast if you have lots of extremely large files ... but slow as a dog if the filesystem is filled with too many small files. So XFS is ideal e.g. for the filesystem where you'd keep your movie collections and DVD *.iso images, where the files could be somewhere between 4 and 8 GB and maybe even more. XFS really shines there and outperforms the others. Also very nice: It tries hard as hell to avoid fragmentation. The others do that too but XFS does a better job at this. This part of XFS will cost you some percentages on the CPU% load, so I would not suggest to use XFS on a machine with a weak CPU. I'd recommend Pentium-4 CPU with 1.5 GHz and better. On a Pentium-III laptop with 450 MHz XFS is slow like a snail. On a 3.2 GHz XEON machine with 4 GB RAM which is used as file server XFS really shines and performs fast like hell. Also: XFS is the only UNIX-filesystem I know that --yes it's true!!-- has a defragmentation utilty. But in all those years I used that utilty exactly two times: Once to see if it made a difference (it didn't ... my filesystems were not fragmented in the first place :lol: ) and another time I showed it to a colleague who could not believe that such a tool existed :lol:
XFS has one nasty habit though: It is allergic to sudden power failure. If you are transferring a really large file and power fails in that moment ... chances are that despite XFS claiming that all filesystems are "clean" that the file in question got corrupted, e.g. filled with binary zeros all of a sudden. Happened to me. :? So I'd recommend XFS for file servers and for use on filesystems which are going to hold tons and tons of really really large files ... but I wouldn't use it on a laptop.

JFS:
A filesystem created by IBM. Good performer too I hear. But there are not so many distros that support JFS. And I personally have never used it so I can't really say if it's good or bad. But I know that IBM people use it a lot on their servers (it's the default filesystem for IBM's AIX operating system) so I suppose if people use it on the servers their employers just bet all their money on it must be worth something.

Hope this overview helped. If unsure: use Ext3!
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Postby wdc on Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:19 am

thanks, I'll use ext3.

very good answers.

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Postby grgaud on Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:40 pm

linuxviolin wrote:ext3 is the way to go, believe me :lol:


Question: What if your partitions are already formatted to reiserfs, is it possible to change them to ext3 without having to reformat and re-install everything?
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Postby linuxviolin on Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:28 am

You must just have space to make the transition. In other words, the install was on a partition A, copy everything on a partition B which has the space for, and then reformat A and all recopy on A. :wink:
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Postby grgaud on Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:06 am

linuxviolin wrote:You must just have space to make the transition. In other words, the install was on a partition A, copy everything on a partition B which has the space for, and then reformat A and all recopy on A. :wink:


Okay, thanks for the info. I've got plenty of space to shrink one partition and make a new one.

I was looking at your sig, good one. Have you heard of Ockham's Razor?

"Do not pultiply entities unnecessarily." In other words, keep it simple.
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