File systems

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viking60
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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:

ext4

Pro:

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.
Con:

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

XFS

Pro:

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

Con:

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).

JFS

Pro:

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

used and supported by virtually no-one, except IBM

ReiserFS

Pro:

fast with small files
very space efficient
stable and mature
Con:

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

Reiser 4

Pro:

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.

Con:

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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R_Head
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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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viking60
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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.
Manjaro 64bit on the main box -Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz and nVidia Corporation GT200b [GeForce GTX 275] (rev a1. + Centos on the server - Arch on the laptop.
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dedanna1029
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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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