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jcw122
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Best filesystem? Reply with quote

What is teh all-around best file system for a 2005.0 AMD64 gentoo install? By best filesystem I mean sheer performance for a normal system (nothing speical like a server). I'm guessing ReiserFS is best, but i keep hearing stuff about Reiser4, what is that and how is it different? Should my /boot, /swap, and / partitions all be using ReiserFS if i determine that that is the best performing one? Thanks all.
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Given M. Sur
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand, reiser4 is not stable on AMD64.

swap uses its own filesystem, but the others could all be reiserfs.
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bigdog
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Best filesystem? Reply with quote

Its really whatever you need. I tend to use reiserfs(4) for my boxes. But i know that ext3 has some great features. the big thing is to know the filesystem that you use and get the most out of it.

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moocha
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here comes the flamewar...
Nevertheless, my recommendations:
  • / - ReiserFS
  • /boot - ext2 (compile ext2 support as module, not into the kernel)
Don't bother with Reiser4, it's still too experimental, and the speedup isn't. Don't make /boot a journalled file system like ReiserFS or ext3, since
  1. It's pointless (even if it checks it at boot, it takes under half a second anyway)
  2. It wastes space for the journal (8 MB for ReiserFS for example)
As to swap - er, you do not have a file system on the swap partition. You just have swap space.
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codergeek42
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ext3 > * :D
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jcw122
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

codergeek42 wrote:
Ext3 > * :D
but tell me why.

Anyway, thanks for the info/suggestions guys.
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kimchi_sg
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jcw122 wrote:
codergeek42 wrote:
Ext3 > * :D
but tell me why.

Anyway, thanks for the info/suggestions guys.

It's the most stable and has been around the longest.
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easy_coder
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is a good read:


http://twiki.iwethey.org/Main/NixPartitioning
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jhunholz
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all is said and done, they really are all about the same. Reiserfs4 does seem to have a nice performance boost, but it is, from what I understand, still quite experimental. Use what you're comfortable with, and just remember to install tools and kernel support for which ever you choose! :)
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moocha
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jholz7 wrote:
Reiserfs4 does seem to have a nice performance boost
I've seen that particular red herring perpetuated again and again on this forum, and I call foul. Unless someone is able to provide hard, reproducible data, I will continue to call foul on that.
In my setup, Reiser4 never provided any speed boost that would actually be noticeable by a human being, i.e. the difference in speed on normal file system operations for a desktop fell in the -3%...+8% range compared to ReiserFS, with the particular worst case behavior when deleting files, where Reiser4 loses bigtime even to ext2. And yep, bonnie++ rode my poor drives a lot.
Most of the supposed "speed boost" comes from people who actually invested a lot of time installing their systems on Reiser4 file systems and who see this "boost" because they expect to see a boost since everyone told them there's a boost. Understandable, since if they didn't see a boost after all that time spent compiling a Gentoo installation just to get the fabled Reiser4 boost they'd be disappointed.
In short, Reiser4 as it stands now is a bad deal - benefit close to zero, and the risk of using an experimental file system. Your call, but the math shouldn't be too hard.
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jhunholz
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

moocha wrote:
Unless someone is able to provide hard, reproducible data, I will continue to call foul on that.


I wasn't stating that from personal experience, but rather from the benchmark statistics seen on Reiserfs's website: http://www.namesys.com/. If you're not seeing the same results they list here, then I would have to say something isn't quite right.
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starrbuck
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd reply to that with the need to see data from some independent source not affilitated with any of the particular file systems.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me tell something about my own experiences with reiser4.


When you first format a brand new reiser4 partition and start copying files on it, you can instantly notice how fast it is. Everything will be written to the disk with one contiguous block without almos any need to move the read head around the disk, regardless of the filesize. Small and large files will both be written as fast as your disk can accept the data. I was amazed about how fast it could be when I firsrt tried reiser4. The same applies when reading data from the disk. Because everything is packed so tightly, reading the whole content of a directory is fast and requires very little of seeking.

Well, nothing is perfect. Those tightly packed, well optimized directory blocks provide good performance, but can't be altered easily. When you want to modify the directory contents, reiser4 will avoid any extra overhead and after the modifications the tightly packed directory structure may not be that optimal anymore. This is especially true if you modify files slowly one by one over longer perioid of time. If reiser4 cannot flush the data on the disk on large chunks, it cannot pack the data tightly and it cannot create optimal data layout. That can significantly deteriorate the performance. Though, I'm not sure whether the perfomance gets any worse than what it is with other filesystems.

I've seen how much this can impair the disk performance. I had a 20GB root partition with reiser4, over 50% full. Initially I was able to write data about 50 MB/s on the partition, but after couple of weeks of heavy usage (a lot of compiling and installing new packages, 2 GB and 150 000 small files on ccache) I slowly started to feel that the disk performance wasn't as good as it used to be. Writing large files was slow and caused very high cpu usage. Basically anything that required writing something to the disk was slow and consumed a lot of cpu power. Then I made an another and bigger reiser4 partition on another disk and copied my root partition on there. After booting from the new fresh reiser4 partition, all the performance problems were gone. Everything was as fast as it used to be.

So, reiser4 partitons may detoriate rather quickly if your partition doesn't have much free space and the partition is in heavy use (== a lot of modifications). I also think that ccache had a large affect on the performance loss. The way it works, small files are written occassionally on the disk so that reiser4 won't be able to optimize them in larger tightly packed chunks. Then decided to remove the .ccache directories from both partitions. It took about 10 minutes to delete all of the 150 000 files from the old partition, while it took only 10 seconds to delete them from the new partition. So, there is a big difference on the performance between optimal and deteriorated reiser4 partitions.

I believe repacker is very essential part of maintaining a healthy reiser4 partition. The tests I've read indicate that the repacker is able to reoptimize reiser4 partitions fully, making them as fast as they are when you first create the partition. Unfortunately, repacker is not yet available :(

I still have the old badly fragmented reiser4 partition and I think I'll try doing some "Do It Yourself repacking", something like this:

Code:

for i in *; do cp -a "$i" "$i".back && rm -rf "$i" && mv "$i".back "$i"; done


I just wrote that piece of script, I haven't test it yet at all. I've just been planning to use something like that, never tried it yet. Do not attempt to use it ;)

What I can think of, that should allow reiser4 to rewrite the files back to the disk in one large tightly packed chunk, increasing the performance. The inode numbers of the files will change, of course, so it may not be good idea to use it on files that are in use...

Well, this is what I've been thinking about, quite a lenghty post... If my ideology is flawed, feel free to enlighten me :)
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yngwin
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The topicstarter asks about filesystems for AMD64. So Reiser4 is out of the question, as it seems to work reliably only on x86. So ext2 for /boot and either ext3 or reiserfs for the rest.
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Maedhros
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are plenty of filesystem comparisons around. For one of the most recent, please see https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-322898.html.

Moved from Installing Gentoo.
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