A few questions...

David Curtis dcurtis at uniserve.com
Thu Apr 9 02:52:02 UTC 2009

On Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:10:12 -0400
"J. Limon" <jlimon at eml.cc> wrote:

> Roy Smith wrote:
> > Hi Everyone!  Being fairly new to Ubunto and Linux in general, I've 
> > got a few questions.  I've been using computers for a long time, 
> > started out with a C-64, then progressed to an Amiga, and for the past 
> > 11 years I've been using various versions of Windows.  Over the years 
> > I've gotten accustomed to having to do various maintenance tasks with 
> > the computer, such as checking the file system for errors, 
> > defragmenting the drives and so on.  I've found a few programs to do 
> > some of the things I'm accustomed to doing except I can't find where 
> > you would defragment the drives.  Is it necessary?
> >
> As long as you are using ext3 (which is the standard filesystem in 
> Ubuntu), defragging is unnecessary.

To play devil's advocate, all file systems will, to a greater or lesser degree, suffer from fragmentation. Ext3 will take a very long time for desktop use to produce performance reducing fragmentation, if at all. But even if you were running a server, say mail or news, that creates/deletes many many small files and produces some fragmentation, there still is no true tool to defragment an ext3 file system.  In other words, yes, there is the  possibility of a little bit of fragmentation, nothing you can do about it, don't worry about it, on a desktop you won't notice. Servers that constantly create/delete many many small files generally use other filesystem types geared toward that kind of use.

Ext4, still considered 'testing' for ubuntu, is supposed to have a defrag tool, though I've never used it (neither ext4 or the defrag tool).

David Curtis <dcurtis at uniserve.com>

P.S. Why aren't 'filesystem' and 'defragment' in my spell check dictionary?

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