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Specifically want to use the storage for music/video files but with a smattering of usual doc/xls/etc) - wondering if there is a concrete reason to go for one over the other.


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Ext3 has been around since 2001 and is a logical extension of Ext2. Ext3 is regarded as being very reliable, and is available on virtually every Linux distribution. It's main feature is the ability to journal writes to the filesystem, allowing much faster crash recovery times, as there is no requirement to fsck the filesystem before mounting it.

Ext4 is a recent revision of Ext3, which adds the ability to store large (multi megabyte, ideally gigabyte) files more efficiently using an extend based layout. The expected benefit from using Ext4 over Ext3 would be a lower accounting overhead (less blocks on disk dedicated to filesystem metadata) and an increased throughput in sequential IO as extent based filesystems tend to group data physically together, reducing internal fragmentation.

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Thanks, useful stuff. – Jon Mar 2 '10 at 9:56

I think the main advantage of ext4 is probably extents which is good for storing large files (video). However, ext3 has been around long so my instinct would be to trust it a little more.

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I guess I'm not looking at storing files bigger than 5-10GB so I'll go with ext3. Thanks. – Jon Feb 26 '10 at 15:18
Errr... ext4 was the one that is good for big files :-P – Kyle Brandt Feb 26 '10 at 15:20
But 5GB files don't seem that big to me! Tho I see what you're saying. Most file will be no bigger than 50-100MB so 5-10GB will be by exception. – Jon Feb 26 '10 at 15:53

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