JFS in Ubuntu

James Gray james at gray.net.au
Fri Oct 17 22:34:11 UTC 2008

On 18/10/2008, at 5:32 AM, Dotan Cohen wrote:

> On the Ubuntu Unlashed blog, it has been suggested that users use the
> jfs filesystem a opposed to ext3:
> http://www.ubuntu-unleashed.com/2008/10/upgrade-from-hardy-heron-to-ubuntu.html
> Is this bad avice? Any gotchas?

I see a lot of "I think", "IIRC", "my opinion", "in my experience" etc  
in this topic.  So how about we all go read some hard data and make up  
our own minds? :)


Now FWIW, when choosing a file system, it depends on many factors most  
of which are either discussed or mentioned in the above 2 URLs.  I've  
used JFS on AIX (where it came from originally) and it totally rocked;  
this experience was not transferred to Linux where the drivers are  
still maturing.  Secondly JFS was designed with SCSI drives in mind  
and I'm yet to see JFS with IDE/SATA come close to the performance it  
achieves on SCSI - some of this is hardware limitations, some is  
driver maturity...time will tell.

I've also used XFS on IRIX (again, where it came from) and it was  
great!  Or maybe that's just my impression after sitting in from of  
sexy SGI boxes :P  Either way, I've found XFS to be a strong and  
robust performer on SATA/IDE under LInux.  It's currently what I use  
on my /var and /tmp partitions which contain the bulk of my file count.

I've gone away ReiserFS but not because Hans is currently putting his  
feet up in the big house.  Purely because where I used to use it (/var  
and /tmp) I'e found XFS marginally better and for the future I believe  
XFS will attract more developer support.  I'm speculating of course,  
but time will tell.

Now, the ubiquitous ext2/3/4.  I don't touch ext3/4 with a barge pole;  
ext4 because it's still in heavy development, and ext3 because it's  
just ext2 with a journal tacked on (and not done very well either I  
might add).  Sure it's stable and wont destroy your data any time  
soon, but it performs like a dog and is particularly unfriendly to  
power management systems (it wakes up disks even if the system is idle  
due to forced commit intervals).  Having said all that, I still use  
ext2 in my /boot partition and any other partitions that don't get  
written to very often and/or contain very large files (such as my  
mpeg4/ogg-theora library).  However, where I have large files that  
*ARE* written to often (such as databases) I use XFS.

Actually, XFS is fairly pervasive on my systems ;)  It performs well  
and is robust.  JFS will improve with time and the jury is still out  
on ext4 (again, time will tell).  For today though, I'd say XFS is a  
good alternative to ext3 and although you can't shrink XFS (it can  
grow though), it has a couple of stability issues on LVM volumes, and  
it's metadata modification when creating and deleting directory  
entries isn't as fast as some (but can be improved http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1479435)...I 
  still like it.


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