File-System Benchmarks With The Linux 2.6.34 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 14 April 2010 at 11:01 AM EDT. Page 5 of 5. 19 Comments.

Btrfs again struggled in another database test, this time with SQLite. EXT3 though managed to outperform EXT4 by close to 3x. XFS and EXT4 were running at about the same speed.

Our next Linux 2.6.34 kernel disk test was the unpack-linux test profile from the Phoronix Test Suite that measures the time to unpack the linux-2.6.32.tar.bz2 source package atop the given file-system. EXT4 was the fastest in this real-world test, followed right behind though was Btrfs, then EXT3, and in last was XFS.

Our final test was the Threaded I/O Tester where we ran the random write test with 16 threads and doing 64MB writes per thread. Btrfs was strangely the fastest file-system by many times -- nearly 10x faster than EXT4.

With these most recent file-system tests using the Linux 2.6.34 kernel that will be officially released in approximately the next month, EXT4 was running the fastest in a majority of the tests. However, the Btrfs file-system had its strong areas too like with Compile Bench, FS-Mark, and other select areas. In a few cases, the older EXT3 file-system was even faster than EXT4. Again, this testing was atop a solid-state drive with the default mount settings -- as other tests have shown, using the Btrfs SSD mode can lead to better performance as well as enabling the zlib compression mode. As always though, when choosing a file-system, speed should not be the only factor but other features should come into play too along with the integrity of the file-system.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via