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#1 2005-07-19 05:22:43

dammit
Member
Registered: 2004-07-06
Posts: 67

File system for low specs :?

Hi,
I've got a Pentium III 350mhz, 96mb ram, 3gig hdd, 3d rage pro video card. Which filesystem would be better suited ext3 or reiserfs? Mainly going to be used for server - php, mysql, apache. Occassionally be used for checking webmail & music playing.

Cheers,
dammit

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#2 2005-07-19 08:01:40

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: File system for low specs :?

reiserfs, ext3, whatever you want really, theres no limitation on what you can use on it.

my linux server's just on ext3 because it was easy and was the 'default' in the installation.

It's a P2 300mhz, 160mb ram.

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#3 2005-07-19 15:03:46

phrakture
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From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: File system for low specs :?

What filesystem you choose should be the least of your worries... I personally use ext3 because I've never had issues with it, and pimping your filesystem won't gain you as much performance as, say, using fluxbox instead of KDE.

My /boot part is always ext2 too 8)

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#4 2005-07-19 20:11:08

paranoos
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From: thornhill.on.ca
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 442

Re: File system for low specs :?

my first instinct was to suggest ext2. it's fast, it has low overhead.

don't use ext3, it's the slowest filesystem available. if you must have a journaled system, and those are your only options, go with reiser. jfs and xfs are also good options.

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#5 2005-07-20 04:47:53

Ryujin
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From: Centerville, Utah
Registered: 2005-05-12
Posts: 246
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Re: File system for low specs :?

My system is only slightly faster (PII 366) and I have tried quite a few things to speed things up, I use reiserfs with defaults,noatime, xfce4 (with kdebase installed for konquorer, but xffm works well)  phrakture is right though, the window manager is what matters, give fluxbox a spin, it only takes up about 3 megs.

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#6 2005-07-20 05:36:18

elasticdog
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From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
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Re: File system for low specs :?

I agree...if you have or want a separate /boot partition, I'd go with ext2 at around 100MB or so, and then reiserfs for the rest of your stuff (aside from swap of course).  That setup should be what you're looking for...

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#7 2005-07-20 14:14:41

dammit
Member
Registered: 2004-07-06
Posts: 67

Re: File system for low specs :?

thanks guys for reply. I dun think i will have a separate /boot partition. So in the end, there is not much difference in performance between the different filesystem (ext3, ext2, reiserfs) because of my hardware specs?  how much do u guys suggest on my swap partition considering 96 ram & 3 gig hdd. cheers.

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#8 2005-07-20 15:43:16

phrakture
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From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: File system for low specs :?

dammit wrote:

thanks guys for reply. I dun think i will have a separate /boot partition. So in the end, there is not much difference in performance between the different filesystem (ext3, ext2, reiserfs) because of my hardware specs?  how much do u guys suggest on my swap partition considering 96 ram & 3 gig hdd. cheers.

Well, there's performance differences when comparing each FS type, but the main thing is it's just not going to matter to an end user.

I'd suggest ext2/ext3 because they've been around the longest and are the typical "workhorses".

As for swap, it's standard to make a swap partition twice the size of your ram (there's usually an upper bound, but that doesn't apply here) - so I'd suggest 96x2 = 192MB for swap.

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#9 2005-07-20 15:46:58

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
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Re: File system for low specs :?

phrakture wrote:

I'd suggest ext2/ext3 because they've been around the longest and are the typical "workhorses".

That's changing. I'm willing to bet that when reiser4 is made stable, it will become the new standard. I don't think many people use ext2 anymore. Having to run fsck on bootup after unclean shutdown is too uncool and remeniscent of Windows scandisk...

As for swap, it's standard to make a swap partition twice the size of your ram 

That's definately not true anymore.

But it was true back when 96MB of RAM wasn't considered 'low spec' so your recommendation still holds. lol

Dusty

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#10 2005-07-20 15:50:54

phrakture
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From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: File system for low specs :?

Dusty wrote:
As for swap, it's standard to make a swap partition twice the size of your ram 

That's definately not true anymore.

But it was true back when 96MB of RAM wasn't considered 'low spec' so your recommendation still holds. lol

Dusty

Damnit! you took that out of context wink

you missed the "there's usually an upper bound, but that doesn't apply here" - it's like "if(RAM < 512) swap=2*RAM else if(RAM < 1024) swap=1.5*RAM else swap=RAM"

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#11 2005-07-20 15:58:39

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
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Re: File system for low specs :?

phrakture wrote:

Damnit! you took that out of context wink

you missed the "there's usually an upper bound, but that doesn't apply here" - it's like "if(RAM < 512) swap=2*RAM else if(RAM < 1024) swap=1.5*RAM else swap=RAM"

Well its your fault for not speaking in an unambiguous language in the first place.  8)

Dusty

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#12 2005-07-20 20:05:45

codergeek42
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From: Anaheim, CA (USA)
Registered: 2005-06-03
Posts: 90
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Re: File system for low specs :?

<--- Ext3 fanboy

It's solid and proven. I posted an Ext3 tweaking guide in the User Contributions forum.


~Peter~

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#13 2005-07-20 23:50:49

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: File system for low specs :?

ReiserFS 3.6 is very fast, even on older systems. Using the notail option with it is supposed to increase performance at the expense of storage efficiency, but I can't really see any difference in speed from using notail.

If you want speed, use a fast WM. Openbox and Fluxbox, for example, are both excellent and very fast WMs. I personally have found the speed of big desktop environments to be more dependent on RAM than CPU speed, and 96 megs is not enough for KDE or GNOME... So if you want a DE, go with XFCE and/or ROX - ROX + *box or some other WM, or said other WM + XFCE, also works (XFCE isn't as tightly integrated as other DEs). Believe me, though, with only 96 megs both Nautilus and Konqueror, never mind KDE's preloading trick, can screw you over badly.

The 3 gig HD shouldn't be a problen, unless you're planning on putting a lot of music on it.

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#14 2005-07-22 00:07:33

cs25x
Member
Registered: 2004-05-04
Posts: 150

Re: File system for low specs :?

I ran a test writing 512 M to a USB drive.

ext2fs 31m 50s
ext3fs 13m 45s
reiser 3.6 9m 1s

I use a 32m boot partition with an ext2 file system because it is seldom mounted and a journal is a total waste in such case. I have used a reiserfs since 2001, no problems. I did get stuck with an ext3 drive once and it tried to fsck for some reason. That was the end of ext3 for me. You could make your /boot smaller than 32m, it depends on how many kernel images you need to hold on to.


--(*(cs25x--));

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#15 2005-07-22 00:10:57

iBertus
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From: Greenville, NC
Registered: 2004-11-04
Posts: 2,228

Re: File system for low specs :?

Using pure reiser4 here with only a 60MB /boot on ext2. I've had no problems.

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#16 2005-07-22 03:13:33

deficite
Member
From: Augusta, GA
Registered: 2005-06-02
Posts: 693

Re: File system for low specs :?

ext3 is fast enough for me (provided dir_index is enabled) and I've only had one issue with it -- resizing. Ext3 is a pain to resize. You have to remove this extension and that extension, run a e2fsck and hope it works. I've removed every extension I could one time and I still couldn't resize it using parted. I guess you could use cfdisk if you really need your partition resized.

I've tried all the standard filesystems except JFS and XFS and I ran Reiser4 one time and I actually get better performance with ext3 with dir_index enabled. Reiser4 has all these claims of being so fast and such but it actually runs slower than ext3 and reiser3 for me.

edit: I heard that JFS doesn't take much resources to use, which is why a lot of laptop users use it. I have no clue since I've never run it or plan to run it.

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#17 2005-07-22 03:35:33

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: File system for low specs :?

Wait a minute... Now how do you enable this dir_index thing for ext3? 8)

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#18 2005-07-22 08:17:47

scarecrow
Member
From: Greece
Registered: 2004-11-18
Posts: 714

Re: File system for low specs :?

Only Reiser 3.6 here on all systems. The idea of using ext2 on a separate small /boot partition makes a lot of sense, though.


Microshaft delenda est

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#19 2005-07-22 11:21:04

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: File system for low specs :?

You only really need /boot if you're going to install more than one distro.

This thing only has a 3gb hdd, so I really doubt he needs to spend the space on a /boot partition.

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#20 2005-07-22 23:16:21

sh__
Member
Registered: 2005-07-19
Posts: 271

Re: File system for low specs :?

Gullible Jones wrote:

Wait a minute... Now how do you enable this dir_index thing for ext3? 8)

Say your ext3 partition is hdaX, then turn on the dir_index thingie

tune2fs -O dir_index /dev/hdaX

and convert all the directories on hdaX to the hashed B-tree format:

e2fsck -fD /dev/hdaX

Use a rescue CD or similar for the latter.

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#21 2005-07-23 21:11:30

cs25x
Member
Registered: 2004-05-04
Posts: 150

Re: File system for low specs :?

using a /boot part is good if you want to keep your old kernel for a while. When you discover that 2.6.xyz.foo crashes and burns and segfaults, you need somewhere that you can fall back to. It pays to have a spare partition where you can test before you commit, be it a kernel or udev. For example, 2.6.12 breaks the realtek 8180 driver, so I save a lot of time by using grub and that small boot partition. It is a little bit more work to setup, but that is repaid over the years.


--(*(cs25x--));

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#22 2005-07-23 22:41:24

iBertus
Member
From: Greenville, NC
Registered: 2004-11-04
Posts: 2,228

Re: File system for low specs :?

I'm just using a separate /boot partition from habit. I could loose it and not gain anything. Well, I'd have to use lilo instead of grub b/c of the issue with grub and reiser4 but that isn't a big deal.

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#23 2005-07-23 23:19:55

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: File system for low specs :?

cs25x wrote:

using a /boot part is good if you want to keep your old kernel for a while. When you discover that 2.6.xyz.foo crashes and burns and segfaults, you need somewhere that you can fall back to. It pays to have a spare partition where you can test before you commit, be it a kernel or udev. For example, 2.6.12 breaks the realtek 8180 driver, so I save a lot of time by using grub and that small boot partition. It is a little bit more work to setup, but that is repaid over the years.


You dont have to have a /boot partition to have more than one kernel. I usually have more than 3 kernels in my bootloader, dating back to 2.6.9

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