File systems

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File systems

Postby viking60 » 01 Dec 2015, 14:19

Linux can be used with several different file systems. Windows has FAT and NTFS - Linux has Ext, XFS, JFS, Reiser, Btrfs.

This is mostly the part we ignore we simply install the Linux distro and check if it works without regard to the filesystem. This is just fine because to most people this has no noticeable impact but It may be vital when you are pushing the limits.

Let us have a look at what the different Linux filesystems do:



supported by all distro's, commercial and not, and based on ext3, so it's widely tested, stable and proven
all kinds for nice features (like extents, subsecond timestamps) which ext3 does not have.

rumor has it that it is slower than ext3, the fsync dataloss soap



support for massive filesystems (up to 8 exabytes (yes, 'exa') on 64-bit systems)
online defrag
supported on RHEL6 and higher as the 'large filesystem' option
proven track record: xfs has been around for ages


wikipedia mentions slow metadata operations.
potential dataloss on power cut, UPS is recommended, said to be not really suitable for home systems but that may well be to emphasize the "pro status" of RedHat. (I think Centos 7 makes a nice desktop).



said to be fast (I have little experience with JFS)
originated in AIX: proven technology

used and supported by virtually no-one, except IBM



fast with small files
very space efficient
stable and mature

not very active project anymore, next generation reiser 4 has succeeded it
no online defragmenter

Reiser 4


very fast with small files
atomic transactions
very space efficient
metadata namespaces
plugin architecture, (crypto, compression, dedup and meta data plugins possible)
Connoisseurs love it.


Reiser4 has a very uncertain future and has not been merged yet
main supporting distro (SuSE) dropped it years ago but the transfer to btrfs has not manifested Suse as a much better Desktop.

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Re: File systems

Postby R_Head » 01 Dec 2015, 16:32

I used to use Reiser file system, but the bloke got dangled in a murder case and due to unknowns, as far future support, went to ext4.

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Re: File systems

Postby viking60 » 01 Dec 2015, 19:47

Yes I mostly use ext4 and I am happy with it.
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Re: File systems

Postby dedanna1029 » 04 Dec 2015, 17:55

I still use reiserfs for its speed and reliability. It works on today's distros just fine. I went for Reiser4 one time and almost immediately wished I hadn't. It ran quite slow and eventually that same day blew the hard drive to bits. It's more unstable than most realise. IIRC the project was never honestly completed before Hans went off to the punishment place.

Reiserfs still, when I have to reboot out of nowhere, plays back transactions and gives results from that, and transfers even larger files faster than one thinks. It was a finished project for years, and more than well applies to today's standards.

There was one thing I ran into some years ago that it couldn't do but TBH I don't remember what that was now.

Mageia's on it currently on my system for / and /home both, no problems. For distros that don't offer it one can still install reiserfs-tools and be able to use it (I do this with Arch sometimes) but I just use btrfs for / and ext4 for /home. I do notice the difference. They lag compared to reiserfs for me.
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Re: File systems

Postby khan1 » 30 Mar 2023, 09:04

Just like Windows, iOS, and Mac OS, Linux is an operating system. In fact, one of the most popular platforms on the planet, Android, is powered by the Linux operating system. An operating system is software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply, the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (OS), the software wouldn’t function.

The operating system comprises several different pieces:

Bootloader – The software that manages the boot process of your computer. For most users, this will simply be a splash screen that pops up and eventually goes away to boot into the operating system.
Kernel – This is the one piece of the whole that is actually called ‘Linux’. The kernel is the core of the system and manages the CPU, memory, and peripheral devices. The kernel is the lowest level of the OS.
Init system – This is a sub-system that bootstraps the user space and is charged with controlling daemons. One of the most widely used init systems is systemd, which also happens to be one of the most controversial. It is the init system that manages the boot process, once the initial booting is handed over from the bootloader (i.e., GRUB or GRand Unified Bootloader).
Daemons – These are background services (printing, sound, scheduling, etc.) that either start up during boot or after you log into the desktop.
Graphical server – This is the sub-system that displays the graphics on your monitor. It is commonly referred to as the X server or just X.
Desktop environment – This is the piece that the users actually interact with. There are many desktop environments to choose from (GNOME, Cinnamon, Mate, Pantheon, Enlightenment, KDE, Xfce, etc.). Each desktop environment includes built-in applications (such as file managers, configuration tools, web browsers, and games).
Applications – Desktop environments do not offer the full array of apps. Just like Windows and macOS, Linux offers thousands upon thousands of high-quality software titles that can be easily found and installed. Most modern Linux distributions (more on this below) include App Store-like tools that centralize and simplify application installation. For example, Ubuntu Linux has the Ubuntu Software Center (a rebrand of GNOME Software) which allows you to quickly search among the thousands of apps and install them from one centralized location.
This is the one question that most people ask. Why bother learning a completely different computing environment, when the operating system that ships with most desktops, laptops, and servers works just fine?

To answer that question, I would pose another question. Does that operating system you’re currently using really work “just fine”? Or, do you find yourself battling obstacles like viruses, malware, slow downs, crashes, costly repairs, and licensing fees?
If you struggle with the above, Linux might be the perfect platform for you. Linux has evolved into one of the most reliable computer ecosystems on the planet. Combine that reliability with zero cost of entry and you have the perfect solution for a desktop platform.

That’s right, zero cost of entry… as in free. You can install Linux on as many computers as you like without paying a cent for software or server licensing.

Let’s take a look at the cost of a Linux server in comparison to Windows Server 2016. The price of the Windows Server 2016 Standard edition is $882.00 USD (purchased directly from Microsoft). That doesn’t include Client Access License (CALs) and licenses for other software you may need to run (such as a database, a web server, mail server, etc.). For example, a single user CAL, for Windows Server 2016, costs $38.00. If you need to add 10 users, for example, that’s $388.00 more dollars for server software licensing. With the Linux server, it’s all free and easy to install. In fact, installing a full-blown web server (that includes a database server), is just a few clicks or commands away (take a look at Easy LAMP Server Installation to get an idea how simple it can be).

If zero cost isn’t enough to win you over–what about having an operating system that will work, trouble free, for as long as you use it? I’ve used Linux for nearly 20 years (as both a desktop and server platform) and have not had any issues with ransomware, malware, or viruses. Linux is generally far less vulnerable to such attacks. As for server reboots, they’re only necessary if the kernel is updated. It is not out of the ordinary for a Linux server to go years without being rebooted. If you follow the regular recommended updates, stability and dependability are practically assured.

Open source
Linux is also distributed under an open source license. Open source follows these key tenets:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
These points are crucial to understanding the community that works together to create the Linux platform. Without a doubt, Linux is an operating system that is “by the people, for the people”. These tenets are also a main factor in why many people choose Linux. It’s about freedom and freedom of use and freedom of choice.

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