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rock_wrench05 07-12-2005 01:04 PM

File System Choice for Debian Newbie
Hello once again for like the 5th time today. Will be installing the new GNU/Debian 3.1 Sarge once I receive the official DVDs from the vendor that I ordered them from. Just reading thru the linux sites and forums prepping myself for the anticipated long and drawn out installation which should be fun.

One of the options that I have noticed and been noticing in different linux distros is the choice of file systerms. On the distrowatch website it lists 3.1 Sarge as having the choice between 4 filesystems (ext3, JFS, ReiserFS, and XFS). What are the differences between the 4 and which one is considered the best choice?

Thanks in advance!

titanium_geek 07-12-2005 01:14 PM

both my debian and slack sorta pushed me in the reiserfs direction. ext3 is still a fairly decent choice as well. (what I mean is: they basically said: you can have any color you want, as long as it's black. well, they didn't force me into it, but it was the default) my root partitions are reiser, my other are ext3

filesystem shouldn't cause you headaches, especially if you are a newbie.


nadroj 07-12-2005 01:22 PM

check out this site for brief info about the most popular filesystems. i think reiser is the most popular one, or becoming the most popular.
when i install a distro i usually pick this one, but usually never really think about it.. as for the average user they all will seem equal. and for those who think it is a huge deal, they will probably already know everything about each one and know which one is best for their situation.
check out the links to the sites for each FS too, which are on the above link.

sminot 07-12-2005 01:22 PM

ext3 shouldn't give you any problems, I'd go with that if I were you.

michaelk 07-12-2005 01:38 PM

It depends on what you do with the PC. In general reiserfs is better with lots of smaller files, xfs is better with lots of larger files. With the average user it really doesn't matter IMO.

There are some better links but I can not find them at the moment.

Of course you can always google yourself for more info.

ctkroeker 07-12-2005 01:48 PM

ext2 for /boot and ReiserS for the rest of the partitions, e.g.: /root, /var, etc.

rock_wrench05 07-13-2005 03:40 AM

Hey thanks guys for the information and links. Appreciate all the help I am getting in this forum.

bp12345 07-13-2005 06:22 AM

I use Ext3, and there is a free program to let you read Ext2/Ext3 partitions from windows.
I think there is also more compatibility with older systems with Ext2/3. Some commercial partitioning software (Partition Magic, for example) can recognise, make, delete and resixe Ext2/3.

vees 07-13-2005 08:21 AM

having tried ext2, ext3 and ReiserFS I definitely would reccommend ReiserFS which I found very stable and which recovers really fast and effetively after a power failure (much faster and much better than ext3). I now use only ReiserFS for everything but the swap.



Artik 07-13-2005 08:33 AM

Important differences:
  • Ext3 are limited in file size up to 2GB. It is not important untill you start working with some movies. So be aware of it if you planing to use BIG files.
  • Ext3 can be browsed from Windows with ExploreFS. You can't get an access from Windows to XFS,JFS or ReiserFS
  • XFS, JFS, ReiserFS usually have better berfomance over ext3 according to benchmarks.

bp12345 07-17-2005 12:17 PM

Actually, I just found out that there is a tool to browse reiserfs partitions from windows. I use both reiserfs and ext3 and find reiserfs faster, too. It is nice to be able to browse reiserfs partitions from windows, too (Not that i use windows much anymore).

towjamb 07-18-2005 03:00 PM


Ext3 are limited in file size up to 2GB. It is not important untill you start working with some movies. So be aware of it if you planing to use BIG files.
I have several files on my ext3 drive that exceed 2GB. I've never encountered such a barrier.

Actually, it's due to Large File Support (LFS), which was included in Woody some time ago.

Under LFS, ext2/3 filesystems with 1KB blocksize, the file size limit is 16GB, and the 4KB blocksize limit is 2TB. For comparison sake, Reiser 3.6 limit is 1 EB, and JFS and XFS are both 8EB.

Artik 07-18-2005 05:15 PM


it seems to me that I have to update my knowlage ;)

The information above I've recieved from different articles that were talking about 2GB limit in Ext3.
Is LFS enabled by default in Sarge?
Once I've tryed to create large file on Ex3 (in FC3 I think) and it failed at 2GB limit...

Thanks about the information about ResierFS also...

Sorry for wrong information

juanjavier_xxx 07-27-2005 03:17 AM


Originally posted by sminot
ext3 shouldn't give you any problems, I'd go with that if I were you.
I agree with sminot. I have got ext3 on my machine really flawless. But on the other side I have to admit I haven't tested the others.....

Greetings,:) :)

Juan Javier

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