Welcome to the Linux Foundation Forum!

Ext3 or ext4? Which Would You Recommend?

When I first installed Ubuntu onto my System76 laptop, I formatted the drive as ext3 for the drive format as it was the default setting. However, in the coming months I am going to be fixing up old computers in order for them to be used again. With that being said, should I format the drives with ext3 or ext4? Concurrently, what are the technical and performance differences between the two?

Thank you to whomever helps me solve this quandary!

Comments

  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    I switched to ext4 exclusively about 6 months ago, I was running ext3 and watching the reviews and bug reports for ext4 until I felt that is was safe enough for my /home directory. I ran it on my /boot and /root partitions for almost 2 years before trusting it with my important data. I've never had a problem with ext4, even through power outages and system blow ups. The only thing I've been hearing lately is that folks are experiencing a regression in speed on ext4. I haven't noticed that myself, but I thought I would mention it.
  • Goineasy9 wrote:
    I switched to ext4 exclusively about 6 months ago, I was running ext3 and watching the reviews and bug reports for ext4 until I felt that is was safe enough for my /home directory. I ran it on my /boot and /root partitions for almost 2 years before trusting it with my important data. I've never had a problem with ext4, even through power outages and system blow ups. The only thing I've been hearing lately is that folks are experiencing a regression in speed on ext4. I haven't noticed that myself, but I thought I would mention it.

    No worries. Is there a way to "upgrade" in a sense my ext3 to ext4 without losing data? Or, would this be a matter of reinstalling (in my case) Ubuntu?
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    Yes you can convert and ext3 filesystem to ext4, please read http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Ext4#Converting_an_ext3_filesystem_to_ext4

    Don't forget to update your /etc/fstab file and your bootloader to reflect the new partition type.
  • woboylewoboyle Posts: 501
    mfillpot wrote:
    Yes you can convert and ext3 filesystem to ext4, please read http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Ext4#Converting_an_ext3_filesystem_to_ext4

    Don't forget to update your /etc/fstab file and your bootloader to reflect the new partition type.

    Actually, ext2/3/4 are basically ext2 file systems, but ext3 and ext4 add journaling for better and faster recovery from power failures, system crashes, etc. There are mostly philosophical differences in how the journaling is done between ext3 and 4. Either will serve you well. I am currently running ext4 on all my new drives and arrays, but /home is ext3 on a logical volume (4x500GB drives). I decided not to convert it to ext4 when I upgraded my OS to RHEL6 (Scientific Linux 6 actually). Sort of the old adage - if it ain't broke... :-)
  • use ext3 because one more time you can upgrade ext3 to ext4 brother... :p
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    I waited quite a while till ext4 was stable ... it's stable enough now, with many advantages, it's my choice now for all my partitions.
  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    Without a doubt ext4

    Ext4 supports all of ext2/ext3 functionallities and a *lot* more.

    The one I like the most: *fast* file system checking (and formating)

    You've got barriers as well as delayed allocation and many many other things.

    Trust me: go for ext4

    Regards
  • spixxspixx Posts: 9
    In the case of production stability ext4 might be a bit of a scare for the more conservative, not that I have noticed anything but on the other I've not seen any test on the stability on high I/O storage systems (for that I use ZFS) and also if you feel the need to have a great /home partiton filesystem I would look at xfs since that + LVM equals awsome...

    Here are some fun reading: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/89ade5ae14209c140114bcee8c082d35/versions/1

    Also a mention to prevent flamewars the when at the crossroad of selecting Filesystem I most often run with a simple use what you think is right. Like stated the difference between ext2 and ext4 is mainly in the journal and around 20 years of age :). New is not allways better though.
  • saqman2060saqman2060 Posts: 777
    Stick with ext4.
  • RSimsRSims Posts: 146
    I've been using Ext4 for about 5-6 months now, I have never had a problem with it. Seems fast and stable to me.
Sign In or Register to comment.