which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

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which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Jimmy Wu-4
Hello,

I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.
 I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
conflicting advice.  For example, an article from
debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  But other
sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
crash/power outage than the other file systems.  Then, people disagree
on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.

In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
simple true/false is enough for most of them).
So, here goes:

(1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.

(2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
extended if needed.

(3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
intensive for smaller file systems.

(4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.

(5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.

(6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
in the middle.

(7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance

(8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?

That's all I have for now.

Thanks in advance for your help
Jimmy
--
Registered Linux User #454138


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Damon Chesser
Jimmy Wu wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
> install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.
>  I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
> conflicting advice.  For example, an article from
> debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  But other
> sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
> crash/power outage than the other file systems.  Then, people disagree
> on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.
>
> In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
> the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
> simple true/false is enough for most of them).
> So, here goes:
>
> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.
>
> (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
> extended if needed.
>
> (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
> intensive for smaller file systems.
>
> (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.
>
> (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.
>
> (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
> most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
> in the middle.
>
> (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance
>
> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
>
> That's all I have for now.
>
> Thanks in advance for your help
> Jimmy
> --
> Registered Linux User #454138
>
>
>  
This question is very close to "what is the best religion for me?"  
However, I will try to answer it and avoid going into religion.  Use
ext3 and be done with it.  Tried, true good rescue tools if you need
them (I never have).  IF you need the other fs, you would know it.  Your
"killer app" would tell you to use fs $X.  For a home user, ext3 just
works.

If any other is a "better" performer and that bothers you, perhaps you
might want to run Gentoo so you can "optimize" your kernel to save
time.  I am not trying to be a smart alec, just saying with all the time
you might save, over the course of a year, you MIGHT be able to drink a
beer.  As far as I know, all major distros default to ext3.  the rest
are mostly for special purpose, ie, you run the data base Foo and they
say to set up a raid 1 with a fs of JFS.

I am not aware of any advantage over ext2 vs ext3 on /boot.

as for ReiserFS, I would not put anything into it in light of Mr.
Reiser's troubles.  I do not know the future of it.

Now I will read the rebuttals and learn!

HTH!

P.S  If you want to know the best religion contact me off list  
(joking!, please don't!)

--
Damon L. Chesser
[hidden email]



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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Hugo Vanwoerkom
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wu-4
Jimmy Wu wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
> install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.
>  I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
> conflicting advice.  For example, an article from
> debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  But other
> sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
> crash/power outage than the other file systems.  Then, people disagree
> on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.
>
> In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
> the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
> simple true/false is enough for most of them).
> So, here goes:
>
> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.
>
> (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
> extended if needed.
>
> (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
> intensive for smaller file systems.
>
> (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.
>
> (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.
>
> (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
> most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
> in the middle.
>
> (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance
>
> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
>
> That's all I have for now.
>
> Thanks in advance for your help
> Jimmy
> --
> Registered Linux User #454138
>
>

ext2. Never have used any other.

Hugo


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

David Palmer-3
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wu-4
Jimmy Wu wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
> install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.

Hello Jimmy,

I have found:

Xfs is best for large file sizes, if that's what you are dealing with -
graphics, and the ilk;

Reiserfs is best for smaller file sizes;

Ext3 is best if you are dealing with a mixture of both and has the added
security factor of defaulting to Ext2 if it fails. Although I have never
had reason to find out.
Regards,

--
David Palmer
Linux User - #352034


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question:

Alvin Oga
In reply to this post by Hugo Vanwoerkom

hi ya

> Hugo Vanwoerkom wrote:
>
> Jimmy Wu wrote:
> > (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.

any journally fs will be "slower" than non-journaling fs ( ext2, dos, etc )

> > (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
> > extended if needed.

i would tar up the current data and backup to dvd etc before "blowing it up"
to extend the current fs into something bigger or smaller
        - thus the "growing/shrinking" feature is not an issue for my needs

> > (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
> > intensive for smaller file systems.

any journalling fs degrades as the fs gets larger

some degrades faster than others

-------

formatting issues ...

- journaling FS can format 1Terabyte in a flash

- ext2 will take forever ( over a day or more )

- it will/might take forever ( over a day or more ) to format 500MB or 1 terabyte fs or larger

- it will take forever ( even longer ) to restore the 1 terabyte of data

- "times" are based on past experience for say P4-2Ghz w/ 1GB of memory or equivalent

> > (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.

all journaling fs is "flaky" for system crash...
        - some can recover .. some cannot

        - you probably can't easily recreate the failure mode ( defective fs internals )
        on different fs

> > (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.

maybe .. maybe not

> > (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance,

for performance and comparisons

        http://linux-sec.net/FS/#FS

> ext3 offers the most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash,
> and JFS is in the middle.

depends on the defect of the crash

> > (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance

duh ... :-) .. sorry couldn't resist

and it will also confuse the admins when working on different servers, pcs

> > (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?

no to either
        /boot should not be a single partition by itself..
        it is part of /bin, /lib, /sbin /etc ... which is the rootfs

        even if /boot is fine, if your "rootfs" is corrupt, you can't boot
        so there is no point to separating /boot ... we'll leave network boot,
        boooting off cd, and booting off usb stick for another ballgame

c ya
alvin


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Allan Wind
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wu-4
On 2008-01-18T16:11:17-0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.

I use ext3 on same hardware, and (clean) mounts do not take any
significant time:

[   19.209034] EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
[   19.209039] VFS: Mounted root (ext3 filesystem) readonly.

[   22.708260] EXT3 FS on sda1, internal journal
[   22.711688] usb 1-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice

The entire boot process takes about a minute.

> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?

No.


/Allan


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question:

Allan Wind
In reply to this post by Alvin Oga
On 2008-01-18T14:05:25-0800, Alvin Oga wrote:
> > > (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
>
> no to either
> /boot should not be a single partition by itself..
> it is part of /bin, /lib, /sbin /etc ... which is the rootfs
>
> even if /boot is fine, if your "rootfs" is corrupt, you can't boot
> so there is no point to separating /boot ... we'll leave network boot,
> boooting off cd, and booting off usb stick for another ballgame

Your analysis is correct.  The only reason for having /boot on a
separate partition is as a work-around for the (historical) 1024
cylinders / 504 MB limits of IDE.


/Allan


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question:

Daniel Dickinson-5
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 17:32:25 -0500
Allan Wind <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2008-01-18T14:05:25-0800, Alvin Oga wrote:
> > > > (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than
> > > > ext3?
> >
> > no to either
> > /boot should not be a single partition by itself..
> > it is part of /bin, /lib, /sbin /etc ... which is the rootfs
> >
> > even if /boot is fine, if your "rootfs" is corrupt, you
> > can't boot so there is no point to separating /boot ... we'll leave
> > network boot, boooting off cd, and booting off usb stick for
> > another ballgame
>
> Your analysis is correct.  The only reason for having /boot on a
> separate partition is as a work-around for the (historical) 1024
> cylinders / 504 MB limits of IDE.
Actually it is still useful for cases where the root file system is not
available until the initrd does it's magic, such as in the case of an
encryped LVM volume with everything except /boot.

Regards,

Daniel

--
And that's my crabbing done for the day.  Got it out of the way early,
now I have the rest of the afternoon to sniff fragrant tea-roses or
strangle cute bunnies or something.   -- Michael Devore
GnuPG Key Fingerprint 86 F5 81 A5 D4 2E 1F 1C      http://gnupg.org
No more sea shells:  Daniel's Weblog    http://cshore.wordpress.com

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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Александър Л. Димитров
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wu-4
Quoth Jimmy Wu:
>  I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
> conflicting advice.  

That's because file systems are Voodoo. Everyone wants to take part in the
discussion, without anyone really understanding what they're talking about.

> For example, an article from
> debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  

What would you need FS-performance for? You're not going to host a data base, are
you? If it's a personal laptop then performance differences between modern file
systems won't be noticable at all. Don't mind those benchmarks, that's all
hogwash. Yeah Reiser performs well in some benchmarks, but I've never noticed
_any_ difference, instead that takes an awful amount of time to mount it after
an unclean unmount.

> But other
> sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
> crash/power outage than the other file systems.  

That is correct, and a reason to avoid it.

> Then, people disagree on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.

Then again, those people would even disagree on the current local weather.

> In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
> the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
> simple true/false is enough for most of them).
> So, here goes:
>
> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.

If you're fighting for seconds and nanoseconds... perhaps. I suggest you stop
minding the seconds, though, it's of no good use. When do you need to mount that
thing except at boot time? Right, never. And when do you boot? Right, you got a
laptop with suspend/resume... my laptop's uptimes frequently make it from one minor
kernel revision to the other.

> (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
> extended if needed.

Why would you want to modify your laptop's partition table? Your better off not
to misuse and abuse that small disk anyways, they tend to have rather short life
spans.

> (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
> intensive for smaller file systems.

Sure. But who the hell uses JFS on a laptop?

> (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.

Yes, it _will_ be flaky. I've never lost actual data, but that was due to
caution and backups.

> (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.

Arguably, yes. My /var is still Reiser, too.

> (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
> most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
> in the middle.

And what of all do you need? Right, data integrity. Firefox won't load faster if
you're on Reiser4 or Reiser3. It will just be the same. On a laptop, you don't
want to lose data, because you're not likely to make backups that often (imagine
when you're away for two weeks, on the road with just your laptop).
>
> (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance

Yes. And there's no need mixing fs' on a laptop, either.
>
> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?

There is no advantage in using /boot altogether.

Really, use ext3 for /home and choose freely for the other stuff. You're free to
experiment, but don't experiment with your personal data. Nothing but
_HEADACHE_, pure old brain-torturing headache will come from losing personal
data.

Aleks

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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Александър Л. Димитров
In reply to this post by Hugo Vanwoerkom
Quoth Hugo Vanwoerkom:
>
> ext2. Never have used any other.

I seriously hope that this was a joke...

Aleks

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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question:

Andrew Sackville-West
In reply to this post by Allan Wind
On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 05:32:25PM -0500, Allan Wind wrote:

> On 2008-01-18T14:05:25-0800, Alvin Oga wrote:
> > > > (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
> >
> > no to either
> > /boot should not be a single partition by itself..
> > it is part of /bin, /lib, /sbin /etc ... which is the rootfs
> >
> > even if /boot is fine, if your "rootfs" is corrupt, you can't boot
> > so there is no point to separating /boot ... we'll leave network boot,
> > boooting off cd, and booting off usb stick for another ballgame
>
> Your analysis is correct.  The only reason for having /boot on a
> separate partition is as a work-around for the (historical) 1024
> cylinders / 504 MB limits of IDE.
just out of curiosity, what about the option of mounting /boot as
read-only? I suppose some of that can be done with file permissions,
but having to go through a remount of /boot before mucking about
there, is probably a good thing.

A

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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Jimmy Wu-4
In reply to this post by Александър Л. Димитров
Wow, thanks for the many quick responses.  I'm doing a "group reply"
to the list by quoting everyone in one message.  Not sure if this is
top-posting, bottom-posting, or conversational-posting, but if this
goes against mailing list etiquette, please tell me/flame me gently,
and I won't do it again.

On Jan 18, 2008 4:27 PM, Damon L. Chesser <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This question is very close to "what is the best religion for me?"

Haha, I like that :-)

> [...] Use
> ext3 and be done with it.  Tried, true good rescue tools if you need
> them (I never have).  IF you need the other fs, you would know it.  Your
> "killer app" would tell you to use fs $X.  For a home user, ext3 just
> works.

Given this and the general gist of the other responses, I am thinking
I will just go with ext3 for everything.

On Jan 18, 2008 4:31 PM, Brian McKee <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Let me throw out a few more unsubstantiated statements.....
> This is my opinion 'cause you asked for it....

I appreciate the input.

> Unless you have a real need for something special, just use ext3.
> It is the most widely used and supported, and has a good track record.
> None of the other file systems offer enough of an advantage for your
> kind of application to make them worth wandering off the main trail
> so to speak.

As stated above, I guess I will stick with ext3.

> xfs sure does copy and delete really large files faster - I do use it
> for video at home.

How big do files have to be before one starts to notice the advantages
of XFS?  I don't think, in the course of normal usage, that I will
have any really huge files aside from a few isos, with the largest
possible size being a 4GB DVD iso.  Then again, isos are usually meant
to be downloaded and burned, and possibly deleted later, not to be
copied/shuffled around on an HD, so it probably won't be worth making
an xfs partition for the isos, right?


On Jan 18, 2008 6:10 PM, Александър Л. Димитров <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What would you need FS-performance for? You're not going to host a data base, are
> you? If it's a personal laptop then performance differences between modern file
> systems won't be noticable at all. Don't mind those benchmarks, that's all
> hogwash. Yeah Reiser performs well in some benchmarks, but I've never noticed
> _any_ difference, instead that takes an awful amount of time to mount it after
> an unclean unmount.

Well, if fs performance isn't noticeable, then I'll drop that as a
criterion for choosing fs and go with ext3, which seems to be the most
reliable.

> Why would you want to modify your laptop's partition table? Your better off not
> to misuse and abuse that small disk anyways, they tend to have rather short life
> spans.

If I want to reinstall stuff, I may want to resize partitions.  I
didn't mention before that I have Windows Vista sitting in a 30 GB
partition at the beginning of the drive.  It came with the laptop, and
I shrank it down using the built-in partition editor to the smallest
size it would let me, and I don't plan on touching it unless there is
some hardware issue or I run across Windows only software at
school/work.  For such a relatively high-end laptop, Vista runs
sluggishly at best.  There is no instant, responsive feel, as opening
anything involves a slight delay.  The first time Vista starts to give
me problems, I'm going to wipe it and either shrink its partition and
replace it with XP or possibly give all the space to Debian,
repartitioning/reinstalling as necessary.  I hope my HD won't complain
about that.

> Sure. But who the hell uses JFS on a laptop?

:-) Some of the forums google turned up had people who did, and who
claimed it worked well

> > (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.
>
> Arguably, yes. My /var is still Reiser, too.

So would you advise that I do the same?  As previously stated, I am
leaning towards keeping things simple and making everything, including
/var ext3 to be consistent.

> > (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance
>
> Yes. And there's no need mixing fs' on a laptop, either.

See comment above on /var.



Thanks again to everyone who responded!

--
Jimmy
Registered Linux User #454138
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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Damon Chesser
Jimmy Wu wrote:
> Wow, thanks for the many quick responses.  I'm doing a "group reply"
> to the list by quoting everyone in one message.  Not sure if this is
> top-posting, bottom-posting, or conversational-posting, but if this
> goes against mailing list etiquette, please tell me/flame me gently,
> and I won't do it again.
>  

no, responding like you did, is by def. bottom posting.
---comment-----
   -----response------

and i just found out my left and right arrow  above the ',' and '.' keys
don't work, in fact none of my upper row keys work , zoinks.
> snip
>  

--
Damon L. Chesser
[hidden email]



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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Kent West
Damon L. Chesser wrote:

> Jimmy Wu wrote:
>> Wow, thanks for the many quick responses.  I'm doing a "group reply"
>> to the list by quoting everyone in one message.  Not sure if this is
>> top-posting, bottom-posting, or conversational-posting, but if this
>> goes against mailing list etiquette, please tell me/flame me gently,
>> and I won't do it again.
>>  
>
> no, responding like you did, is by def. bottom posting. ---comment-----
>   -----response------
>

Technically, no.

"Bottom posting" is where all the response is at the bottom of the
reply. What Jimmy did goes by various names, "interleaved posting" being
one of them.

At any rate, Jimmy used the proper method for this list.



--
Kent


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS?

Douglas A. Tutty
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wu-4
On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 04:11:17PM -0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
>
> I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
> install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.
>  I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
> conflicting advice.  For example, an article from
> debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  But other
> sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
> crash/power outage than the other file systems.  Then, people disagree
> on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.

Part of the confusion is the "religious" nature of the issue, part is
the changing nature and experience of the filesystems in question.
Here's a summary (sorry, no references):

ext2 = long-time default linux fs.  bugs have been worked out.  Inspired
by UNIX ffs (fast filesystem) with decades of history.  Note that
decades ago, drives were puny compared to today.

ext3 = ext2 + metadata(default) journaling.  Therefore slower than ext2.

Reiserfs = designed by one person who has had some kind of problems (I
haven't looked into it).  If damage occurs (e.g. unclean shutdown), may
not be able to fix the damage and loses data.

XFS = desiged by SGI for smooth data transfer of large image /
multi-media files (streaming video editing) on IRIX (their in-house
UNIX).  Great for sequential access to large files.  Origionally
propriatary for Irix, ported to Linux.  Irix is no more.  I don't know
who is following XFS to ensure problems don't arise.

JFS = designed by IBM for large databases, focus on fast checks after an
unclean shutdown to get the server back up fast.  To do that safely,
note that speed is less of an issue than for the target for XFS.  It was
origionally written for OS/2 and then ported by IBM for AIX (their
in-house UNIX).  I used to use JFS until a thread somewhere around 6
months ago when we heard from the Debian maintainer for the JFS utils
that IBM had stopped active development and at that time only had one
person watching JFS for bugs on a very part-time basis.  That IBM
employee said that he could no longer recommend JFS for production
environments.  After this, I changed back to ext3.


>
> In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
> the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
> simple true/false is enough for most of them).
> So, here goes:
>
> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.
>

Mounts of an intact filesystem should be visually instantaneous.  If the
filesystem was not cleanly shutdown, you should be worried more about
data integrity than speed of cleaning.

> (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
> extended if needed.
>

Minor detail.  How many times do you try to shrink a filesystem.  If you
do need to, make a tarball or, using LVM, make a new LV and copy the
data over, then remove the old LV.

> (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
> intensive for smaller file systems.
>

Depends on what you mean by performance and what you mean by larger
filesystems.  The larger the filesystem, the larger the journal and the
more backup superblocks that need to be kept in sync.

> (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.
>

ReiserFS is always flaky.

> (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.
>

I used ReiserFS for about a week before my system got corrupted and I
had to reinstall.  I wouldn't use it on anything.

> (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
> most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
> in the middle.
>

Apples, Oranges, and Pears.  


> (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance
>

No.  If you had a system for editing video, you could use ext2 except
for, e.g. /var/tmp on which you could have XFS (especially on its own
disk or raid0 array).

> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
>

Only in once instance:  where drive space is limited you need a separate
/boot, using ext2 instead of ext3 saves the space for the journal.
Since the kernel doesn't change that often, you could leave /boot
mounted ro except when updating the kernel.  In this case, a journal
doesn't really help unless you get a crash in the midst of a kernel
update.  

Bottom line for your situation:

Use ext3.  If you want the ability to change the size of partitions, use
LVM.  For a laptop, you may want to put everything in encrypted
partitions (with a separate /boot).

Doug.

 


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new user question: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Dan H.
In reply to this post by David Palmer-3
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 06:47:29 +0900
David <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ext3 is best if you are dealing with a mixture of both and has the
> added security factor of defaulting to Ext2 if it fails. Although I
> have never had reason to find out.

I'm in the habit of using buggy and crash-prone hardware D.on't know
why; I guess I just don't like buying new hardware, am too lazy to
haul faulty stuff back to the store, and don't mind the occasional
cold reboot.

Anyway, while I often had minor and rather harmless corruption on ext2
systems from these shutdowns, I've never had any issues after
switching to ext3. "Recovering journal..." and that's it. Same
for USB (and encrypted) disks that I often forget to properly
unmount. Don't know anything about other systems, but also see no
reason to try them out.

--D.


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Re: Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new userquestion: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Jan Willem Stumpel
In reply to this post by Александър Л. Димитров
Александър Л. Димитров wrote:
> Quoth Hugo Vanwoerkom:
>>
>> ext2. Never have used any other.
>
> I seriously hope that this was a joke...

Maybe it was, but I never used anything but ext2 either, and that
is no joke. It has worked fine for many years. I often considered
"upgrading" to ext3, but so far I've never taken this step. I
expect this is the same for many "users of old".

I am especially put off by the Wikipedia article on ext3. It gives
a rather long list of "disadvantages". One of them ("No
checksumming in journal") even sounds pretty frightening. The list
of "advantages" is very short, and they are mostly advantages over
Reiserfs and other non-ext2 systems, not advantages over ext2.

But sometimes bugs in applications can cause a complete freeze of
X, incl. keyboard and mouse. It happens to me about once a year,
unfortunately also yesterday evening. In such a case there is
nothing you can do but pull the plug. Then when you reboot, all
sorts of alarming messages appear. By invoking fsck one can
normally get the system to boot again, but there may be
side-effects (e.g. my old iceweasel "history" was gone after the
reboot yesterday).

So now I am more or less ready to take the plunge. But I would
still like some advice.

1. Is it true that ext3 always lets you recover smoothly after a
   "freeze and pull the plug", or after a power cut? Or are there
   still "ifs" and "buts"?
2. Is significant room on the disk (or partition) taken by the
   journal? By how much can I expect the disk capacity to be
   reduced?
3. It is said ext3 is "slow". Does this apply to writing only, or
   also to reading? I.e., is there a danger that when I play a
   film with mplayer, I'll get the dreaded message "Your system is
   TOO SLOW to play this"?
4. I have my whole Linux system, apart from swap (i.e. the root,
   and everything that branches off it, like /boot, /var, /usr)
   just on one logical partition. Can I still convert to ext3,
   possibly by using a Knoppix or Ubuntu CD-ROM to boot from?
5. Where can I find reliable, step-by-step instructions for the
   conversion? There are several such instruction sites on the
   Web, but I am not sure they always agree.

PS: Kernel is 2.6.20-1-686

Regards, Jan


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS? [Was: new userquestion: debian on a Thinkpad T61]

Ron Johnson
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 01/19/08 07:35, Jan Willem Stumpel wrote:

> Александър Л. Димитров wrote:
>> Quoth Hugo Vanwoerkom:
>>> ext2. Never have used any other.
>> I seriously hope that this was a joke...
>
> Maybe it was, but I never used anything but ext2 either, and that
> is no joke. It has worked fine for many years. I often considered
> "upgrading" to ext3, but so far I've never taken this step. I
> expect this is the same for many "users of old".
>
> I am especially put off by the Wikipedia article on ext3. It gives
> a rather long list of "disadvantages". One of them ("No
> checksumming in journal") even sounds pretty frightening. The list
> of "advantages" is very short, and they are mostly advantages over
> Reiserfs and other non-ext2 systems, not advantages over ext2.
>
> But sometimes bugs in applications can cause a complete freeze of
> X, incl. keyboard and mouse. It happens to me about once a year,
> unfortunately also yesterday evening. In such a case there is
> nothing you can do but pull the plug. Then when you reboot, all
> sorts of alarming messages appear. By invoking fsck one can
> normally get the system to boot again, but there may be
> side-effects (e.g. my old iceweasel "history" was gone after the
> reboot yesterday).
>
> So now I am more or less ready to take the plunge. But I would
> still like some advice.
>
> 1. Is it true that ext3 always lets you recover smoothly after a
>    "freeze and pull the plug", or after a power cut? Or are there
>    still "ifs" and "buts"?

There are very few "always".  Except "always make backups".

But I've never lost anything to a crash.

> 2. Is significant room on the disk (or partition) taken by the
>    journal? By how much can I expect the disk capacity to be
>    reduced?

1%, maybe.  Only significant if you are running low on a disk.

> 3. It is said ext3 is "slow". Does this apply to writing only, or
>    also to reading? I.e., is there a danger that when I play a
>    film with mplayer, I'll get the dreaded message "Your system is
>    TOO SLOW to play this"?

Slower.  But it's been *MANY* years since I've gotten that kind of
message.

> 4. I have my whole Linux system, apart from swap (i.e. the root,
>    and everything that branches off it, like /boot, /var, /usr)
>    just on one logical partition. Can I still convert to ext3,
>    possibly by using a Knoppix or Ubuntu CD-ROM to boot from?

Sure.

> 5. Where can I find reliable, step-by-step instructions for the
>    conversion? There are several such instruction sites on the
>    Web, but I am not sure they always agree.

"man tune2fs" is all you need.  Specifically, option "-j".  It's
that simple.

> PS: Kernel is 2.6.20-1-686

Doesn't matter.

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA  USA

"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian
because I hate vegetables!"
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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS?

Hugo Vanwoerkom
In reply to this post by Douglas A. Tutty
Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 04:11:17PM -0500, Jimmy Wu wrote:
>> I am trying to decide on which file systems to use for a Debian
>> install on a personal laptop.  It's a Thinkpad T61 with one 160 GB HD.
>>  I've looked around on Google, and come up with a lot of frustratingly
>> conflicting advice.  For example, an article from
>> debian-administration touts XFS as the best in performance.  But other
>> sites mention that XFS may be more vulnerable to corruption on a
>> crash/power outage than the other file systems.  Then, people disagree
>> on the performance of ext3 vs ReiserFS.
>
> Part of the confusion is the "religious" nature of the issue, part is
> the changing nature and experience of the filesystems in question.
> Here's a summary (sorry, no references):
>
> ext2 = long-time default linux fs.  bugs have been worked out.  Inspired
> by UNIX ffs (fast filesystem) with decades of history.  Note that
> decades ago, drives were puny compared to today.
>
> ext3 = ext2 + metadata(default) journaling.  Therefore slower than ext2.
>
> Reiserfs = designed by one person who has had some kind of problems (I
> haven't looked into it).  If damage occurs (e.g. unclean shutdown), may
> not be able to fix the damage and loses data.
>
> XFS = desiged by SGI for smooth data transfer of large image /
> multi-media files (streaming video editing) on IRIX (their in-house
> UNIX).  Great for sequential access to large files.  Origionally
> propriatary for Irix, ported to Linux.  Irix is no more.  I don't know
> who is following XFS to ensure problems don't arise.
>
> JFS = designed by IBM for large databases, focus on fast checks after an
> unclean shutdown to get the server back up fast.  To do that safely,
> note that speed is less of an issue than for the target for XFS.  It was
> origionally written for OS/2 and then ported by IBM for AIX (their
> in-house UNIX).  I used to use JFS until a thread somewhere around 6
> months ago when we heard from the Debian maintainer for the JFS utils
> that IBM had stopped active development and at that time only had one
> person watching JFS for bugs on a very part-time basis.  That IBM
> employee said that he could no longer recommend JFS for production
> environments.  After this, I changed back to ext3.
>
>
>> In an attempt to get some definitive answers, I threw together some of
>> the statements I've seen, and all I am asking for is verification (a
>> simple true/false is enough for most of them).
>> So, here goes:
>>
>> (1) ext3 mounts and unmounts slowly, resulting in increased boot times.
>>
>
> Mounts of an intact filesystem should be visually instantaneous.  If the
> filesystem was not cleanly shutdown, you should be worried more about
> data integrity than speed of cleaning.
>
>> (2) Neither JFS nor XFS can be made smaller, although they can be
>> extended if needed.
>>
>
> Minor detail.  How many times do you try to shrink a filesystem.  If you
> do need to, make a tarball or, using LVM, make a new LV and copy the
> data over, then remove the old LV.
>
>> (3) JFS performance degrades on larger filesystems, but is least CPU
>> intensive for smaller file systems.
>>
>
> Depends on what you mean by performance and what you mean by larger
> filesystems.  The larger the filesystem, the larger the journal and the
> more backup superblocks that need to be kept in sync.
>
>> (4) ReiserFS can be flaky on a system crash.
>>
>
> ReiserFS is always flaky.
>
>> (5) ReiserFS is the best choice for /var.
>>
>
> I used ReiserFS for about a week before my system got corrupted and I
> had to reinstall.  I wouldn't use it on anything.
>
>> (6) On a continuum, XFS offers the best performance, ext3 offers the
>> most data integrity / chances of recovering from a crash, and JFS is
>> in the middle.
>>
>
> Apples, Oranges, and Pears.  
>
>
>> (7) Mixing too many file systems in one system will degrade performance
>>
>
> No.  If you had a system for editing video, you could use ext2 except
> for, e.g. /var/tmp on which you could have XFS (especially on its own
> disk or raid0 array).
>
>> (8) Is there any advantage to using ext2 for /boot rather than ext3?
>>
>
> Only in once instance:  where drive space is limited you need a separate
> /boot, using ext2 instead of ext3 saves the space for the journal.
> Since the kernel doesn't change that often, you could leave /boot
> mounted ro except when updating the kernel.  In this case, a journal
> doesn't really help unless you get a crash in the midst of a kernel
> update.  
>
> Bottom line for your situation:
>
> Use ext3.  If you want the ability to change the size of partitions, use
> LVM.  For a laptop, you may want to put everything in encrypted
> partitions (with a separate /boot).
>

But all of that still gives me no reason to change all of my ext2
partitions to something else.

Hugo


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Re: which to use: ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS?

Paul Johnson
On Jan 19, 2008 7:17 AM, Hugo Vanwoerkom <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > ext3 = ext2 + metadata(default) journaling.  Therefore slower than ext2.

> But all of that still gives me no reason to change all of my ext2
> partitions to something else.

ext3 isn't noticably slower for user-environments, you can convert to
ext3 without reformatting, and ext2 has very poor crash recovery
compared to 3.  tune2fs -j <device> and it'll convert your ext2 to
ext3.

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