I am under Debian Squeeze 6.0.
What is the best file system for the /var/log partition, and why ?
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Short answer: there is no best .
Long answer: it depends on what you are going to do with that partition, what programs are going to write their logs on that partition, and how important the data on that partition is.
If you don't care about losing the data written on /var/log, then you could go with ext2. It's fast and reliable, as long as no one pulls the power cord or you get hit by a power cut or hard disk corruption.
If you care about your data there, then you should go with a journaling file system. I would say go with ext4. It's well tested, reliable and probably the most used FS today in the Linux world.