File Systems

Thorny thorntreehome at
Sat Mar 28 15:04:15 UTC 2009

On Sat, 28 Mar 2009 08:12:48 -0600, Karl F. Larsen posted:

> Thorny wrote:
>> On Sat, 28 Mar 2009 06:51:26 -0600, Karl F. Larsen posted:
>>>     I have loaded Jaunty Beta twice, and have done a full update on
>>>     this
>>> computers Jaunty. All is fine, but I was stopped 2 times because the
>>> loader was going to use the ext2 file system, but I wanted the ext3
>>> file system and found that and both are using it.
>>>     But I noted there is now a ext4 file system. Does anyone know why
>>>     I
>>> should use ext4 :-)
>> Karl, the simple answer to your question is that if *you* don't know of
>> a reason to use ext4 then you don't need to use it. And I am not trying
>> to be snarky with that comment.
>> A longer answer would mention that different filesystems have somewhat
>> different features and strengths and/or weaknesses and a system admin
>> selects which one to use based on how the system is going to be used
>> and which filesystem best suits those needs. You're not just limited to
>> the ext(x) line either, there are also ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, etcetera.
>> So, only you can determine what will work best for you and your
>> situation. Questions like yours often turn into "religious wars" as
>> people argue back and forth about their personal favourite and, in my
>> opinion, that usually is unproductive for a list. Now, if you want to
>> research a bit and ask a specific question about a particular system,
>> then that might be productive and get you useful answers. It always a
>> wise approach to a question.
>> Here are some links to get you started:
>     Not at all and thanks for the info links. I was not really
> interested in trying ext4 but it did cross my mind :-)
>     It appears I was right to stay with ext3 which has been fine.
I have used a mixture of ext2, ext3 and reiser on this system that I am
typing from. All have performed well and all have been able to recover
from the power outages that happen (I'm on rural power). This system does
not have battery backup, partly to test that. On the other hand, I've
never been doing disk intensive work when the power failed and I mount my
usb devices sync.

I think you have made a wise choice to stick with a recommended
filesystem, when one asks for help regarding an issue, people generally
assume that is what you have and suggest commands that are appropriate for
that. Rarely does a normal desktop installation require advanced features
unless one is doing a lot of benchmarking just to get the absolute most
out of ones system (similar to automobile tuning by "gearheads").
Although, sometimes if one has a large amount of small files or a lot of
really huge files I suppose certain choices could maximize throughput.
Some people even recommend ext2 because they don't like the performance
overhead of the journal but, as I mentioned, with modern, fast big RAM
machines, it's all transparent to the average user.

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