[ubuntu-us-ut] ext3 or XFS

Nathan kemotaha at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 16:04:18 GMT 2008

On Mon, 2008-03-17 at 15:00 -0600, Mike Basinger wrote:
> We are planning to switch a digital collection we run on CnntentDM for
> Windows 2003 using NTFS to Ubuntu Server 8.04 (when it is final). The
> collection is hundreds of thousands of graphic files. Would it make
> sense to using XFS or ResierFS over ext3? I always used ext3 in the
> pass and been happy, but nothing with so many files.

There are a couple of reasons the vendor would suggest this and the come
for the way that the file-systems are designed.  

First, Ext3 has a set number of files.  When using a content management
system (not sure about CONTENTdm), you usually have a lot of little
files.  This will cause you to run out of the number of files before you
run out of disk space.  You don't even get the same warnings because you
have to look at inodes as well as space.  

Second, Ext3 isn't the best at handling large volumes.  The journal is
in a flat file on the filesystem, so as you get a large volume you have
some performance problems. 

The Third benefit of XFS over Ext3 is that extended attributes are
stored in the inode.  Ext3 stores them in an extended part of the inode
but it takes up more space.  XFS permission system is designed more like
windows well multiple users can have different permissions that are
stored in the main part of the Inode.  Ext3 can accomplish this as well
but it was added on after.

It sounds like that if they are recommending XFS, that would be what I
would go with.  Though I would keep my system partition on EXT3.  

Each filesystem has their own benefits.  I use JFS on my mythbox becuase
it deletes huge files within a sec or two.  I use ReiserFS on home
partition because it is fast and stable.  

A not for those talking about ReiserFS.  There are two versions on it.
The stable version has been so for about 3 years and it is called
ReiserFS or Reiser3.  Hans (the author) has been working on Reiser4
which is supposed to be the best filesystem out there but it is still in
beta and has problems.  Reiser 3 did have stability problems early on.
It caused a lot of people to distrust it.  Those problems have been
fixed for the most part and I have been through hard crashes on it and
not lost any data.  Yes, Hans is on trial for the murder of his wife.
However, he is not the only developer for the filesystem.  He created a
company NameSys that will support the filesystem even after Hans goes to
jail, if he does.  The trial is going on as we speak.  The body was
never found.  I don't know if he did or didn't do it.  Yes it concerns
me about the future of Reiser4 if Hans goes to jail but Reiser 3 is
still stable and I don't have many concerns about that.

I hope that gives you some better information to base your decision off

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