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Thread: The best file system for SSD drive

  1. #1
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    The best file system for SSD drive

    Hi,
    just purchased sams t3 external ssd (250Gb). And my question is: do i need to format it to Ext4, or default exFAT would be a better choice for my Ubuntu 16.04?
    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    Depends what you intend doing with it. If it is for Ubuntu only then something like ext4 but if you need might what to plug it into another operating system then you'll want something else.

  3. #3
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    If an SSD and not a memory card either use ext4 if only Linux ext4 or NTFS if using Windows.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT

    But be careful with Windows 8 or later as the fast start up in Windows which is always on hibernation will leave the drive mounted when you shut down. Not sure if using Windows to unmount then frees it, but Linux will not read hibernated file systems.

    NTFS may need chkdsk regularly, so only use it if you have access to a Windows system or have created the Windows repair/recovery flash drive, as you cannot run chkdsk from Linux.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  4. #4
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    This is not an issue for me, because i'm not going to use it with any windows install. But what about durability. I mean, if formatting in the Ext4 cause decreasing of the lifespan of the ssd somehow

  5. #5
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    Formatting ext3/4 will not decrease the life of the filesystem

  6. #6
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    So, Ex4 is the best choice for me
    Many thanks!

  7. #7
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    Don't worry about durability. It will likely outlast you, since the built in little drive controller will shuffle things around on its own to level the wear.

  8. #8
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    ext4 is fine and the recommended choice for a Linux (Ubuntu) install. Current versions will install a cron job that will "trim" the drive on a regular basis to keep it running at peak.
    Current 'buntu systems: Server 18.04.2 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS / Retired: 14.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS, 8.04 LTS
    Been using ubuntu since 6.04 (13 years!)

  9. #9
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    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    If you were REALLY concerned about flash wear, I guess you could use EXT2 which is non-journaling so makes fewer writes. It's also not fault tolerant because it's non-journaling as I understand it so something like a power interruption could cause significant issues.

    Ext2 is not a journaling file system, and when introduced was the first to allow for extended file attributes and 2 terabyte drives. Because Ext2 does not use a journal it has significantly less writes applied to the disk.
    - Due to lower write requirements, and hence lower erases, it is ideal for flash memory especially on USB flash drives.
    - Modern SSDs have a increased life span and additional features that can negate the need for using a non-journaling file systems.

    I've used EXT2 on flash drives for the above mentioned reason and it seemed to work okay for data. Cheap flash drives have cheap controllers so I would not expect the sophisticated monitoring and wear leveling of SSDs. I'd also guess that $4.99 flash drives do not have the highest quality most durable flash chips.
    Last edited by kurt18947; October 23rd, 2016 at 12:52 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: The best file system for SSD drive

    If you don't want journaling, it can be turned off in ext4--this is better than using ext2 since ext4 supports TRIM.

    Code:
    sudo tune2fs -O ^has_journal /dev/sda1
    (of course, replace /dev/sda1 with your drive/partition. Run an fsck afterward).

    Or create the filesystem with journaling turned off from the get-go.

    Code:
    sudo mkfs.ext4 -O ^has_journal /dev/sda1
    I'd also add noatime to the mount options in fstab, this reduces writes by not updating file access times.

    If you're creating a filesystem on an SD card or other small, cheap flash storage, ext2 is fine.
    Current 'buntu systems: Server 18.04.2 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS / Retired: 14.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS, 8.04 LTS
    Been using ubuntu since 6.04 (13 years!)

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