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What file system would you choose for your /var/log directory ?


this is for a typical medium-load web/mail/ftp server. ext3/ext4 works just fine, but I have been thinking of other filesystems too. Main considerations are as following:

  • Log files are mostly written to. Reads are rare.
  • Underlying media is a typical hard disk drive.
  • No reliability requirements. If some files get corrupted, this won't be a big problem.
  • Logs are rotated on a daily basis. Logs for each day are saved in separate files. Older logs are deleted after six months.
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"No reliability requirements. If some files get corrupted, this won't be a big problem." -- Really? It seems odd that you care about your logs enough to worry about what fs to use, but don't really care if they get corrupted. – EEAA Sep 30 '10 at 14:38
@ErikA - perhaps Gart is merely looking for the fastest fs available? – warren Oct 1 '10 at 15:51
@warren - perhaps. It just seems like the priorities are a bit skewed. To each his own, though. – EEAA Oct 1 '10 at 16:24
@ErikA - I agree... personally I think logs are important enough to want to hold onto for some amount of time, but if you only need them for a very short period of time, then I guess it doesn't matter :) – warren Oct 1 '10 at 18:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would use ext3 making sure you mount it with the noatime option and possibly with the data=writeback option.

(Otherwise I wouldn't spend too much time considering the question unless you are experiencing specific performance problems.)

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Personally, I just go with the default for my platform (ext3 most often on Linux).

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As the number of log files is usually low but individual files can be quite big I would go for the most resilient FS: ext3, if your log files are really big (in the order of few gigabytes) XFS should be considered.

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