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Re: [vox] (fwd) defragment
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Re: [vox] (fwd) defragment

On Sun, 31 Mar 2002, William Kendrick wrote:

> Saw this on ucd.cs.club this evening...
> -- forwarded message --
> From: Minh Anh Huynh <huynh@pc21.cs.ucdavis.edu>
> Newsgroups: ucd.cs.club
> Subject: defragment
> Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 02:50:34 +0000 (UTC)
> Hi,
> Is there a program in Linux to do disk defragment like in windows?
> Thanx.
> -- end of forwarded message --
> I know there's an explanation to answer this.  I just can't remember it ;)

a) It is not so much "disk" defragment as "filesystem" defragment.

b) Since it is "filesystem" defragment, it depends on the type of
filesystem.  Assuming you mean ext2, the primary answer is that ext2 has
a number of features designed to minimize the need for defragmenting. [1]

c) There is a defragmenting program for ext2, but it is apparently not
maintained anymore for apparent lack of need. [2] Debian has a package
called "defrag" that contains "e2defrag 0.73pjm1" with an RCS version
dated in 1997. [3] There are numerous caveats to using this program, and
in those rare situations where defragmenting might make sense, the
filesystem contents turnover rate is probably high enough that backing it
up, wiping it and restoring it may be quicker.

[1] http://www.linuxdoc.org/LDP/khg/HyperNews/get/fs/ext2intro.html

[2] http://lwn.net/1999/1118/bigpage.php3

[3] http://packages.debian.org/stable/admin/defrag.html

Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
DCN:<jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...
                                      Live:   OO#.. Dead: OO#..  Playing
Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
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