F2FS vs. EXT4 File-System Performance With Intel's Clear Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 6 March 2020. Page 1 of 4. 31 Comments

Intel's performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution recently added support for using F2FS as the root file-system so we were curious to run some benchmarks on it for how it stacks up against EXT4.

In our many tests over the years of the F2FS file-system it generally has performed quite well on solid-state storage for which it's designed. While F2FS is seeing support from the likes of Google and Samsung in the Android space, on the Linux desktop there aren't many Linux distributions supporting the Flash-Friendly File-System as an install-time option for the root file-system.

Clear Linux recently added the support to their platform so it can boot off an F2FS root file-system but EXT4 remains the default. Choosing a non-EXT4 file-system within Clear's desktop installer isn't very intuitive but when opting for advanced partitioning, GParted is fired up where the user can configure their own file-system layout and the installer will decide on the partitions based upon Clear's naming convention.

In any case, we were quickly off to the races in running Clear Linux off an F2FS root file-system and compared its performance to an EXT4-based installation of Clear Linux. This comparison with Clear Linux on Linux 5.5 was done with an Intel Xeon Gold 5218 system with Supermicro X11SPL-F motherboard, 192GB of RAM, and 4TB Micron 9300 NVMe solid-state drive.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite various benchmarks were carried out in seeing how the EXT4 vs. F2FS performance compares on this Intel engineered Linux platform.

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