One thing which never bothered me really are file systems – until I relaized that ext3 does not run with extended attributes and acls by default. You need acls if you want to give extended user rights to special files (useful for larger systems with several users) and you need extended attributes for systems which react immediatly on file or directory changes – like desktop search machines.

You are able to activate them by editing /etc/fstab, I mentioned it somewhen here somewhere, but while I was studying these things I realized that there are several other filesystems which come along with this stuff and where you don’t have to change anything at all.

That made me curious and I started to read about the different file systems. It turned out that for example XFS has better repair tools as ext3 (ext3 has no real repair tools at all…), and I read more and more about it.

When I then switched back from Suse to Fedora Core in the autumn of this year I tried to switch the filesystems, too – and it worked (more or less, due to a bug of FC4 I was unable to have a xfs root partition; but /home and /media/local are now xfs). And it works quite nice.
Ok, to be honest, the only real effect I see is that the acls and extended attributes activated by default. Oh, and it works much faster to “recover” the file system after a hard shutdown.

But it becomes nicer if you have a look at actual benchmarks – these are pretty nice. Ok, I have to admit that it looks like jfs is better than xfs, but even the author says he stays with his xfs because I likes it much more 🙂

So my decission is clear, I will try around with xfs more. I actually have the feeling that xfs feels smoother – except when I have to erase a big directory, but that happens seldom 😉
I must say I would like to test around with jfs too, but selinux is not supported there, so I will stick with xfs – and wait until FC5 is out – I will roll the dices again then 🙂


3 thoughts on “Filesystems”

  1. Keep in mind that xfs is not supported by Fedora at all. I’ve had xfs running on all of my partitions (without /boot) for a year. After then my partitions were very slow, even slower than with ext3. Fragmentation was about 10 to 15 percent.
    Then I switched back to ext3. XFS was nice but I had have too much problems with it. Especially reinstalling grub was a hell.
    But good luck for your experiences 🙂

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