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Kernel Newbies on Ext4

Dec 27, 2008, 08:01 (1 Talkback[s])

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"Any existing Ext3 filesystem can be migrated to Ext4 with an easy procedure which consists in running a couple of commands in read-only mode (described in the next section). This means that you can improve the performance, storage limits and features of your current filesystems without reformatting and/or reinstalling your OS and software environment. If your need the advantages of Ext4 on a production system, you can upgrade the filesystem. The procedure is safe and doesn't risk your data (obviously, backup of critical data is recommended, even if you aren't updating your filesystem :). Ext4 will use the new data structures only on new data, the old structures will remain untouched and it will be possible to read/modify them when needed. This means, that, of course, that once you convert your filesystem to Ext4 you won't be able to go back to Ext3 again (although there's a possibility, described in the next section, of mounting a Ext3 filesystem with Ext4 without using the new disk format and you'll be able to mount it with Ext3 again, but you lose many of the advantages of Ext4)

"Bigger filesystem/file sizes
Currently, Ext3 support 16 TB of maximum filesystem size, and 2 TB of maximum file size. Ext4 adds 48-bit block addressing, so it will have 1 EB of maximum filesystem size and 16 TB of maximum file size. 1 EB = 1,048,576 TB (1 EB = 1024 PB, 1 PB = 1024 TB, 1 TB = 1024 GB). Why 48-bit and not 64-bit? There're some limitations that would need to be fixed before making Ext4 fully 64-bit capable, which have not been addressed in Ext4. The Ext4 data structures have been designed keeping this in mind, so a future update to Ext4 will implement full 64-bit support at some point. 1 EB will be enought (really :) until that happens. (Note: The code to create filesystems bigger than 16 TB is not in any stable release of e2fsprogs)"

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