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#1 2016-01-23 02:55:15

banshee28
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Registered: 2008-10-18
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Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

So I installed a new Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD!!

I previously had a Sandisk SSD formatted with ext4, just since it was the most stable (IMO) a few years back. Now there are a few others that are really interesting for SSD/NVMe, such as F2FS, XFS, etc.

I am leaning towards F2FS since its designed for flash memory, made by Samsung, and I even my my Android phone formatted with F2FS format.

I don't have to have the most bleeding edge, but it does seem like these 2 are pretty stable these days so I am considering them.

Any suggestions on this one?


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#2 2016-01-23 03:58:56

R00KIE
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I can't comment about XFS but I wouldn't use F2FS without setting up a good backup plan first. You may very well be using it in your phone but it doesn't mean it is robust, at least not like ext4 that (in my limited experience) can just shrug off unclean shutdowns/unmounts like it's nothing. F2FS will work well as long as you unmount the partitions cleanly, if you don't you can be in for a nasty surprise as I have found out on more than one occasion.

If you are feeling adventurous enough to try F2FS you might also want to consider BTRFS, it provides more features than F2FS and might be further along in stability/recovery from unclean shutdowns.


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#3 2016-01-23 04:13:32

banshee28
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

R00KIE wrote:

I can't comment about XFS but I wouldn't use F2FS without setting up a good backup plan first. You may very well be using it in your phone but it doesn't mean it is robust, at least not like ext4 that (in my limited experience) can just shrug off unclean shutdowns/unmounts like it's nothing. F2FS will work well as long as you unmount the partitions cleanly, if you don't you can be in for a nasty surprise as I have found out on more than one occasion.

If you are feeling adventurous enough to try F2FS you might also want to consider BTRFS, it provides more features than F2FS and might be further along in stability/recovery from unclean shutdowns.

Interesting.....Will look into btrfs also....


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#4 2016-01-23 07:24:51

darkfoon
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Registered: 2007-08-29
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I can also say I've had issues with my F2FS partition.
I had files I had written to it, they had been there for hours, and then I rebooted for updates, and the files were gone after reboot!
I scanned the partition, fixed whatever corruption it had: it seemed like it thought it was full and wasn't running the garbage collection automatically, despite being enabled in the fstab.
I don't keep irreplaceable data on that partition anymore.
My other partitions are ext4, no problems there.
Granted, I formatted my F2FS partition several years ago, so maybe it was using some older on-disk data format that newer kernels have an issue with; I haven't looked into this.

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#5 2016-01-23 11:54:06

bstaletic
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Posts: 652

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I've read too many issues about btrfs to not consider it as a possibly stable in near futur (in ten to twenty years things may change). That could also be my paranoia, but I think Graysky would disagree.

Can't say anything on F2FS, but I think it's too fresh to consider it stable (remember, were talking file systems containing all your data).

I've only heard good things about XFS. And from quite knowledgeable people. Currently it holds all my data on a file server* running on top of lvm on top of md-raid, for about a year. In use extensively for about half the time with 24/7 up time. No problems for now.


NOTE: This is with HDDs not SSDs.

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#6 2016-01-23 19:01:42

banshee28
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Registered: 2008-10-18
Posts: 328

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I heard that the latest 4.x kernels have fixed some of the f2fs issues, but it is still new. XFS does seem more stable, and its also the default for RHEL7, so that probably says alot!

Still deciding, but XFS may be the more stable option for now....
Yea leaning towards XFS the most now...Seems like all of the tweaks are already "on"... Just create the file system and go... https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/XFS

Last edited by banshee28 (2016-01-23 19:11:25)


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#7 2016-01-23 19:17:41

graysky
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

Ext4 is what I use on my SSD.  I got fucked by BTRFS a while ago and will not repeat that experience.


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#8 2016-01-23 19:20:08

Head_on_a_Stick
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

XFS is used by NASA's Advanced Supercomputing Division so it must be decent.
http://www.nas.nasa.gov/hecc/resources/ … stems.html

Having said that, I am a btrfs convert -- once you've got used to snapshots & subvolumes there's no going back big_smile


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#9 2016-01-23 21:08:21

banshee28
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Registered: 2008-10-18
Posts: 328

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

graysky wrote:

Ext4 is what I use on my SSD.  I got fucked by BTRFS a while ago and will not repeat that experience.

Yea, thats what I am using now, but was looking to see if there way anything better, faster, and pretty stable....Ext4 is always an option, but so far I think I may try XFS, and make sure I keep backups!

BTW, thanks for all your work on the "ck" stuff, for the first time I finally got a ck optimized Kernel.... smile


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#10 2016-01-23 21:09:15

banshee28
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Registered: 2008-10-18
Posts: 328

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

XFS is used by NASA's Advanced Supercomputing Division so it must be decent.
http://www.nas.nasa.gov/hecc/resources/ … stems.html

Yea, that and RHEL and probably some other critical systems! So far I may try this....Thanks...

Last edited by banshee28 (2016-01-23 21:09:47)


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#11 2016-01-23 21:31:55

graysky
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

XFS is fine but can get fragmented at least on spinning media... dunno if that has any effect on mem chips.  One thing I didn't like about XFS back when I was using it was that it had no repair utils.  That might be different now.  You might want to see some reputable benchmarks using the 4.4 kernel ... thought phoronix published some recently (like within a week or so) and let the data drive you choice.


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#12 2016-01-23 22:18:52

Soukyuu
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

BTRFS survived multiple unclean shutdowns on my system partition so far. I'm also apparently crazy enough to use it as my "archive" filesystem.
To be honest, so far the issues I saw with BTRFS could be solved by staying calm and doing the right thing (tm), which usually means hopping on their irc channel and screaming for help.

The problem about btrfs, or well, any "unstable" fs is that if you do things in wrong order, you're very likely to screw it up. So far, I'm using only the "stable" parts of it, and it hasn't screwed me over, yet.
So I'm a fan of it at the moment.
I'm sure graysky will disagree, though.


[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-k10 | Custom-built | AMD Phenom II X4@3,5Ghz | nVidia 260 GTX | 12GB RAM | Main w/ rarely booted Win 10 x64 dualboot ]
[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-bobcat | Zotac AD02 | AMD Zacate e-350@1,2GHz | Radeon 6310 | 4GB RAM | Home server, to be replaced ]
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#13 2016-01-23 23:26:56

graysky
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

Soukyuu wrote:

I'm sure graysky will disagree, though.

My negative experience resulted in some data loss and a year or so ago as I recall.  You can probably find and dig through the thread as the details are not that crisp to me anymore.  Code might be more mature now, and the repair util might be better as well, etc.  YMMV.


EDIT: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=182505

Last edited by graysky (2016-01-23 23:29:03)


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#14 2016-01-24 02:03:37

banshee28
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Registered: 2008-10-18
Posts: 328

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

graysky wrote:

XFS is fine but can get fragmented at least on spinning media... dunno if that has any effect on mem chips.  One thing I didn't like about XFS back when I was using it was that it had no repair utils.  That might be different now.  You might want to see some reputable benchmarks using the 4.4 kernel ... thought phoronix published some recently (like within a week or so) and let the data drive you choice.

According to the wiki, XFS seems to have at least some basic repair utilities now

 # xfs_repair -v /dev/sdaX 

however not sure how in depth that is. There are other features like "XFS Self Describing Metadata", again no real idea what this is yet, just quickly looking it over today. Sounds good, lol.
Yes, I actually looked quiet a bit on the Phoronix site benchmarks (using the various 4.x kernels) which lead me to choose F2FS and XFS.
For now, I still have my current SSD installed along side this. I formated the 3 LV's with XFS (for now) and rsync'g all data over to the NVMe. I am planning on using LVM for the entire disk 512GB, 3 basic LV's: root/var/home, and syslinux which is what I am using now. Hopefully with a couple of config file modifications, I can copy everything over to this and boot to it.


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#15 2016-01-24 03:40:39

R00KIE
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I'm currently using ext4 on the SSD on my laptop too as I've been burned before with btrfs and f2fs. I do still use f2fs on a recovery install I have on a usb flash drive and a raspberry pi but I do regular full disk images of those.

All instances of corruption were caused by either bad/forced shutdown or the drive being kicked off the usb bus (same as just unplugging it). In all cases the recovery tools did nothing but waste my time. At those times I sure was happy that I had backups.

That said I do regular full SSD images to rotating media on regular basis. It's not that I suspect the SSD might fail at any moment but if all the wrong conditions are met all the data can just vanish - not nice. In this case it helps to use ddrescue with the -S option. As long as the disk is not close to full and you use trim the backup size is fairly reasonable.


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#16 2016-01-24 10:28:52

bstaletic
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I read somewhere that XFS scales with capacity. In other words perfect for large RAID arrays as it gives you performance, and I have never heard anyone having any problems with it.

Since SSDs are small and certainly not in a RAID array one might go with ext4 as well.

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#17 2016-01-24 10:30:11

Soukyuu
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Registered: 2014-04-08
Posts: 803

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

graysky wrote:
Soukyuu wrote:

I'm sure graysky will disagree, though.

My negative experience resulted in some data loss and a year or so ago as I recall.  You can probably find and dig through the thread as the details are not that crisp to me anymore.  Code might be more mature now, and the repair util might be better as well, etc.  YMMV.


EDIT: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=182505

Yes, that's what I was referring to with my statement.
Personally, I think you wouldn't have lost any data if you asked for exact recovery steps on their irc channel.
The annoying thing is that the recovery procedure varies from case to case and from one btrfs-tools version to another, so there is no "stable" documentation for each of them.
I've only seen about one case of an irrecoverable failure on the irc channel so far - with a raid5 array, which is deemed experimental.


[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-k10 | Custom-built | AMD Phenom II X4@3,5Ghz | nVidia 260 GTX | 12GB RAM | Main w/ rarely booted Win 10 x64 dualboot ]
[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-bobcat | Zotac AD02 | AMD Zacate e-350@1,2GHz | Radeon 6310 | 4GB RAM | Home server, to be replaced ]
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#18 2016-01-24 10:40:20

bstaletic
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

Isn't RAID5 supposed to be robust enough to withstand almost anything (within reason)? Another reason not to use BTRFS in near future.

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#19 2016-01-24 15:48:13

nstgc
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Registered: 2014-03-17
Posts: 351

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

Soukyuu wrote:

BTRFS survived multiple unclean shutdowns on my system partition so far. I'm also apparently crazy enough to use it as my "archive" filesystem.
To be honest, so far the issues I saw with BTRFS could be solved by staying calm and doing the right thing (tm), which usually means hopping on their irc channel and screaming for help.

The problem about btrfs, or well, any "unstable" fs is that if you do things in wrong order, you're very likely to screw it up. So far, I'm using only the "stable" parts of it, and it hasn't screwed me over, yet.
So I'm a fan of it at the moment.
I'm sure graysky will disagree, though.

That has been my experience as well. I've been using btrfs since I installed Arch in June of 2014.

edit: You can also see many threads of mine written in panic. So far, there really hasn't been any significant data loss. The only data loss I can really claim to occur was more likely due to my journal simply not being written to disk before a reboot.

Also, regardless of your FS, you should have recent backups of everything. I back my data up daily, which is also how I can tell that I haven't lost anything when something goes wrong.

Last edited by nstgc (2016-01-24 15:50:44)

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#20 2016-01-24 15:52:54

Scimmia
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Registered: 2012-09-01
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

I used BTRFS for a couple of years on a laptop with a totally dead battery and a loose power port. Many, many unclean shutdowns. I corrupted the space cache a couple of times (easily fixed), but it seemed very solid other than that.

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#21 2016-01-24 15:57:42

nstgc
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Registered: 2014-03-17
Posts: 351

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

In general, unclean shutdowns with btrfs don't worry me since, by design, no data is over written and writes aren't commited until after all write are completed. I'm more worried of "land mines". Since it is beign developed at a brisk pace, I'm concerned about regressions. Not that regressions can't happen else where, just that I do feel btrfs is more prone to them. EXT4 has a nasty one last year when it was put on top of an mdadm RAID0 array, for instance.

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#22 2016-01-24 21:46:27

Soukyuu
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Registered: 2014-04-08
Posts: 803

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

On the other hand, the parts that are being developed atm are explicitly marked as unstable (the raid5 for example), while the stable ones are not being tinkered with.
About the only "land mine" I remember was a btrfs-tools version that created faulty file systems, which was patched within a few days, with a big warning issued on the wiki page (and probably the mailing list).

Of course, us arch users are running the danger of tripping over such mines more frequently, so I guess it's a valid point.

edit: added link

Last edited by Soukyuu (2016-01-24 21:48:08)


[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-k10 | Custom-built | AMD Phenom II X4@3,5Ghz | nVidia 260 GTX | 12GB RAM | Main w/ rarely booted Win 10 x64 dualboot ]
[ Arch x86_64 | linux-ck-bobcat | Zotac AD02 | AMD Zacate e-350@1,2GHz | Radeon 6310 | 4GB RAM | Home server, to be replaced ]
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#23 2016-01-25 14:35:46

nstgc
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Registered: 2014-03-17
Posts: 351

Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

There was that thing a little more than a year ago with read-only snapshots. November of 2014? Also I think there was a problem with send/receive, though that may have been related to the read-only snapshot issue.

In anycase, the past and current "land mines" are documented in the Gotcha section of the btrfs wiki. Of course, they aren't all found yet, but so long as you stick to the bits that have been around for a while such as RAID 1,0, and 10, and snapshots, you should be fine.

edit: Also, everyone needs a good backup system. Back in 2014, I spent my entire spring break trying to recover my grade book after accidentally nuking the EXT4 partition it was on.

Last edited by nstgc (2016-01-25 14:39:00)

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#24 2016-01-28 09:42:19

yuvadm
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Re: Which filesystem format for NVMe SSD

If anyone has NVMe filesystem performance tips, please add them to the newly created https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/So … rives/NVMe

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