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Thread: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

  1. #1
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    EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    All,

    Maybe someone can explain this to me, but here's a little back-story first. I used Ubuntu with EXT4 for a while, probably 2-3 months, and then I noticed my data was becoming corrupt, ISO files I had that I had just used, wouldn't work, some music files I had wouldn't play in any player, not even VLC, etc. Well, come to find out a lot of people have had corruption with EXT4 and their files. Personally, I like my data and not having to reformat.

    So I did some research and wanted to try Reiser4 - yes yes I know who Reiser is and what he did, it's not the File System's fault, it's his - no where is it in pretty much any kernel except Gentoo has a Reiser4 Live CD, I may try that later on. So I searched for File Systems and Benchmarks and finally found the best one for me where I do VMs, XFS.

    Ok now for the interesting stuff - I was talking to my friend and he's going to redo his slack server and he uses ext3 and reiserfs - he was considering going to EXT4, but after hearing all the problems I've had he decided against - so we start looking at various other distros and find they've mainly switched to EXT4 as the default.
    Why? - Even RHEL6 Server is default EXT4. I don't understand why though, if data can easily become corrupt, why use EXT4?

    The other thing I've found with EXT4 and BTRFS (I tried BTRFS, way not ready for prime time) and others, is that large data operations make it to where your computer isn't usable until those operations are done somtimes - I did tests with XFS last night and that was not true, XFS I was able to send email, chat on pidgin, use chromium, with brief and minor pauses, but not like before where it was like 2-3 min. wait for pauses.

    Overall how can they justify using a file system that does have file corruption happen easily? - Maybe it's just semantics or just me. Can someone give some insight?
    Also if you have any information on when Reiser4 will be merged into the kernel or even available on Ubuntu WITHOUT having to compile the kernel, that would be great.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    I know nothing of Reiser4, you probably just have to patch your kernel sources to use it. Is it officially out yet? I would avoid using something until the developers say it is ready, even if it is functional.

    My experience with ext4 is that it is very quick, even on my slow laptop disk. Though it has some known performance issues in databases and installing/removing debian packages. I do both of those a lot so I use ext3 as my root partition. I still use ext4 on my data partition. (I would go back to ext3 if I could).

    I looked at other filesystems, XFS seemed promising however it had too many question marks. JFS seemed more likely to be something I would use however I have used and trusted ext3 for a long time. It seems to work well.

    I recommend ext3.

  3. #3
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by slooksterpsv View Post
    All,

    Maybe someone can explain this to me, but here's a little back-story first. I used Ubuntu with EXT4 for a while, probably 2-3 months, and then I noticed my data was becoming corrupt, ISO files I had that I had just used, wouldn't work, some music files I had wouldn't play in any player, not even VLC, etc. Well, come to find out a lot of people have had corruption with EXT4 and their files. Personally, I like my data and not having to reformat.

    So I did some research and wanted to try Reiser4 - yes yes I know who Reiser is and what he did, it's not the File System's fault, it's his - no where is it in pretty much any kernel except Gentoo has a Reiser4 Live CD, I may try that later on. So I searched for File Systems and Benchmarks and finally found the best one for me where I do VMs, XFS.

    Ok now for the interesting stuff - I was talking to my friend and he's going to redo his slack server and he uses ext3 and reiserfs - he was considering going to EXT4, but after hearing all the problems I've had he decided against - so we start looking at various other distros and find they've mainly switched to EXT4 as the default.
    Why? - Even RHEL6 Server is default EXT4. I don't understand why though, if data can easily become corrupt, why use EXT4?

    The other thing I've found with EXT4 and BTRFS (I tried BTRFS, way not ready for prime time) and others, is that large data operations make it to where your computer isn't usable until those operations are done somtimes - I did tests with XFS last night and that was not true, XFS I was able to send email, chat on pidgin, use chromium, with brief and minor pauses, but not like before where it was like 2-3 min. wait for pauses.

    Overall how can they justify using a file system that does have file corruption happen easily? - Maybe it's just semantics or just me. Can someone give some insight?
    Also if you have any information on when Reiser4 will be merged into the kernel or even available on Ubuntu WITHOUT having to compile the kernel, that would be great.

    Thanks!
    While I don't know about servers, I do however do use ext4 for Ubuntu desktop, I haven't had any corruption issues from it. But thats just me and my machine I suppose. I would suggest to your friend to do a test run with it. There doesn't seem to be very many people with such issues with ext4. If he test runs it and experiences issues then by all means stick with ext3.
    Last edited by MasterNetra; November 19th, 2010 at 07:05 PM.
    Diaspora Handle: masternetra@diasp.org

  4. #4
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    I actually have had these issues. My friend had some faulty power grid in his area, and it went down once or twice a day, his Ubuntu started acting a bit odd and I found out some of the config files in his home folder were corrupted. Just backed up and reset them and it worked. (He did not do it himself as all he does literally is play music with rhythmbox, and hes linux savvy).

    So I think if your power goes down it has a higher risk of happening. Though lately ext4 has been tuned for more safety. I just think I will use ext3 for now. I trust Theodore Tso, he seems like a great guy, though I see no reason to be hasty and move on yet. Performance with ext3 is not critically less for my workloads.

  5. #5
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Data corruption with ext4 has long been resolved.

    Stop living in 2008.

  6. #6
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starks View Post
    Data corruption with ext4 has long been resolved.

    Stop living in 2008.
    Say what you want, ext4 coming from kernel 2.6.35-22-generic, for Ubuntu 10.10, that's where my data is corrupting. 2008? More like a 2010 OS. You Fail!
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starks View Post
    Data corruption with ext4 has long been resolved.

    Stop living in 2008.
    Happened to me in 2010 (Ubuntu 9.10). Lost a whole partition because of it. And i had no power failure, just a normal reboot.

    BTW i had many annoyances with JFS too - it became corrupted easily (on Ubuntu and CentOS) and had to be force-checked at reboot from single-user mode.
    Ext3 on the other hand gave me no problems so far.

  8. #8
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starks View Post
    Data corruption with ext4 has long been resolved.

    Stop living in 2008.
    No, it hasn't. I still encounter from time to time using Maverick. The issue is not as bad as it used to be by a long shot, but to say it no longer exists at all is simply not true.

  9. #9
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    Well I would be skeptical (I am even skeptical of my own account of the data corruption) unless you have hard proof of it. We only can solve something if we review our own insights.

  10. #10
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    Re: EXT4 - I just don't get it.

    XFS/JFS > all

    Plus, with XFS you can actually defrag your HD...

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