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#1 2013-01-21 10:00:23

Lockheed
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Registered: 2010-03-16
Posts: 1,427

Fat32 vs NTFS

In terms of Rear/Write operations, Is there a difference in speed and/or CPU load between FAT32 and NTFS file systems on linux?
Is NTFS-3G more cpu hungry or less efficient?


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#2 2013-01-21 10:29:28

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
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Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

I don't have exact specs, but as far as I know NTFS is a bit more demanding. It was at least years ago on long gone hardware... Today the difference in performance shouldn't be noticeable, IMO. However, keep in mind functional differences between NTFS and Fat32 (see here for a brief summary).

Last edited by bohoomil (2013-01-21 10:29:55)


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#3 2013-01-21 11:23:29

DSpider
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From: Romania
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 2,273

Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

The biggest drawback for FAT32 is that it doesn't allow files over 4.00 GB.

This makes it not very well suited for data partitions, IMO, because at some point you may want (or need) a file bigger than that. I remember that I had to convert such a partition to NTFS once. You can do that, but I think it's an unnecessary risk (since something could happen during the conversion, like a power outage). So if you have the choice of either FAT32 or NTFS from the beginning, go with NTFS.

Edit: Storage partitions can also be ext4. And you can mount them in Windows if you want, using Ext2Fsd (google it). You can even mount them as Read-Only, for an extra protection from viruses and such.

Last edited by DSpider (2013-01-21 11:27:48)


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#4 2013-01-21 11:37:32

Lockheed
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Registered: 2010-03-16
Posts: 1,427

Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

The thing is I am considering it in a smartphone environment running linux. Smartphone has less processing power sp efficiency and battery consumption is very much an issue.

I don't care for large files.


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#5 2013-01-21 11:43:31

kaszak696
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Registered: 2009-05-26
Posts: 543

Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

Do you plan on reading your's smartphone files under Windows? If not then you don't have to use either, stick with ext4 or pick a flash-optimized fs like YAFFS.


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#6 2013-01-21 19:44:19

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
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Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

The last time I checked (which was a year or two ago), the NTFS-3g driver was significantly slower than Linux's FAT driver. This isn't surprising, really; NTFS-3g is a userspace driver, which imposes a fair amount of overhead compared to the kernel-level FAT driver. For this reason, and because Linux provides tolerable FAT filesystem recovery tools vs. nearly useless NTFS recovery tools, I recommend using FAT if that's at all practical. FAT's biggest disadvantage compared to NTFS in Linux is, as DSpider notes, the fact that you can't create files over 4GiB on FAT. Unfortunately, this is a show-stopper for many applications, so NTFS may be the only option -- but it sounds like that's not the case for you, Lockheed.

Beyond this, I agree with kaszak696 -- if the filesystem will be used only from Linux, it's better to stick with a Linux-native filesystem, or perhaps something that's optimized for use on flash devices. Use FAT or NTFS only when cross-platform access is important or if you've got some other specific need for FAT or NTFS.

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#7 2013-01-21 19:50:13

Lockheed
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Registered: 2010-03-16
Posts: 1,427

Re: Fat32 vs NTFS

Thanks, srs5694. That is very useful information. I know about NTFS issues, but what flash filesystem would you recommend for a SDcard? I would use ext4, but it has inherit permissions, and I can't use filesystem with different file permission/ownership because files will be accessed from several different systems (all linux, though).


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