Benchmarks Of The Official KQ ZFS Linux Module
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 27 January 2011. Page 4 of 4. 24 Comments

Btrfs demonstrated another very strong finish when using the Threaded I/O Tester to have eight threads of 128MB random writes. Btrfs was averaging a random write speed of about 15MB/s while EXT4 and Btrfs were under 2MB/s and ZFS was at a mere 0.36MB/s.

Btrfs won again in another test, this time with PostMark where its speed was 65% better than EXT4, more than twice as fast as XFS, and precisely thirteen times faster than KQ Infotech's ZFS GA module on the Linux 2.6.35 kernel.

Lastly, in the simple test of looking at the time needed to unpack the Linux kernel source code package, the ZFS file-system performance was only slightly behind EXT4 and Btrfs while the XFS performance was much slower.

Well, for those that requested updated benchmarks of KQ Infotech's ZFS module, those are the results using a SATA HDD on an Intel Atom netbook. If there is enough interest the tests can be replicated with different hardware in the coming weeks, but the results aren't too vastly different from our initial results: KQ ZFS on Linux performs admirably in a single disk configuration compared to EXT4 and Btrfs and still is likely much faster than using ZFS-FUSE. However, when looking at each file-system in their "out of the box" configuration, EXT4 and Btrfs generally tend to steal the lead and they have the added benefit of being part of the mainline Linux kernel and being maintained by the open-source community as the de facto standard Linux file-systems, which ZFS will not be able to do.

Besides the pure file-system performance, each file-system carries its own set of pros and cons in terms of other features and capabilities and can be greatly tuned to enhance the disk performance -- i.e. with Btrfs there is disk compression support and now the space cache option as well.

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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 10,000 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 or contacted via

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