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Testing Out Linux File-Systems On A USB Flash Drive

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  • Testing Out Linux File-Systems On A USB Flash Drive

    Phoronix: Testing Out Linux File-Systems On A USB Flash Drive

    In past articles we have delivered plenty of file-system benchmarks from testing out EXT4 to Btrfs to NILFS2. We have also delivered benchmarks from traditional hard drives to solid-state drives. One area though where we have not published any file-system benchmarks is for USB flash drives. Most users end up staying with the default FAT32 file-system for flash drives, but are there any performance advantages to using EXT3, EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, or ReiserFS? We have the benchmarks today to share atop the latest Linux 2.6.32 kernel build.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14362

  • #2
    In the Threaded I/O Tester chart on the last page, it says Fewer Are Better. In the paragraph following the chart, it says ReiserFS was first place, but I think it was actually last place.

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    • #3
      On page 4, you say "ReiserFS managed to pull a win" in a test where the image says "Fewer Are Better" although ReiserFS got the greatest value in most test, if I understand things right here...

      EDIT: beaten by 3 minutes :/

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      • #4
        What about wear and tear? I generally avoid journaling file systems from flash drives because I thought they would negatively affect the lifetime of the hardware due to the large number of writes. Am I right in assuming this?

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        • #5
          Nice USB stick

          I've been running the OS of a server on an 8GB model of that Corsair drive for a year now. Funny how temporary solutions so often end up not...

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          • #6
            I've been running Ubuntu for about 8 months a cheap 8GB Transcend USB stick. EXT4 all the way, with journalling. Just four tweaks: no swapfile, /tmp is tmpfs, disk elevator is none and no browser disk cache.

            This stick is very slow in random writes but pretty fast in random reads. I wouldn't say no to a better stick (Cruizer, SanDisk or Voyager GT), but the Transcend one works too for my day to day needs (programming, movies and a games like Diablo 2, Starcraft or World of Goo.)

            No "wear and tear" to speak of (my data is backed up online so I'm not worried) and the stick is absolutely silent! Boots up quickly, too.

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            • #7
              I would've liked to see UDF compared to FAT32 in these graphs.

              Using a general-purpose Linux filesystem with permissions kind of defeats the point of a removable USB drive IMO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ant P. View Post
                I would've liked to see UDF compared to FAT32 in these graphs.

                Using a general-purpose Linux filesystem with permissions kind of defeats the point of a removable USB drive IMO.
                What's the purpose of a removable USB drive in your opinion?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dextro View Post
                  What about wear and tear? I generally avoid journaling file systems from flash drives because I thought they would negatively affect the lifetime of the hardware due to the large number of writes. Am I right in assuming this?
                  This is what Theodore Ts'o has to say about that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by apaige View Post
                    This is what Theodore Ts'o has to say about that.
                    Thanks, the comments on that post contain some very interesting info about the issue so I've got my answer.

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                    • #11
                      Try ext4 without journaling

                      I've found that if I turn off journaling on ext4 on USB flash drives I get a pretty substantial speed boost for writes. Journaling can be disabled with the data=writeback option:

                      mount -o data=writeback /dev/sdb1 /mnt

                      It would be interesting to see how a non-journaled ext4 filesystem would fare in these benchmarks.

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                      • #12
                        This doesn't disable the journal, it just allows for data to be written without journaling, and the metadata is still journaled.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          What's the purpose of a removable USB drive in your opinion?
                          Moving data between systems? Not everyone has their LAN set up to sync uid/gids over LDAP or whatever.

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                          • #14
                            Dbench results for btrfs pulled a funny. Can someone tell me why the speed went up?

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                            • #15
                              I would have liked to have seen ext2 and ntfs

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