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#1 2012-12-22 04:09:31

yuanzhi
Member
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 15

[SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

I used to format /boot partition in ext2 when installing Arch Linux.
Can /boot partition be formatted in ext4?
Is there any advantage when using ext4 over ext2 in /boot ?
I heared that ext2 is more stable than ext4.

Last edited by yuanzhi (2012-12-22 06:01:10)

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#2 2012-12-22 04:35:17

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
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Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

You can use anything you like for a separate /boot partition, provided both Linux and your boot loader can read it -- ext2, ext4, XFS, HFS+, FAT, etc. Some of these filesystems do have limitations, though. For instance, since FAT doesn't support symbolic links, you can't do something like link a kernel with a generic name to one with a more specific name. I've seen some configurations that rely on such things, and they wouldn't work with FAT.

As to ext2fs vs. ext4fs specifically, ext4fs won't have many advantages; its journal and other advanced features will be of little importance on such a small partition. Ext4fs might be a tiny bit faster, especially if you've got an EFI-based system and are using the EFI filesystem drivers, but this effect will usually be so small that it qualifies as negligible. I'm not sure about reliability, but I'd expect that any reliability problems with ext4fs would be pretty well eliminated by now.

Personally, I've been using ext2fs on most of my systems' /boot partitions until recently. I've begun using FAT or ReiserFS more recently, but only because I'm using EFI and am loading my kernels off of these partitions. In this environment, FAT is better because it's the EFI's native filesystem, and ReiserFS has a speed advantage over ext2fs or ext4fs because of quirks of the add-on EFI drivers for these filesystems. These are rather specialized reasons to favor these filesystems, though. FWIW, Fedora, which uses a separate /boot partition by default, has been using ext4fs on its /boot for a while now.

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#3 2012-12-22 04:36:13

JLloyd13
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From: halifax, nova scotia
Registered: 2012-06-24
Posts: 107

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

ext4 is much faster, and any stability differences will be so small, well, you should be running squeeze if your really worried about that. 

/boot can be ext4, mine is

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#4 2012-12-22 04:40:56

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

I use FAT32 because of UEFI (I mount my EFI system partition directly to /boot), but in the past I have always used ext2 simply out of habit.  Though I think just about any bootloader you use these days will support ext4.  If you are using grub, there are a number of filesystems you can actually format /boot to.  I think some would actually suggest that unless you have a specific reason to spearate /boot, you might as well just have it as part of your root partition.

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#5 2012-12-22 04:53:58

JLloyd13
Member
From: halifax, nova scotia
Registered: 2012-06-24
Posts: 107

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

WonderWoofy wrote:

I use FAT32 because of UEFI (I mount my EFI system partition directly to /boot), but in the past I have always used ext2 simply out of habit.  Though I think just about any bootloader you use these days will support ext4.  If you are using grub, there are a number of filesystems you can actually format /boot to.  I think some would actually suggest that unless you have a specific reason to spearate /boot, you might as well just have it as part of your root partition.

do you have all of /boot on fat? I just have /boot/efi on fat then the rest on ext4

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#6 2012-12-22 05:01:14

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

I have all of /boot on FAT32.  I realized that syslinux is actually compatible with fat, so I use UEFI, but can still fall back on syslinux if necessary.  I like the fact that updating the kernel and initramfs puts it on the efi system partition.  Also, I am not sure if this is still the case after updating the bios, but I had a funky firmware issue that would truncate any piped arguments to an efibootmgr command.  So the only way it would work is by having everything in the root of the ESP, so it works out perfect.

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#7 2012-12-22 05:56:36

yuanzhi
Member
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

srs5694 wrote:

You can use anything you like for a separate /boot partition, provided both Linux and your boot loader can read it ...

Your detailed reply helps me a lot.

WonderWoofy wrote:

I think some would actually suggest that unless you have a specific reason to spearate /boot, you might as well just have it as part of your root partition.

FDE was implemented with LUKS on my laptop, so I need a separated /boot.

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#8 2012-12-22 06:00:49

yuanzhi
Member
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 15

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

Thanks for all replies.
I am going to try a /boot in ext4 though ext2 seems more suitable for a small separated /boot.

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#9 2012-12-22 06:04:24

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

Yeah, I do LVM2 on FDE on RAID0, and the separate FAT partition works fine.

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#10 2014-10-25 21:26:15

balkierode
Member
Registered: 2014-10-17
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

I Installed Arch using Antergos which made /boot ext2 and ext4 for / and /home.

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#11 2014-10-26 01:42:46

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 13,142

Re: [SOLVED]Should /boot partition be formated in ext2 or ext4?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fo … Bumping.22
Closing an almost two year old thread.  Also, Antergos is not Arch.


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