JFS vs EXT3 vs XFS vs ReiserFS

Felipe Figueiredo philsf79 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 16:00:55 UTC 2008

On Mon 28 Apr 2008 21:55:40 Paul S wrote:

> Anyone know any reason to avoid JFS or use any other?

My very limited experience on different FS's is as follows:

If you intend to use LVM (which I use both at work, at home, and every 
family/friends computer I put my hands and ubuntu on), the FS you choose 
is an important choice, when it comes the time to resize it. IIRC the LVM 
howto states that ext3 and reiserf need to be unmounted to be resized, 
while JFS and XFS don't. The two latter also don't support shrinking, 
which IIRC is supported by the first two (but it's been a while since I 
read about this, and it could have changed). If you are sure of your 
partition scheme, after you add another hard disk, JFS or XFS will allow 
you to add the HD to the volume group on the fly (cool, huh?).

On the minus site, ext3 doesn't allow you to recover deleted files (ext2, 
while I've been *told* this can be done in reiserfs (never tried it 
though). I've no information on this for JFS or XFS.

About speed, reiserfs is largely claimed to be faster if you deal with 
many (several thousands) small (few kbs) files, and JFS is claimed to be 
the fastest overall. I tried JFS with edgy and Feisty, and to be honest, 
I didn't notice a difference (but I didn't make any objective 
measurements). Just before the Gutsy cycle, I started working in the 
situation where reiserfs is considered best (thousands of small data 
files), so I changed to reiserfs in gutsy, and have been using it so far.

I've *never* had any particular trouble with corruption with either or 
ext3, jfs or reiserfs, that was not caused by power failure or bad HD, 
and for a while when I had reiser at work and jfs at home, I had an 
annoyance about EA (extended attributes) on files I backed up to get the 
two boxes in sync daily (I use dar on a USB key for this), but it was not 
more than annoying warning messages, and no corruption was ever done (as 
confirmed by rsync and diff several times).

All in all, in my limited experience, for a regular home user, any 
filesystem will do just nice.


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