Filesystems

Corey Edwards tensai at zmonkey.org
Fri Sep 2 08:54:13 MDT 2005


On Thu, 2005-09-01 at 21:26 -0600, Andrew McNabb wrote:
> I tried JFS for a couple of months, but one big problem I ran into with
> my setup is that I somehow end up having to resize my partitions every
> two or three months, and I couldn't figure out how to shrink a JFS
> partition (ext2/3 resize very easily).

Only ext2/3 and reiserfs are the only linux filesystems which can safely
be resized smaller. All of them can be sized up. Reiser, XFS and JFS all
can be increased online while ext2/3 must be unmounted first.

        http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/extendlv.html
        http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/reducelv.html

> I've always had negative feelings towards Reiser FS, and I'm not sure
> whether it's just misguided prejudice or if it's really justified.  I've
> heard at least a couple of horror stories, and I've gotten the feeling
> that stability isn't a top goal.  Is it still this way, or has it never
> been this way, or has it improved?

I have some fairly large (100GB+) RAID disks that are using reiserfs.
We've been running them for about 3 years I believe and in that time
frame we've only had one catastrophic failure which was caused by failed
hardware. Impressively, we were able to rebuild the filesystem on
another box although it took a good 18 hours.

The reason we went with reiser is because of the flexible inode
capability, the ability to use smaller directory entries (on ext3 they
are a strict 4k but on reiser they grow and shrink to accomodate files),
and the ability to pack multiple small files into a single inode. That
last one alone has saved us tons of disk space as these are all mail
servers using Maildir which uses lots and lots of little files.

I certainly have no qualms about running reiser.

Corey

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