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journalling filesystems comparison (was ReiserFS, ext3 (was praise to the debian gods))


No filesystem is perfect, as each filesystem has its own advantages and
disadvantages. it's up to the user to select his filesystem of choice based
on the environment which he is to use the filesystem.

My additional observations on the following journalling filesystems
ext3, ReiserFS, XFS, as I use them at home as well as at the office...
(at home, I have a mixed scheme of filesystems employed in partitions)

* ext3 enhances further the ext2 filesystem by introducing the notion of
journalling, but at the same time inherits the current limitations of ext2.
* in intermittently-powered machines, ext3 and ReiserFS scale good compared
to XFS, which has the tendency to develop file holes when used on desktop
PCs. [in the university I attend, we have "kiosks" - low end machines with
ext3 filesystems. despite being intermittently powered-on/off by students,
has been quite resistant to filesystem corruption - though I'm praying that
it won't develop hardware errors due to the level of abuse it gets]
* for machines used as proxy servers or used as cache systems, ReiserFS
is quite good as filesystem transactions are committed faster (faster file
delete/update/create rate).
* XFS performs better than ReiserFS and ext3 when used on almost-full filesystems.
* On small-sized partitions, ReiserFS has a disadvantage of having a constant
size journal of 32 MB compared to ext3, but this is quickly-offset as the
maximum size is approached, since ext3 journal data adjusts and grows according
to the data in the disk (since ext3 journal stores meta data and may also
contain file data).
* XFS is better in handling very large files (gigabyte size files and bigger)
compared to ReiserFS and ext3. XFS is also very good in environments requiring
heavy file streaming operations (such as CG/animation, filesystems containing
large databases...).

Paolo Falcone


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