I believe filesystems come with different concepts – maturity – features – and it is almost like with the distributions – you basically need to know – what you need in order to make the right choice.

But if you don’t need this or that feature and you just want a rock solid filesystem – it is probably best just to stick to ext3 until 2020 and then go to ext4 😀 (let it ripe for like 20 years 😀 just for your data to be save)

ext3 can do maximal filesize of individual files of 4TByte which should be okay for most users – even when using virtual machines (in VirtualBox

If you do not have need to manage petabytes-size-partitions ext3 and ext4 are just about all you will need.

ext2/3/4 have terrible large-directory performance. If you create 100,000 files in a directory in an ext2/3/4 filesystem, enumerating said files (ls, readdir, etc.) becomes unbearably slow — and the slowness persists even after you delete all but one of the files in the directory.“ (src)

You can actually test that with this python based benchmark that creates 300.000 files in one folder.

NOTE: These results may not apply to on-bare-metal installations – this is a Hyper-V Debian8.8

(kernel: Linux debian 3.16.0-4-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.16.43-2 (2017-04-30) i686 GNU/Linux)

VM (harddisk speed of host is limiting factor – always goes up to 100% during these test – but some RAM caching might be going on):

took 1minute and 11 seconds to count the 300.000 files in this directory with find and wc

a second run was 35seconds, a 3rd run 0.5 seconds sooo yeah RAM caching 😀

list files and save to file was faster… 3 seconds

removing took 11 seconds… is okay i think 😉

rerun finished in 0.3 seconds

… so atleast in this virtual environment i can’t confirm that xfs is faster than ext3 when dealing with a lot of files in one directory.

but maybe i am missing something here.

Missing undelete – saved my ass more than once – is another reason NOT to use XFS. (sorry)

Q: Does the filesystem have an undelete capability?

There is no undelete in XFS.

However, if an inode is unlinked but neither it nor its associated data blocks get immediately re-used and overwritten, there is some small chance to recover the file from the disk.

photorec, xfs_irecover or xfsr are some tools which attempt to do this, with varying success.

There are also commercial data recovery services and closed source software like Raise Data Recovery for XFS which claims to recover data, although this has not been tested by the XFS developers.

As always, the best advice is to keep good backups.

src: http://xfs.org/index.php/XFS_FAQ#Q:_Does_the_filesystem_have_an_undelete_capability.3F

http://linuxwebdev.blogspot.de/2005/06/xfs-undelete-howto-how-to-undelete.html

> Tested by time (I’m the OP).

This is so important, and so often overlooked.

The lure of „ohhh shiny!“ is prevalent in tech. I love to use bleeding edge stuff, play with new toys etc, but that is purely for home and personal stuff. Never for work.

I want my work life to be utterly boring. Nothing breaking. Everything behaving exactly as expected. I will happily trade a bit of performance and a lack of some shiny features for a system or component that works reliably. The less time I have to spend fighting stuff the more time I can spend tuning, automating or improving what I do have to look after.

XFS performs well. It’s reliable, reasonably fast (they trade some speed for durability/reliability), and just works

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