Disk partition sizes and uses

Adam Hawes adamh at adpro.com.au
Mon May 8 07:21:17 CST 2006

> ext3 came out on top for everything except speed.
> reiserfs came out on the bottom for reliability, but was fastest.
> xfs and jfs were good all round but had a range of issues related to
> reset button testing ;)

I'm interested in your findings.  I agree Ext3 is slow as an old tired dog, and it is reasonably mature.  ReiserFS 3 is fairly mature now and I haven't seen it lose any data.  That said, I don't use it anymore because XFS works better for me (handling mostly very large files).

My XFS filesystem handles the reset button test just fine.  I haven't lost any data from it in over 2 years and I have seen the machines it's been in go down for so many reasons (lightning, power outages, hardware failure, wandering fingers, etc).

Filesystem choice depends on the use of the filesystem.

Ext3 is good for a general home directory filesystem with many and varied files, and where speed and reliability aren't paramount.  It's pretty slow for most things.

XFS and JFS are designed to handle very large files like databases (and by extension, video) more efficiently.  XFS comes with online (actually you can't do it offline) resizing so it's easy to throw more disks into a LVM without downtime cluster if it gets full up.  Just throw in a few more hotplug scsi or USB2 disks!

To quote the ReiserFS webpage:

"as a result we don't get bug reports for the current mainstream kernel version.  It shipped before the other journalling filesystems for Linux, and is the most stable of them as a result of having been out the longest."

If you buy the marketing hype, being around longest means you're most stable... therefore Windows should be more stable than Linux because Windows has been around longer!  Anywho, ReiserFS is mostly stable in V3.  V4 is still in the "toy" phase with lots of cool features being implemented.

There's a lot of good webpages out there, and anybody who has a choice in the filesystems for their new server is advised to go and read up because it's really a matter of choosing the right tool for the right job!


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