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calimer 10-27-2003 10:18 AM

What is the best filesystem? (mainly xfs vs ext3)
I've been reading a bunch of articles about linux filesystems and it seems that as far as speed xfs is one of, if not, the top linux filesystem. I was wondering is it more reliable and easier to recover from a crash using ext3? Also, does ext3 have any benifits over xfs? I believe they are both journaling filesystems so I know that helps with crash recovery. In addition, I was wondering, can you read fat32 and ntfs if using a xfs filesystem? I'm thinking about reformating my linux with xfs filesystems so any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
PS any other pros and cons of other linux filesystems are more than welcome.

kasperhans 10-27-2003 10:37 AM

im using reiserfs and think its a pretty good one have you ever thought about it?

calimer 10-27-2003 10:59 AM

I have, but it seems like there has been more positive to say about xfs. Can you give me more feedback than that on reiser? I'm very interested in it. My main reason for moving away from ext3 is because it does seem to go quite slow. I don't want to compromise reliability or crash recovery though. Thanks for the post.

Genesee 10-27-2003 11:38 AM

Linux: Journaling Filesystem Shootout

Mike Benoit recently posted a link to results from his new and improved file system shootout, using better hardware and running more tests. Using two benchmarks that are designed to measure hard drive and file system performance, Bonnie++ and IOZone, he's compared a number journaling filesystems found in the 2.6 kernel [forum]. Included in the lineup are EXT2 (not journaling, but an effective baseline [story]), JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, Reiser4, and EXT3 each compared head to head on both SCSI and IDE drives.


markus1982 10-27-2003 02:46 PM

I'm using ext3 mainly and ReiserFS for /tmp and /var/tmp as you can check at this part of my website.

calimer 10-28-2003 10:15 AM

Can you read ntfs and fat32 when using xfs?

alacos 10-28-2003 11:21 AM

calimer asked:

"Also, does ext3 have any benifits over xfs?"

Yes, one in particular: PartitionMagic -- which is a very useful (though somewhat expensive) program for creating/moving/resizing (etc) partitions -- can currently deal with Linux ext3 partitions but not with xfs.

calimer 10-28-2003 11:33 AM

Personally I feel that partition magic is overrated. I did setup my linux partitions, and windows partitions too for that matter, with partition magic. My fat32 filesystems, especially my main "c drive" has been failing lately. Partition magic is unable to repair, won't even give me the option actually. I've had problems with failing partitions before with partition magic as well. Also, several times when shrinking a partition, partition magic has filled some of my txt files with random code. Being a writer I jot down quick thoughts and ideas into txt files I have, so them being overwritten could of cost me dearly if I didn't have the proper backups. When it comes to creating xfs filesystems, can't I just use diskdruid or whatever comes with mandrake (my OS of choice). Also, can't I just overwrite the ext3 filesystems with xfs? I'm not sure exactly how to go about it but that's how I'm thinking it would go down. Thank you for your info.
PS does ext3 have any other advantages over xfs? from what I've been reading xfs really seems like the way to go.

Robert0380 10-28-2003 12:24 PM

partition magic is not needed to resize and re-partition. resierfs has tools that do it and im sure the others have the same tools. no need to buy a commercial product for that.

to pick the best file system, it depends on your needs. the article that Genesee basically says just that. It depends on what u are looking for. He says that for pure speed, use Reiser. i use reiser and ext3 (resier for / and ext3 for /boot) and to be honest, i cant tell the difference between any of the file systems i've ever used except for ext2 vs. any journaling file system. i dont pay attention to hundreds of miliseconds and i dont do a lot of drive-intensive stuff.

Fascistchicken 10-28-2003 01:32 PM

you can't read fat32 or ntfs with any other file system than that which they are, ntfs and fat32. as for any filesystem, you would use their relevent programs to read them regardless of what kind of filesystem the programs were stored on

calimer 10-28-2003 02:54 PM

Whoops, sorry for my ignorance about filesystems being able to read other filesystems. I thought that there was something special with ext3 where it made it easier to swap files with a fat32 but I guess as long as I'm on mandrake I can do it (or any other linux OS that supports it). To be clear on why I am thinking of converting from ext3 to xfs, it is mostly because I want improved speed. My linux seems to run slower than windows. I have seen posts of people mentioning that ext3 is "slow" and I thought that might be one of the problems. I anxiously want to get rid of windows altogether but until I can get starcraft to a playable speed then that's not going to happen unfortunately. My computer is a 350 amd k-6 so it is a slow machine but still, I don't know why linux is running slower than windows. I don't want to sacrifice reliablity though. I will be getting a new computer soon however, but I still need as much speed as I can get since I will be doing gaming and game design. Thank you for the information you have all given me, it's greatly appreciated.

Fascistchicken 10-28-2003 04:06 PM

i would think installing less options or using a distribution more aimed at speed would be your best bet.
i don't think the difference in speed would all that dramatic between the file systems. mostly i think only it matters for web servers or other applications that use the hard disk a lot
the biggest slowdowns i see are gnome and kde

davecs 10-28-2003 05:40 PM

I understand that the only advantage of ext3 is that it is just ext2 without the journalling and it is possible to convert one to the other. So an older kernel may be able to manage it.

I use Reiserfs3.6 for no particular reason, other than Mandy9.1 uses it, but I understand that versions earlier than 3.6 should be avoided.


calimer 10-29-2003 06:24 PM

Thank you for all the information, it has helped me a lot. In response to "Fascistchicken" thanks for the headsup about KDE and Gnome. I'm trying IceWM and it seems to go much faster than gnome and KDE. It doesn't seem to play nicely with konqueror but I'm hoping to fix that. Do you have any other desktop environments that you recommend? Thank you for your time.

davecs 10-30-2003 03:15 PM

KDE and GNOME may be memory-hungry, but then you'd probably need 512Mb to run Windows XP. KDE is the worst in this respect but should run OK with 256Mb. I have effectively 224Mb (due to 32Mb onboard graphics) and KDE is no trouble at all.


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