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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] Journaling File Systems
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Re: [vox-tech] Journaling File Systems


  • Subject: Re: [vox-tech] Journaling File Systems
  • From: Bill Broadley <bill@math.ucMAPSdavis.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 01:21:01 -0800
  • References: 3A88CA96.CCFCCA20@afes.com

In general journaling filesystems make larger assumptions about the
state of the filesystem, and because of it can boot much faster.

Thats the good side, the bad side is that when booted after rolling back
the journal there is much less of a guarentee of integrity.

With the ext2 filesystem after a full FSCK you can be pretty sure that
close to 100% of the metadata is correct, or that you will be notified
and most often have fsck repair the damage.  This protects against
something like a strange power situation causing a block being written
to random part of the disk, and running for say a month then realizing
some directory is completely corrupted.

Other up and coming filesystems:
        Ext3
        Jfs (Ibm)
        xfs (sgi)
        gfs (shared disk cluster filesystem for linux)
        intermezzo (new distributed fs focussed on high availability)
        coda (advanced networked filesystem, seems to be dying)

Of course the big awaited functionality that many are waiting on
is the LVM = Logical Volume Manager which should allow
growing/shrinking partitions as well as adding additional
devices into a pool of disk and similar.

My suggestion is to use EXT2 when reliability and recoverability
are most important.  For data thats either replicated, backed up, 
or replacable use whatever floats your boat.

I've been pretty impressed with ext2, I've seen it recover from some
pretty nasty happenings, and the author seems to spend more time trying to
break ext2 with corruptions, race conditions, and various other errors.
The verification suite used to certify each new version is impressive.
I'd say the full functionality/reliability of ext2, and fsck.ext2 or
similar is a ways off.

ReiserFS main advantages is handling tons of small files efficiently,
can mount a dirty partition much faster.  The flip side is performance
can be more inconsistant, I.e. adding one file can be quick, and the
next can require a extensive reorganization of the balanced tree 
data structure used.  Performance does scale much better for huge
directories.

Just had an ext2 nfs server, ftp server, software raid 5, etc roll over
it's uptime counter after 497 days, still going strong.


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