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What's the best filesystem for a 60GiB external usb 2.0 hard drive? It's a good thing to have a journal fs on this kind of drive? I use linux exclusively and my priority is to avoid data corruption because I use it for backups. I have 2-15GiB files, mainly. Thanks.
I recommend ext2 for backup file systems. You don't need journaling because if a backup fails you will simply start the backup over again from the beginning. A journaled file system runs a little slower than a non-journeled file system.
Thanks jailbait, so ext2 is a good option. Ok, journaling isn't needed, but a journaled fs doesn't hurt? I ask it because I searched the web and everybody seems to be using a journaled fs like ext3 or reiserfs for similar purposes. Is there a reason for that or just they're wrong?
It is a matter of tradeoffs. A journeling file system runs a little slower and takes up a little more space than a non-journeling file system. When you crash a journeling file system will recover quicker than a non-journeling file system. So for most uses I prefer a journeling file system.
However if you happen to crash during a backup you are not going to try to recover the screwed up backup. You are going to run the backup over again from the beginning. The journel is of not much use on a backup file system. So I recommend saving some time and space by using ext2 on a file system which will be used only for backups.
Distribution: Ubuntu, Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora, Red Hat, Puppy Linux
The space and speed of ext2 vs ext3 for a backup drive is inconsequential. I would use ext3, especially if the backups are to be updated or are archives with changed and new files being added on a regular basis. I would hate to have a backup which I have relied on fail when I need it and the journaling used in ext3 gives me a bit more security.