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Hello Zetec. The strange thing is I just logged in with the intention of asking that question. To my surprise there it was at the top! . I recently installed Puppy Linux 2.00 to a freshly formatted ext3 partition. The system seems to work fine. But if anyone knows what the difference between ext2 and ext3 is I would be interested to find out. In particular, are there any reasons not to install a distribution to an ext3 partition? Thanks.
You not really have to even consider ext2. It is just as bad as FAT32. Ext3 is the successor of ext2 and provides provides journaling. ReiserFS is, in my experience faster than ext3 and it is the one I use. It is also the default of many distros, including Slackware.
Currently my ubuntu tester boxes are ext3, ill make sure in teh future to use ReiserFS.
Don't decide too fast. For instance, I think Reiser is a junk filesystem and should used only in very special cases when effective storage of small files is paramount. Ext3 and XFS are far superior for generic purposes.
My pleasure Zetec . Oh yes, I love Wikipedia. I spend a great amount of time reading random things on there, so be careful to do not get addict to Wikipedia as I do ^_^.
On a side note, I remember older versions of Redhat (early Fedora too?) not supporting ReiserFS. That means that if one day you wanted to have a shared partition with Redhat when using ReiserFS, you couldn't. ext3 was supported in virtually every other distribution I've tried though.
Now, this is an old note. Maybe Fedora does support ReiserFS today (someone please confirm this).
Another thing that I'm not sure is whetter or not Windows can read a ReiserFS partition, while I know it can read ext2/ext3 partitions by using tools like explore2fs. Anyway, I never needed to read/write from a ext2/ext3/reiserfs from Windows anyway, but maybe there are other tools for that flying around the net ^_^;;
I would recommend using ext3 for your /boot partition. I saw a web page once comparing the different filesystems and running benchmarks. For servers with large databases or large video files, I think that XFS, JFS and Reiserfs were recommended. JFS put less of a load on the processor. However, JFS may not be supported anymore. For desktop use, where you shut down and start up a lot, ext3 and Reiserfs were recommended. Also, with ext3 and reiserfs, you can use ACLs. The bench marks were mixed. One was better at retrieving a large number of small files. Another was better at large files.
I use ext2 for /boot as it's one of the older filesystems and should you run into trouble, just about any bootloader is going to be able to read it and boot from it. I'm an ext3 user because I've just seen too many reiserfs horror stories to trust it with my stuff.
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian, Various using VMWare
The default for most distros is ext3. Ext3 is the same as Ext2, but with journalling, which reduces the chances of file system corruption in the event of a power failure (or other catestrophic event). Ext3 is a good general purpose file system. There is no real reason (other than maybe boot partitions) to use ext2. I think ext3 can be mounted as ext2 ?
I use ReiserFS for my / partition, and /home. I have a separate hard drive for MythTV, which I formatted XFS, since it is good with large files. I have never had any problems with Reiser, so I think that most of the "horror stories" cs-cam refers to are from some time ago.
It certainly can, I'm just being extra careful ext3 and ext2 can be mounted as each other, tune2fs can change a partition between the two without any impact on the files at all as the only difference literally is the journal. Work has started on ext4 though, they are going to try and keep as much backwards compatibility as possible but have made no promises so far.
I have never had any problems with Reiser, so I think that most of the "horror stories" cs-cam refers to are from some time ago.
Not at all, I haven't been a linux user very long, 2 years or so. Almost everything I know, including negative stuff is just from reading this site. Search for reiserfs corruption and similar and threads crop up monthly if not more often. Not saying it's a bad filesystem, most problems are probably the users fault it's just that I see far more threads from people losing reiserfs partitions than ext3 or even XFS or JFS.
Check out this page for benchmark results. I ran my own set of independent benchmarks on a more powerful machine at work (dual Xeon, 2 GB RAM, 2 x 250 GB hard drives in a RAID-0) and got roughly similar results. To be honest, though, unless you're doing heavy duty I/O you're not likely to notice much of a difference between filesystems (and all have pros and cons for heavy duty work, e.g. Resier works well with handling many files in one directory efficiently).
Also, bear in mind that stability and integration are important and since many distros don't offer anything but Ext3 many people use it. Really, for standard desktop usage, though, anything journalled will do fine.