Comparison of Linux filesystems
Picking the right file-system can present some tough choices if your needs are specific. Here's an attempt to provide some insights into the various file-system's strengths and disadvantages.
Our article A quick guide to Linux filesystems from 2004 is still very popular for some strange reason - even though it is not very useful to compare ext2 and reiserfs when none of those have been widely used in a decade. Thus; here is a an attempt to provide slightly more updated information.
|ext4||Solid file-system, default in most Linux distributions||All-round good file-system||Will by default reserve 5% of for root|
|reiserfs||Was popular among Gentoo users||Very efficient for lots of small files||Hans Reiser murdered his family and went to jail. No more updates the next decade.|
|xfs||Solid file-system which has been around for 20+ years||Very efficient for large drives storing mostly larger files.||Can NOT be shrunk|
|zfs||Really advanced feature-rich file-system for large amounts of disks.||It's what you want if you have 10+ disks or more||It's NOT in the Linux kernel. *BSD is a better choice for zfs severs. You'll have to cross over to the dark side. From Ubuntu 20.04 onward, ZFS can easily be set up to be /|
This is a very controversial topic. Please feel free to share your opinion.
- This is not really a major problem, you can reduce it to 1% with
tune2fs -m 1 /dev/device