There is no shortage of EXT4 benchmarks from comparing this evolutionary file-system's performance on netbooks to how it battles the Btrfs file-system to its performance recession. We have even benchmarked it on USB flash drives and on high-end SSDs. We have also delivered numerous Btrfs benchmarks. In this article though we are finally delivering something that has long been requested and that is Reiser4 file-system benchmarks running directly against EXT4 and Btrfs. We have also thrown in the original ReiserFS file-system for comparison too.
The future of the Reiser4 file-system has been in debate since 2007 and earlier since the file-system's lead developer, Hans Reiser, was sent to prison for murdering his wife in California. As of right now there are no immediate plans to push the Reiser4 file-system into the mainline Linux kernel even as an experimental file-system, but it may aim for inclusion this year as we found out from Edward Shishkin who had taken over much of the Reiser4 development. Reiser4 is designed to be a more efficient journaling file-system than ReiserFS and other Linux file-systems particularly when handling small files, faster support for large directories, provide a plug-in infrastructure for supporting encryption and compression, offer transaction support, and have a dynamically optimized disk layout.
For delivering these Reiser4 benchmarks, we used an Intel Core i3 530 Clarkdale processor that was clocked at 3.31GHz, an ECS Elitegroup H55H-M motherboard, 2GB of DDR3 system memory, a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD, and the integrated Intel Clarkdale graphics. The software stack was from Ubuntu 9.10 with GNOME 2.28.1, X.Org Server 1.6.4, xf86-video-intel 2.9.0, and GCC 4.4.1. The Linux kernel in use was the Linux 2.6.33-rc7 kernel and to provide the Reiser4 file-system support we had installed the Zen-kernel.org patches that provide Reiser4 support and other features. This kernel with Zen patches was used during all of our file-system testing. The file-systems tested were Reiser4, EXT4, Btrfs, and ReiserFS.
The Reiser4 benchmarking was done through the Phoronix Test Suite with the SQLite, Compile Bench, and IOzone. There are many more file-system / disk tests that we normally run in such articles, but these other tests were unable to successfully run on the Reiser4 file-system without crashing. Each file-system was mounted with its default options.