Should I still use EXT4 or not?

    • OMV 5.x (beta)

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    • Should I still use EXT4 or not?

      Hi guys,
      I am almost ready to build my first DIY server and have a basic question: should I choose EXT4 for my data drives or not?

      Is EXT4 still good enough or should I look for something more exotic like BTRFS or XFS?

      My scenario:
      • I do not want ZFS
      • I will be using SnapRAID
      • 4x4TB HDD for data, 1 NVMe SSD for docker/applications and one thumb drive for OMV.
    • Yes, both BTRFS and ZFS have advanced features that are missing in EXT4. Things like snapshots, copy-on-write, checksums and more. But unless you intend to use these features, and know how to use them, they are useless. And you might just as well use EXT4.

      If you think that you need the advanced features, go ahead and learn how to use them.

      I think BTRFS and ZFS are not "ready", because they lack tools that makes it easy and safe for normal users to use the advanced features. Because of this, unless you really make an effort to learn how to use them safely, they might cause more problems than benefits.
      OMV 4: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4
    • Adoby wrote:

      Yes, both BTRFS and ZFS have advanced features that are missing in EXT4. Things like snapshots, copy-on-write, checksums and more. But unless you intend to use these features, and know how to use them, they are useless. And you might just as well use EXT4.

      If you think that you need the advanced features, go ahead and learn how to use them.

      I think BTRFS and ZFS are not "ready", because they lack tools that makes it easy and safe for normal users to use the advanced features. Because of this, unless you really make an effort to learn how to use them safely, they might cause more problems than benefits.
      FYI I made the question because I'm coming from a Synology NAS, which uses BTRFS for their Hybrid RAID feature which is quite handy because allows different drives to be pooled together (a bit more flexible than classic RAID, but less than SnapRAID).

      I'm sure the Synology DSM OS does something in the background but I don't use any BTRFS advanced feature like snapshots. Synology really wants you to use BTRFS, but I have no idea why.

      Additionally, I already knew I didn't want to use ZFS due to impact on RAM/performance and the fact I can't extend pools.
    • thedarkness wrote:

      Adoby wrote:

      Yes, both BTRFS and ZFS have advanced features that are missing in EXT4. Things like snapshots, copy-on-write, checksums and more. But unless you intend to use these features, and know how to use them, they are useless. And you might just as well use EXT4.

      If you think that you need the advanced features, go ahead and learn how to use them.

      I think BTRFS and ZFS are not "ready", because they lack tools that makes it easy and safe for normal users to use the advanced features. Because of this, unless you really make an effort to learn how to use them safely, they might cause more problems than benefits.
      FYI I made the question because I'm coming from a Synology NAS, which uses BTRFS for their Hybrid RAID feature which is quite handy because allows different drives to be pooled together (a bit more flexible than classic RAID, but less than SnapRAID).
      I'm sure the Synology DSM OS does something in the background but I don't use any BTRFS advanced feature like snapshots. Synology really wants you to use BTRFS, but I have no idea why.

      Additionally, I already knew I didn't want to use ZFS due to impact on RAM/performance and the fact I can't extend pools.
      Is the RAM (that you need quite a lot) thing just a FreeNAS thing? Also my understanding was you needed ECC. I decided not to use FreeNAS but when I built my machine I purposely chose a LGA2011 board over a LGA115x board because it could hold more ram and RDIMMs cost significantly less than UDIMMs.
    • Givmedew wrote:

      Is the RAM (that you need quite a lot) thing just a FreeNAS thing? Also my understanding was you needed ECC. I decided not to use FreeNAS but when I built my machine I purposely chose a LGA2011 board over a LGA115x board because it could hold more ram and RDIMMs cost significantly less than UDIMMs.
      zfs *needs* lots of ram for dedupe (if enabled). zfs will *use* lots of ram for cache if available but it doesn't have to have it. It will be faster with lots of ram. The OS doesn't change anything. FreeNAS (freebsd) is moving to the ZFS on Linux codebase in fact.
      omv 5.2.3 usul | 64 bit | 5.3 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.2.0
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

      Please read this before posting a question and this and this for docker questions.
      Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!
    • Any filesystem benefit from more RAM. It will be used to cache disk access.

      But ZFS has advanced compression features (deduplication) that needs extra RAM, if activated.

      Sometimes there are worried posts about no RAM free. That is because it is all used to cache disk. But if needed the caches can be discarded immediately and used by some app or whatever.
      OMV 4: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4
    • Adoby wrote:

      Any filesystem benefit from more RAM. It will be used to cache disk access.

      But ZFS has advanced compression features (deduplication) that needs extra RAM, if activated.
      You are correct but zfs will use (and benefit) much more ram than other Linux filesystems.
      omv 5.2.3 usul | 64 bit | 5.3 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.2.0
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

      Please read this before posting a question and this and this for docker questions.
      Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!