[sf-lug] filesystem for a 3TB external USB drive
jim at systemateka.com
Tue Jan 3 10:05:21 PST 2012
nice tho'ts, josh: thanks!
here's a wrinkle to the discussion in the form of a question:
what is a filesystem?
i've occasionally presented the question to engineers and
gurus and been surprised at the large proportion of answers
that were disoriented and massively incomplete (e.g. "a
filesystem has a root directory and subdirectories and files
stored in those various directories" -- note that such an
answer gives no clue as to the differences between filesystems).
On Tue, 2012-01-03 at 05:43 -0800, Josh Greenland wrote:
> Sameer Verma wrote:
> > Any recommendations on a 3TB Western Digital external USB drive? Came
> > natively with a NTFS. Access will be via Linux only and will be used
> > for backup.
> > cheers,
> > Sameer
> Sameer, I don't have any professional Linux experience, but I've been a
> home user for years. Here are some thoughts:
> I don't know why EXT2 has even been mentioned as a possibility. Unlike
> maybe just about all the other file systems people are talking about in
> this thread, it's not a journaled file system, which I understand to
> mean that it would be a lot more likely to be corrupted if it's shut
> down in a bad way, for instance power is cut off before dismounting. I
> wouldn't even consider it.
> I've personally had trouble with JFS that I've had with no other file
> system. (I've used EXT2,3,4, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS, ZFS, a number of other
> Unix ones, maybe a one or two Linux ones I'm not remembering, FAT, HPFS
> and NTFS.) JFS has lost whole directories on multiple occasions for no
> good reason, and they were unrecoverable. After some websearching I
> found an article by two or three guys with impressive-looking
> credentials comparing Linux file systems that said this was a known
> problem with JFS. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the
> article again, but it might still be out there.
> All this was a few years ago, so things may have changed with JFS in the
> meantime. Still, my experience was unsettling enough that I've avoided
> it since.
> EXT4 has been accepted as a stable, usable file system relatively
> recently. Before then, it wasn't considered totally trustworthy. It's
> newer than EXT3, which some conventional wisdom considers the gold
> standard of Linux file system stability. EXT3 is not considered to be a
> speedy file system, but then who cares how fast reading or writing are
> or how fast its fsck is if you are recovering years of precious data?
> As to ZFS: accessing it through Linux is a hassle in my experience.
> It's more complicated than using any of the Linux file systems I've
> mentioned. It seems to me you don't want to mess with something that's
> unusually complicated and that has extra hassles attached to it if
> you're in a recover situation. But if you think its advantages make it
> worth it, I suggest strongly that you get to basically understand ZFS.
> It's its own little world. You want to become comfortable with the
> Linux software that accesses ZFS <<before>> you are in a recovery
> situation. But I dunno, the Linux software for ZFS seems kinda kludge-y
> to me. I suppose it's reliable, but it might be a factor to consider
> in addition to ZFS's virtues when it's run in a purely Unix environment.
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