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Old 03-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #1
linus72
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Partition type for file storage?FAT32/EXT3?


What partition type is the best for generic file storage, including text files, .iso's, pictures, etc.?
I am using FAT32 right now but noticed that when I tried to put a DVD .iso of 4+GB that it said error-file too large-and I had plenty of space on the partition.Does EXT3 have a similar limitation?
Thanks!
 
Old 03-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
Matey
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I am not so sure sorry for replying but I know I saw the same error while using Internet Explorer, it would not allow me download an ISO image of Ubuntu server?(it was just a bit over 4 GB)
I Had to use FireFox and it worked!

Generally speaking though the way diff. systems divide the sectors on the hard drive is the case, FAT32 I think slices each section into 32 KB? but Linux EXT3 in 4 KBs?
Not sure about the exact numbers (I forgot) but FAT32 has a 4 GB limit and to understand that I make an example;
Let's say you have a file that is 50 KB you 'd have to use 3 sections of FAT32 which is 72 KB rather than using 13 of Linux which is 52 KB , you save 20 Kb in one small file. that is basically how it works, just an idea my jargon language is not very good.
 
Old 03-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
What partition type is the best for generic file storage, including text files, .iso's, pictures, etc.?
I am using FAT32 right now but noticed that when I tried to put a DVD .iso of 4+GB that it said error-file too large-and I had plenty of space on the partition.Does EXT3 have a similar limitation?
Thanks!
Do you need to share the filesystem with Winbloze? If so, FAT32 is really the only 100% safe choice.

If you don't need to share it with Winbloze, then you should definitely use one of the Linux filesystems. EXT3 is fine, super reliable when set up correctly, but slow.

If you don't update the filesystem very much, you can use EXT2 which will run faster than EXT3. If you have crappy power or lose your system once in a while, you can lose data with EXT2 because it is not a journaling filesystem.

You have some newer, high performance choices. JFS and XFS both journal metadata (individual files can get fried during a crash or power failure but the filesystem itself should not be damaged).

I would personally choose among the ones I mentioned, depending on how volatile it is and how much performance you need.

All the ones I mentioned have limits much higher than 4GB.
 
Old 03-12-2009, 01:05 PM   #4
linus72
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Could you further elaborate on the speed of EXT3?
EXT3 has faster file transfer than FAT32?
My PC is Linux only-I just heard that FAT32 was the best choice for storage of various filetypes-I don't know if this is true or not?
 
Old 03-12-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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Hi Linus,

FAT32 is a Windows filesytem. It is only supported on Linux because of compatibility reasons, not because it's a good filesystem. If you are only talking about Linux, you should use a modern filesystem that was written for or ported to Linux like the ones I mentioned.

EXT2 is faster than EXT3. EXT3 has extra processing involved to make sure you don't lose data- it writes your data first to a journal (alternate file) and then to your file. If you crash in the middle or lose power, when you bring the system up again the system will read back your updates from the journal and write them to your file. This makes it a lot more reliable than EXT2, but of course you have a performance penalty.

I don't know if EXT3 is faster than FAT32, but it is not a fair comparison because EXT3 journals and FAT32 doesn't. Because of FAT32's other disadvantages, it's not in the game with modern filesystems and really should not be used except when compatability with Winbloze is a requirement.

Filesystem choice is a religious decision for many people. Each filesystem has its plusses and minuses. If there was one best one, everybody would use it and that would be the end of the discussion.

I don't think you will go wrong if you use any modern journaling filesystem (for example EXT3, JFS, XFS). There are others, but these are the ones I have experience with on Linux. EXT3 does not provide the highest possible level of recovery as a default though. You will have to issue a few commands to get it to do data consistency if you want that feature. I'm sure this information is very confusing and I apologize. But it's a complicated topic and if you don't know all the issues it's safest to go with one of the proven choices like we talked about here.

Last edited by Randux; 03-12-2009 at 01:34 PM.
 
Old 03-12-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
linus72
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Your the Man!
Alright, I'm gonna use EXT3 for now-Here's my new partiton scheme...I'm gonna now install SourceMage-0.10.0, Lunar-1.6.4, and Gentoo-2008CD, and reinstall Debian Lenny-as I keep getting a "kernel-failure" error when I get to the desktop. Nothing acts different-but a kernel failure is probably a bad thing!
Code:
SDA-1=Slackware-12.2(27GB)
SDA-2=Ubuntu-SE-8.04(16GB)
SDA-3=SuperUbuntu-8.10(41GB)
SDA-4=Extended (65GB)
SDA-5=Lunar-1.6.4(10.5GB)
SDA-6=Gentoo2008(15GB)
SDA-7=SourceMage-0.10.0(10GB)
SDA-8=Debian-Lenny(11GB)
SDA-9=Swap(2.21GB)
SDA-10=EXT3-File-Storage(17.5GB)
Does that look OK?
 
Old 03-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
Randux
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Well you have a pretty cool multiboot in the making! Remember you have to choose filesystems for each of your Linux distros as well.

I would personally carve up the space within each distro as well but if you are going to multiboot a lot of OS just to test and learn about each one, it's probably ok like you have it.

You can use one /tmp for all the distros, if you wanted to.
 
Old 03-12-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
linus72
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Actually I just did the partitioning and couldn't boot back into any OS, grub error 15 or such...no matter-the trusty boot-floppy is there!
I also have a USB with the Slackware kernel and initrd so i can boot back into Slack if all else fails.
Actually I have about 100 distro's on CD/DVD-and alot of them are "sys-rescue" types.
hopefully I can get Lunar and sourceMage configured today-we'll see...
 
Old 03-12-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
Randux
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Looks like you have the right attitude....experiment and have fun, and don't let the occaisional pitfall stop you!
 
Old 03-12-2009, 02:17 PM   #10
linus72
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Hell yeah-This baby's(PC) a test-bed-read my earlier posts-Soon it'll probably blow up-so I'll lose the $20 I paid for this HP, and the $20 I spent on the 512MB Kingston RAM-maybe.
What about the kernel failure with Debian-what's that about?
 
Old 03-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #11
Randux
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Hard to say without knowing the error message and exactly what happened.

Thanks for the thanks btw!
 
  


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