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Thread: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Post (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    O.k. You have read the title and I am here to tell you that I have found something out about Ubuntu and Linux in general after 1 month of scientific/practical research and implementation.

    1-- EXT3 is the absolute slowest part of Ubuntu.
    2-- XFS is the fastest file system. Period. This is uncontestable.
    3-- Preload and Prelink do help when using EXT3, but very much so when using XFS.

    I hope this thread will help the many of you that thought Ubuntu was slow and sluggish. It is in EXT3 but not XFS.

    Here are my findings---

    1. Formatting 500GB in ext3 takes around 10-15 mins. Formatting the same drive in XFS takes (no kidding) 7 seconds (if you don't believe me try it).

    2. Network traffic was slow. My network is setup perfect (as it is what I do for a living) and I could not achieve any greater than 5Mb/s no matter what I did in ext3, and it would eventually simmer down to around 2-3 after around 1 hour of transfer. XFS....no less than 11.1Mb/s at all times, no matter what I am doing, and no degregation of signal at all. (10/100 switch).

    3. Packet loss. After monitoring 20 250GB transfers from one machine to the next, I achieved a 13-15% rate of packet loss using ext3. Absolutely none with XFS and the tranfer took 1/8 of the time (no kidding).

    4. Using vmware-server like I do everyday for everything, including real world projects/servers, I wondered why it was so slow. The problem...ext3. I installed vmware-server on XFS and the machines are at least, and I mean at the very least, twice as fast for boot and operations.

    5. I was wondering why no matter how I niced my transfer process I could gain no more speed than if the transfer (ftp, ssh, smb, etc) would not go any faster or use anymore cpu. The answer. XFS. It took full advantage of the multithreading capability of my cpu (as it uses raw i/o access) and my cpu (amd 32bit/64) is now being used correctly, whether for transfer or normal i/o operations (copy, create, delete, etc.)

    6. Multitasking. I can honestly say, I am on a complete different level with XFS. It will make use of your processor and filesystem like you never thought possible. Nothing seems to slow down no my Seagate 7200 rpm 250Gb sata (8mb cache). It is like new I tell you.

    7. Gaming. Again, not even close with ext3. XFS makes doom3 and anything else run at least 75-100% better.

    8. XFS gave me 6 gig back on my harddrive (98.02% usage).

    9. Stability. Well, I hate to say it, but XFS is more stable than ext3. I did approximately 15 cold shutdowns while in the middle of processing for both filesystems. Had to do 3 checks with ext3. Zero with XFS

    10. Swap. Let's just say now, with XFS it actually does feel like I have 4 GB of RAM. Swap slowdown, seems to have dissapeared.

    11. Multimedia editing (something I do everyday with video and audio). Simply put, if you do either, make the switch to XFS. It's a totally different experience.

    I conducted all of these tests by using fresh install of both filesystems, including reiserfs, at least 20 times over the last month. I read over 30 articles relating to both filesystems and comparisons to JFS,REISERFS,etc. And yes, I tweaked out ext3 everytime with indexing, writeback, noatime, etc. Still, no comparison, at all. I can also say this with confidence. Try to transfer 200Gb of data over a network with ext3 and you will lose something in the transfer. That was 20/20 times. XFS, again, 0% loss of any kind.

    You can ignore this thread, but you would be doing yourself a great diservice. XFS is the only "real" next generation filesystem and the only one I will use from now on. Just when I was going to leave Ubuntu after buying new switches and switching cables, (8 times) for another distro because of the sluggishness, technology found me. Your hardware is fine. Switch filesystem and you will see the light, and if networking is your job or passion, or is just a necessity to have working at full speed. XFS is a 100% sure bet to achieve maximum throughput on your LAN.

    My partitioning scheme is as follows.

    desktop

    100MB /BOOT --ext3
    2GB SWAP
    250 / --xfs
    ----------------------------------------
    For my 2 raids I use the following
    server1

    100MB /BOOT --ext3 (raid 1 partition)
    4GB SWAP (raid0 partition)
    800MB / -- xfs (raid0 partition)

    all same disks x2

    ---------------------------------------
    server2

    100MB /BOOT --ext3 (raid 1 partion)
    8GB SWAP (raid0 partition)
    1.25TB / -- xfs (raid1 parition) (20 second format)

    all same disks x2
    -----------------------------------------
    Use prelink and preload from this thread --
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=74197
    Along with the above partitioning scheme, and you will be in Linux heaven
    .


    Some articles:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XFS
    http://linux-xfs.sgi.com/projects/xf...ite_paper.html
    http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/~sbrandt/290...xfs%20scale%22


    tools:

    Use gkrellm or iptraf to measure your lan speed.
    apt-get install iptraf gkrellm

    This is my contribution to Ubuntu, for helping to create a business I couldn't have had without it. Hats off to all of you here at the forum and everyone else who has helped me get here. Thanks!

    Axely

    (P.S)
    I am writing this article on my Ubuntu desktop while transfering 93 GB worth of vmware files to my renewed server with the scp processed niced to level 19....transferring (according to gkrellm) at 12.5MB/s on my 10/100 lan (that has never seen that speed since Ubuntu's implementation)......all without a hitch. Machine is 2 years old, 2GB RAM, AMD 1.8. Simply a joy to use now....

    Enjoy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    Xfs is good for larger files, but...

    If you don't have a reliable power source, meaning UPS, loss of power can hose the system.

    #7 will need an explanation. Unless your hard drive is thrashing during a level, filesystem has very little to do with anything besides load times.

    #9 can be deceiving as the writes sitting in cache may not have been written and you may have zero'd files of the proper size or older versions. This also reflects on #10.

    #4,8,11 have to do with xfs's superiority with large files.

    Xfs is nice, but not perfect.

    (side note, bonnie++ (http://www.textuality.com/bonnie/) will let you benchmark I/O.)

  3. #3
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    Chennai(Madras) , India
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    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    so , how do i convert my existing ext3 to XFS ?

  4. #4
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    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    while this sounds a bit exagerated id be willing to give this a try

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Ubuntu

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    Hi,

    Nice info.

    1- Is it possible to convert current filesystem without losing
    data and settings? If yes, how?

    2- Are there any compatibility issues, or drawbacks?

    3- If XFS is good, why wasn't it used by default when installing Ubuntu?

    Thanks for the info.
    Last edited by Ramaddan; August 30th, 2006 at 12:28 PM. Reason: Added a question

  6. #6
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    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    why not JFS then? it shows even better performance according to the tests...
    ASUS K53S Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit
    ASUS U36jc, Intel Core i5-480M, 2.66GHz, 4Gb, nVidia Optimus Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit
    HP DV6-2113sa, AMD Turion™ II M620, 4Gb, ATI Radeon™ HD 4530; ASUS 1015PX Netbook Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit

  7. #7
    Rui Pais's Avatar
    Rui Pais is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramaddan View Post
    If XFS is good, why wasn't it used by default when installing Ubuntu?
    XFS behaves badly with power loss or bad shutdowns.
    There is plenty known cases where after abrupt power down or problems at shutdown the system had they files replaced by zero sizes files or files with same size but only with zeros on it!! As far as i read no recover possible (except using a backup).

    And although fast, specially with large files, axely is exaggerate a little...
    ___________________________________
    ESTRAGON: We've lost our rights?

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    Certainly sounds good. I would like to hear from some more people who have switched to XFS, and I'd also like to know why ext3 is the default. Is it just because of
    If you don't have a reliable power source, meaning UPS, loss of power can hose the system.
    And is there any change for the end-user, i.e file permissions/ownership etc, or do they all work in the same way?

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluenova View Post
    Certainly sounds good. I would like to hear from some more people who have switched to XFS, and I'd also like to know why ext3 is the default.
    ext3 is the default because it's the most reliable FS.

    XFS is good but if you want to try another FS don't forget reiserFS which is also faster than ext3 but obviously less reliable.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: (A MUST READ!!!!!) The Ultimately Fastest Ubuntu Desktop/Server You Can Have!

    i have been using reiserfs.... very stable and nice..
    try it out.

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