[rescue] Filesystem choice for fileserver?

kevin r. marhsall kevin at pipeline.com
Wed Apr 16 20:46:01 CDT 2008

I have used XFS in the enterprise (and at home) on several servers since 2001.  I did have one issue (no data loss), but it is believed that this arose from a RAID hardware failure and not the file system itself.

I have recently done some work on a RHEL box using ext3 and have had some significant issues with large files taking forever to delete.  This has come up with one single 80Gb file and in situations when deleting large directory trees.  Unfortunately, this is all anecdotal as i have not done much to try and determine if the source of the slowdown.


On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 12:26:50PM +0100, Peter Corlett wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 12:09:14PM +0100, Michael-John Turner wrote:
> [...]
> > Naturally, my first choice would be ZFS, but it's only stable on Solaris
> > (and maybe FreeBSD), neither of which are supported as VMware host
> > platforms.
> But there *is* Xen dom0 support.
> > My Linux filesystem of choice used to be reiserfs version 3, but that's
> > pretty much in maintenance only mode these days.
> It was never particularly reliable even when it was being maintained. Never
> trust a filesystem that doesn't have good recovery tools.
> More than once I have found myself trying to fix a problem without the
> recovery tools Hans assured us were not necessary. Usually the only fix
> available was mke2fs and restore from backup.
> > I'm very keen on XFS, what with its solid SGI heritage, but I've read a
> > few horror stories of people who've lost data using it.
> I played with that too. What I discovered was that while it was good at
> keeping metadata consistent, this didn't apply to the data. Finding
> /etc/fstab full of NULs after an unplanned powercycle can ruin one's day.
> > There's also JFS, which I have no experience with and doesn't seem
> > particularly popular,
> I haven't used this and can't comment.
> > and ext3, which I'm not a fan of because of it's semi-async nature.
> This is my preferred filesystem on Linux because it is the default and thus
> well-tested. It's a superset of ext2, which is in turn somewhat based on
> Minix and UFS filesystems, and so the design is sound and simple. I *like*
> my filesystems to be simple rather than clever.
> ext3 has a number of options that you can use to tune between performance
> and reliability. I routinely use noatime and dir_index now and that really
> does make it rather faster than ext2, and no less reliable.
> > Anyone got any thoughts on this? What's everyone using for their
> > fileserver needs these days?
> I just have a scummy old Debian box with a couple of internal disks and a
> couple more USB disks crammed in the back. I use software RAID1 for extra
> reliability.
> Since it is now full, I am going to have to finally build its replacement,
> the parts of which have been lying around for a few months now waiting for
> tuits.
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