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I store all my Music CDs, Music, DVD Rips, etc on hard drives for quick access and long term storage. What file system should I use?

I use a bunch of drives glued together in an LVM so being able to grow and shrink would be nice, as well as efficient storage and quick access times. Compatibly is also nice (not having to install kernel drives is a plus).

So, what do you use and why?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I use ext3, because it's stable, well-known, very well supported, and is capable of online growth and offline shrinking. I've tried most of the exotics and typically found them a bit dangerous in the edge cases (bugs in XFS on ARM that regularly trashed filesystems was the most entertaining one).

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you are only debating the file and the operating system.

If you are talking about a long term archiving, I think the right question would be: What storage system do you want to use?

A spindle (HDD) which has to turn around and to consume constantly energy? Or if you put it into a shelf, you almost get a guaranty that after 5-10 years the HDD does not work anymore. CDs DVDs? which are gone after 4-8 years (you actually can expedite this, by putting them on your rear window shelf of your car. Than they might be gone after an afternoon in the sun) or on Tape: The technology they promise us since 20 year that it is going to die, but it seems like it lives for ever.

The new LTFS (Linear Tape File System) makes tape actually a really cool thing. You can use your tape drive as easy as using a Thumb-Drive with a capacity of a single cartridge of 3.000 Gb (compressed).

To answer your questions: Tape is fast: 140MB/s (compressed 280MB/s) Tape is perfect for archiving. Expected live time of a cartridge +30years Tape is compatible. Same cartridge can be used for Linux, Mac-OS and soon Windows Tape with LTFS is easy to use.

Here is a link to an wiki article:

have fun,

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ZFS or XFS will do you just fine.

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Some motivation, please. – Teddy Dec 27 '09 at 15:30
What? that's worth d downvote FFS!, it's the answer to his question, the only other answer ignore the fact that he's using LVM, therefore Linux, but he doesn't get a downvote - jesus wept! – Chopper3 Dec 27 '09 at 18:50
I currently use XFS but there is no shrink option which makes it difficult to remove bad drives by deleting content. Does ZFS have better utilities? – Paul Tarjan Dec 27 '09 at 19:41

which Operating System do you prefer? If you not focused on a special one I suggest ZFS (OpenSolaris) as well. For Windows you have to go with NTFS. There are some projects porting ZFS technology to other Operating Systems but a native filesystem is always a more stable way.

I use ZFS on a little "filer" with a minimal OpenSolaris installed. I will post a little tutorial as soon as my blog is finished. Maybe you step by but it will take me a few more days. ;-)

Regards Chris

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FreeNAS is another option for ZFS: – Greg Askew Dec 27 '09 at 15:57
Does ZFS have online grow and shrink? Offline grow and shrink? Built in drives for Ubuntu? – Paul Tarjan Dec 27 '09 at 19:42
You can't shrink ZFS. Neither online nor offline. Ubuntu has no driver. If you want a Ubuntu supported filesystem you could hava a look at btrfs (which is not quite stable)... – Wienczny Dec 28 '09 at 6:58
You can shrink ZFS Filesystems without a problem. By default all filesystems use the whole Zpool they're on without a Quota. What you can not do is shrink and grow the Zpool which is basically the pool of physical disks. An exception is a JBOD setup but there you can not shrink afaik. But with RAID-Z1 or RAID-Z2 (RAID-5 or RAID-6) set up you can't either grow and shrink. You have to set up a new Zpool and move the filesystem to the target Zpool. For more informations see the very good ZFS documentation on the Sun Homepage. – cwo Dec 28 '09 at 15:33
I see no mention of ZFS at all at – womble Jan 3 '10 at 10:44

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