You know, ZFS, ButterFS (btrfs…its actually “better” right?), and I’m sure more.

I think I have ext4 on my home computer I installed ubuntu on 5 years ago. How does the choice of file system play a role? Is that old hat now? Surely something like ext4 has its place.

I see a lot of talk around filesystems but Ive never found a great resource that distiguishes them at a level that assumes I dont know much. Can anyone give some insight on how file systems work and why these new filesystems, that appear to be highlights and selling points in most distros, are better than older ones?

Edit: and since we are talking about filesystems, it might be nice to describe or mention how concepts like RAID or LUKS are related.

  • Chris
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    116 months ago

    I use f2fs on my Raspberry Pis, it’s designed for flash storage and appears to have much better performance than ext4 on the same device. I’m not sure whether it’s suitable for SSDs, or just SD cards and USB (these devices are optimised for FAT and f2fs utilises that optimisation). When I tried to use f2fs on a proper laptop it was too early and the distro didn’t support booting from it. I assume that has changed now.

    As for the others, I usually stick with ext4 as I’ve never seen a compelling reason not to.

    • Chewy
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      6 months ago

      Interesting. f2fs supports file-based encryption and compression. It is designed for flash and is used for many smartphones.

      • Chris
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        16 months ago

        What I missed mentioning is it does wear-levelling so as its name suggests it is “flash friendly” and stops SD cards wearing out so quickly.

        • ferret
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          6 months ago

          I don’t believe this is true. F2FS is still meant for use on devices with a FTL (flash transition layer) meaning that the device is doing wear leveling itself and a filesystem doing it twice is redundant and counter-productive. The flash-friendly part is referring to other filesystem features (there are many)

          • Chris
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            26 months ago

            I bow to your superior knowledge. It definitely doesn’t wear out SD cards as quickly though, but that might be due to other factors not wear levelling.