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Old 12-11-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 82

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Which Filesystem Is Best Suited for Webserver?


I was wondering if anyone has an opinion or an article with regard to which filesystems are better suited for a system that runs a web server/web application along with a database? The web server does not server large files by the way.

Old 12-11-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: England Somewhere
Distribution: Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Karoshi, Suse, Redhat, Ubuntu
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Trying my best to aid there are a few of the main FS's first like ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, ext3

For me it goes something as follows if my memory serves me correctly its something like:-
ReiserFS - good for small files
XFS - good for large files
ext3 - middle of the range type of thing
JFS - can't remember much about.

The other thing to metion is they can all handle different options when you come to mounting the FS partition, some of these options are quite advanced but you may find them ueful. I'd sugest looking at wikipeiea to be honest thats where i read up on loads of different FS's and its got really good information there. Then i checked out various peoples bentch marking tests on filessystems for things like handling lots of files, handleing small files, handeling lots of writes handleing lots of deltes all sorts of different aspects can be catered for by different FSs in different ways.

Is it a really high end webserver or just a random play toy... if its just a play toy then i'd be not worried about the FS i choose. High grade well then your asking the right questions.

But 100% browse wikipedia, just search for any of the filesystems i've noted above and you will be able to drill down onto a table that contains at least a 100 different kinds of FS and give you all the informtion under the sun about each plus a lot of extra info under each heading.

I was there once.... ENJOY :-)


ps- this is a good start i'm sure somewhere on there they have a table talking about all different features etc of FSs. If you find it please post it up i'd actually be interested to see that again

Last edited by helptonewbie; 12-11-2008 at 04:34 PM.
Old 12-11-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 82

Original Poster
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The majority of file systems do not support a "costly" data journaling by default, unless you enable it by passing an option (i.e. editing /etc/fstab). ext3 uses metadata journal as default, so do Reiserfs v3, FJS, and XFS. Reiserfs does ofer block journal ("data=journal") but not JFS and XFS. Reserfs V4, however, by default utilize block journal (write data ones) but does not have meta journal -- speed (meta journal) vs. block journal (data journal). ext3 has three mode of operation: 1) ordered which is metadata journaling by pushing data to disk ahead of metadata, 2) writeback which is doing metadata journaling ONLY, 3) and finally, performing both these operations which slows down the overall file system operations.

I am pretty positive that ReiserFS and ext3 support shrinking but not too sure about XFS. If mounting is an issue for the intent of the system, then ReiserFS is usually at the bottom of the numbers (very slow). Nonetheless, when it comes to average file size being large, in majority of operations, XFS outperforms other file systems. ext3 appears to be a "all kind of possible" file system while Reiserfs appears to be work well with "finding" the files. XFS, of course, blazes with large files, i.e. media files, and gears toward large server clusters. JFS, I think is mostly suited for large-scale servers that run database, for instance, and performs a bit faster compare to XFS.

The majority of the benchmarks I've looked into, they tend not to use a realistic scenario and pander to some ad hoc set of operations of i.e. create 10,000 files and re-copy them 5 times, as opposed to say receiving 100,000 mails and recover perhaps a percentage of them while the system is inadvertently running 50 other threads and processes performing other tasks (or even multiple concurrent operation of read and write). Or perhaps they could test the file systems' reliability during the power outage see how fast and comprehensively they can recover the data. Frankly, when I review most of these benchmarks, my head gets dizzy because there are so many discrepancies among various testing environments, parameters, or lack of ascribing specific commands used to run the tests that one cannot possibly make his/her mind as to which file system is more suitable to his/her needs.

"#4 Linux filesystem benchmark 2008/2,"


"#1 Linux filesystem benchmark 2008/1,"

"Filesystem contest,"

"Filesystems (ext3, reiser, xfs, jfs) comparison on Debian Etch,"

"File system references," a good number of articles with regard to file systems' benchmark, description, and features:

He also has several note worthy benchmarks,

"Benchmarking Filesystems Part II," this is apparently an article that has been commented and referenced by large:


"Comparaison des systèmes de fichier ReiserFS, Ext3, Jfs et Xfs", (Comparison of file systems ReiserFS, Ext3, JFS and XFS) -- mostly with regard to CPU utilization,

"First benchmarks of the ext4 file system,"

Some of benchmarking suites:

- Bonnie++,
- IOZone,

At this point, I am more gravitated toward either JFS or Reiserfs. The latest Slackware release has a support for V3 (3.6) as I have seen some promising results for Reiserfs v4.

Last edited by oxblood; 12-13-2008 at 07:58 AM.


filesystem, webserver

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