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    Which file system to use with Debian?
    Contributed by joeg on Wednesday, March 20 @ 18:47:16 GMT

    File Systems
    With all of the recent file system related posts over the past few months, I figured I would ask the question. Which file system do you use with Debian. I am currently putting together a few new file servers which will run Debian. Each sever will have about 120 gigs of important data, and I don't plan on making many changes to these systems for a long time. So,. is one file system more reliable then the others? It seems fairly difficult now to choose due to the wide choice of ext2, ext3, JFS, XFS and ReiserFS. Any suggestions?

     
    Related Links

  • ReiserFS (NAMESYS)
  • Ext3 (Stephen Tweedie)
  • JFS (IBM)
  • Linux XFS (SGI)
  • More about File Systems
  • News by rob

    Most read story about File Systems:
    Filesystems - Part I

  • "Which file system to use with Debian?" | Login/Create Account | 59 comments
    Threshold


    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 2, Informative)
    by kveton (scott-at-kveton-dot-com) on Wednesday, March 20 @ 19:22:47 GMT
    (User Info) http://www.kveton.com

    I had the same question about this a month or so

    ago and did some tests with ext2, ext3 and ReiserFS.

    Check out

    http://www.net.oregonstate.edu/~kveton/fs


    for the results. Basically, ReiserFS is the best

    solution out of those at this time.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 1)
    by ironstorm on Wednesday, March 20 @ 19:40:29 GMT
    (User Info)

    I have been running ReiserFS for about a year...

    2 out of 3 boxes I run have had FS problems, not sure if that is because of flaky hard drives or if it's Reiser, but the 3rd has been solid.

    Last weekend I used the XFS net intall CD and built out a Linux system on a new HDD, so far I'm impressed, I have noticed a speed up in disk I/O...

    I've heard several people mention that XFS is needed if you want to use Samba with full Windows file ACLs... you mentioned something about file sharing. (the release notes for Mandrake 8.2 also say this)

    I would say go with XFS or ext3, IMO JFS is not ready to go and I've had a bit of bad luck w/ systems running on Rieser (though YMMV).

    -Ironstorm

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 1)
    by joeg on Wednesday, March 20 @ 20:11:06 GMT
    (User Info) http://www.joeg.net

    To clarify this question.. I am actually more concerned with reliablity and (future) compatibility of the filesystem that will be housing this data.. dunno if that changes anybodys reply?

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 2, Insightful)
    by ex-bart on Wednesday, March 20 @ 21:32:37 GMT
    (User Info)

    For a long time I used ReiserFS and for some time now together with lvm. Here are the pros and cons I encountered:

    Pro:

    • Together with lvm it's really easy to add new diskspace: Shutdown the machine, plugin disk, boot up again and your back in service. Now while the machine is running and in service you partition the new disk, create new physical volumes, add them to the volume group, enlarge the logical volume with reiserfs on it and finally enlarge the filesysem itself. All that while the filesystem is up an running.

      Other filesystems probably also allow online enlarging, but I haven't checked.

    • Besides the one problem below that I caused myself, I don't remember any Problems with reiserfs.

    Contra:

    • I once made the mistake of using hdparm -X68 on a controller which doesn't support it. As a result I broke the journal on my root-filesystem and reiserfs refused to mount it after reboot. After doing reiserfsck from a rescue cd some inodes were located somewhere beyond the partition and every stat or rm -f on the corresponding files failed.

      With at least ext2 it was possible to boot read-only, and I have never encountered any strange leftovers.

    • Reducing the size of reiserfs can only be done offline. And it's sort of difficult to figure out how big it is in the end, that is, how small you can make your partition or logical volume. I don't know if any of the other filesystems does a better job here.

    As you don't want to change that much on your system the points about resizing probably don't bother you. Reiserfsck was a bit flaky, but on the other hand you have to be a bit creative to break reiserfs enough that you have to use it. I only had to use it the one time described above.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 1)
    by Wouter_Oosterveld on Wednesday, March 20 @ 23:54:25 GMT
    (User Info)

    Since about a year, I've been happily using XFS and ext3 on my Debian Woody system. I use XFS primarily for my data and home partitions and ext3 for my system partitions. Now the XFS rescuedisks have appeared, I might convert all partitions to XFS. The performance is excellent and I haven't had a single reliability problem in a year of heavy use. To be honest, I haven't given JFS and Reiser a good try yet, and I'm not planning to do so in the nearby future....

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 3, Insightful)
    by QT on Thursday, March 21 @ 08:24:28 GMT
    (User Info)

    A filesystem comparison test in the current issue of c't (a big german mag) revealed that:

    - XFS is the perfomance winner

    - ext3 is the data integrity and compatability winner

    JFS seems to be unusable at the moment - at least on PRODUCTION machines.

    The biggest issue with XFS though is that it is not integrated in the kernel tree yet and that patching the kernel sources for XFS support isn't the easiest job to do.

    Personally I have systems with LVM/ReiserFS and other boxes with LVM/ext3. Never had any problem with either of them, but for the future I would always opt for ext3. I just installed that one box with ReiserFS because at that time it was the only journaling FS available in the standard kernel (without patching). In the meantime ext3 is there and I would always opt for that until XFS makes its way into the official kernel source.

    bye

    QT

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 1)
    by Pflipp on Thursday, March 21 @ 11:31:06 GMT
    (User Info) http://www.hobbiton.org/~pflipp/

    I had ext2 until a crappy network card caused an incredible amount of failure. Since then my system hasn't been 100% stable anymore. It just hangs sometimes, even in the BIOS.

    In between the failures I managed to compile a kernel with ext3 support. I still have crappy hardware, but rebooting has stopped to be such a pain in the ass.

    The 2.4.17 & 2.4.18 kernels don't seem to be completely perfect. Sometimes the system hangs and I don't _know_ if I have to blame the hardware or the software. Also, sometimes after the "mounted more than 20 times" thing, fsck finds some errors. But over the whole the situation is very agreeable to me. No more fscking just because I have crappy hardware 🙂

    Pflipp

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, March 21 @ 12:32:14 GMT

    I like how the woody disk are now with ext3 and Reiser FS as options. Ive run Reiser FS for some time on 4 systems and never once had a prolbem with it. with my older hardware preformance means everything.

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    TERRIBLE performance with XFS for me (Score: 1)
    by cowbird on Thursday, March 21 @ 22:42:31 GMT
    (User Info)

    I have had XFS installed under Debian for a few weeks now, and am getting very poor performance under heavy IO. Basically, if I am downloading a large file or using apt-get, kupdated takes over and uses 99% of the CPU. Thsi results in a complete loss of interaction with the GUI.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 1)
    by carney1979 on Friday, March 22 @ 01:15:14 GMT
    (User Info)

    ext3. I've lost too many systems with ext2 when "the lights went out". Keep meaning to buy that UPS.....;-)

    I've heard of weird cross-linking of files with reiserfs, so I tried ext3. Lost power once a few times, rebooted absolutely flawlessly when power came back on. Can't ask for more. Performance seems on par (at least) with ext2.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, March 22 @ 10:07:24 GMT

    I'd like to see XFS in Linux (and Debian).

    The feature i like most are the ACLs in XFS, which are regretable not useable in Linux up to date...

    But that is s.th. i miss in Unix for a long time now.

    And even Windoze has it... 🙁

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, March 22 @ 11:52:35 GMT

    XFS.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, March 23 @ 15:24:46 GMT

    reiserfs

    I have 1 at home and 4 at work. 2 are alphas, the rest intels. no problems, just a bit tricky setting them up.

    don't worry as much about power outage or lockups which are rare anyway, but adding reiserfs/journaling is sort of like doing backups, it adds another layer of security and stability.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, March 23 @ 21:57:31 GMT

    I have EXT3, ReisferFS and EXT2 partitions on my boxen.

    Support them all! And lvm!

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Sunday, March 24 @ 21:46:05 GMT

    I use ReiserFS on 27 desktop machines in a lab, I had one corruption on one of their filesystems (it was fixable with reiserfsck); they are in production since October.
    I also use reiserfs+LVM on four other serverish-desktopish machines; being able to do online resize like AIX is pretty good. No problems so far.
    Also, Maildir performance: the noatime mount option helps a lot.
    ext3 is probably better for database software, with a few big files.
    xfs: few years ago I had severe problems with it under IRIX, so I'm afraid of it. dunno..

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    I think it's about upgrading, not fresh install (Score: 1)
    by kipple on Monday, March 25 @ 07:39:23 GMT
    (User Info)

    I have a few production systems (RAID-5 for mail server, a couple of firewalls) all with ext3.

    It's not about fresh installing: suppose I had them for a while with ext2, and now I want to use a better filesystem. How can I afford some downtime to reformat the partitions with Reiser? Better have a slightly less fast disk i/o but

    1. can boot with ext2 just in case

    2. can upgrade to ext3 in little time

    I think that's the point of strength of ext3. It could be "slower" (besides the fact that we're talking about small differences, IMHO) but it can be upgraded from old ext2 fs quickly for those who cannot afford much downtime.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, March 28 @ 21:42:13 GMT

    ReiserFS seems to be very nice. Never had a problem with it. XFS is not in the kernel yet 🙁 but works with 2.4.18 patched. JFS failed on the first test on 2.5.7.

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, March 29 @ 22:48:34 GMT

    It think for You the best choise is the XFS.

    Fist of all this is the most tested journaling fs, because it has been used by irix for several years. It was a stable base for movies animations, there are really large, and many files in this area. Irix was the first industrial multimedia unix, and xfs had done much for its success.

    Second, XFS has now really impressive max file size, partition size support, 18000 petabytes for partition size

    9000 petabybes for max file size. It'll enough for a little while.

    Third it can deal with even faulty hard disks, and because of XFS structure has the best recovery abilities. ext3 is also a safe choice. But its safety came from long existence of ext2. There is many recovery tools for ext2 and so ext3. Ext3 is good because of many tools has for it, while XFS is good because it is well made fs.

    I don't think that patching the kernel is a problem for you.

    Many users never tried XFS. If someone writes reiser, ext3 is the best, he/she should write also whitch fs-es he tried before. There is almost no anybody who tried XFS, used it for a while, and then said reiserfs is better.

    I had several problem with reiserfs. It doesn't tolerate much power faliures, and it can't do anything with faulty harddrives (bas sectors). And I also doesn't agree with Hans Reisers's opinion: 'a filesystem must be completly rewritten every 4 years'.

    Ext3 is not bad, but it's also not a real journaling fs. It's an ext2, extended with basic journaling features.

    I've not tried jfs yet.

    If you want a roboust stable filesystem, and don't want to change the partitions for a while, there is nothing better than XFS.

    There is a useful detailed acticle at linuxgazette. Is's is old but useable even nowdays. You can find it here: http://linuxgazette.org/issue55/florido.html

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    Re: Which file system to use with Debian? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, April 02 @ 20:20:58 BST

    I believe only ext2 lets us use "chattr", a security tool.

    For example, with "chattr -i" I we can change files

    to "immutable"; that is, no one (NOT EVEN ROOT)

    can change those files without a reboot.

    Or I can make a log file appendable, but not removable.

    I weigh this great increase in security under ext2 more than I weigh

    any ease of booting through a journalling filesystem like

    Reiserfs.

    ---Jameson Burt

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