Comparing the ext3, ext4, XFS, and Btrfs filesystems

File It

Article from Issue 165/2014
Author(s):

Every Linux computer needs a filesystem, and users often choose a filesystem by habit or by default. But, if you're seeking stability, versatility, or a small performance advantage, it pays to take a closer look.

Most people would rather remember names than numbers. Computer filesystems evolved as a means for computers to interface with the idiosyncrasies of human memory. A filesystem deals with names, which are easier to recall than the underlying inode numbers the system uses to identify chunks of stored data.

Furthermore, a filesystem allows the user to attach special attributes to the file. Filesystems identify the file owner, for instance, the access rights, or the time of the last modification – regardless of whether the storage medium is a network device, a hard disk, or flash disk. A filesystem also hides all the physical properties and conditions of the media.

Put more generally, a filesystem creates an abstraction layer, which allows all layers above (e.g.,, applications) to work with names while the layers below (e.g., device drivers) work with physical addresses like inodes or block/sector numbers.

[...]

Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

SINGLE ISSUES
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
TABLET & SMARTPHONE APPS
Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • File systems

    Many users just opt for the defaults and don’t think about the file system when they install Linux. But if better performance is your goal, it pays to do some shopping.

  • Write Barriers

    Your journaling filesystem is carefully tracking write operations – but what happens when the data gets to the disk? A write barrier request can help protect your data.

  • Configuring Filesystems

    Although most Linux distributions today have simple-to-use graphical interfaces for setting up and managing filesystems, knowing how to perform those tasks from the command line is a valuable skill. We’ll show you how to configure and manage filesystems with mkfs, df, du, and fsck.

  • The ext Filesystem

    The extended filesystem has been part of the Linux kernel since 0.96c – a faithful companion of the free operating system. With its developments – or, rather, rebirths – through ext2, ext3, and ext4, it is one of the oldest Linux-specific software projects.

  • RAID Performance

    You can improve performance up to 20% by using the right parameters when you configure the filesystems on your RAID devices.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

News

njobs Europe
What:
Where:
Country:
Njobs Netherlands Njobs Deutschland Njobs United Kingdom Njobs Italia Njobs France Njobs Espana Njobs Poland
Njobs Austria Njobs Denmark Njobs Belgium Njobs Czech Republic Njobs Mexico Njobs India Njobs Colombia