What are the differences between ext3, ext4 , ReiserFS?

EXT2

  • Recommended to move to EXT3
  • Not Journaled
  • POSIX access control

EXT2 file system is the predecessor to the EXT3 file system. EXT2 is not journaled, and hence is not recommended any longer (customers should move to EXT3).

EXT3

  • Most popular Linux file system, limited scalability in size and number of files
  • Journaled
  • POSIX extended access control

EXT3 file system is a journaled file system that has the greatest use in Linux today. It is the “Linux” File system. It is quite robust and quick, although it does not scale well to large volumes nor a great number of files. Recently a scalability feature was added called htrees, which significantly improved EXT3’s scalability. However it is still not as scalable as some of the other file systems listed even with htrees. It scales similar to NTFS with htrees. Without htrees, EXT3 does not handle more than about 5,000 files in a directory.

ReiserFS

  • Best performance and scalability when number of files is great and/or files are small
  • Journaled
  • POSIX extended access controls

The Reiser File System is the default file system in SUSE Linux distributions. Reiser FS was designed to remove the scalability and performance limitations that exist in EXT2 and EXT3 file systems. It scales and performs extremely well on Linux, outscaling EXT3 with htrees. In addition, Reiser was designed to very efficiently use disk space. As a result, it is the best file system on Linux where there are a great number of small files in the file system. As collaboration (email) and many web serving applications have lots of small files, Reiser is best suited for these types of workloads.

 

 

ReiserFS (Reiser3 / type 82 on cfdisk) is best for /var. ext4 is best for /home and if you want to change the partition size later then you need to look into LVM.

Don’t use ext2 except for /boot and ext3 is a fine all-arounder

 

source:  wiki.novell.com/index.php/File_System_Primer