Common File Systems

  • Several different file systems can be used with many disks and operating systems
  • Here are some of the more common file systems:
    • [ Ext2fs ] — Second Extended File System (ext2fs or ext2) is the traditional Linux native file system.  Can be a good choice for a small /boot partition, and for small removable disks.  For small disks, a non-journaling system (ext2) is best.
    • [ Ext3fs ] — Third Extended File System (ext3fs or ext3) is a journaled version of ext2fs and can recover from power outages more quickly.
    • [ Ext4fs ] — Fourth Extended File System (ext4fs or ext4) adds the ability to work with very large disks
    • [ ReiserFS ] — Designed as a journaling filesystem for Linux.  Good at handling large number of files because it squeezes the ends of each file into each other, which uses the unused space.
    • [ JFS ] — Is a technically sophisticated journaling file system.  Journaled File System (JFS) was developed by IBM for the AIX OS and was later used for its OS/2.
    • [ XFS ] — Also a technically sophisticated journaling file system.  It’s known for robustness, speed and flexibility.  Extents File System (XFS) was created for use for the IRIX OS and was later adopted by Linux, however it doesn’t work too well with Linux.
    • [ Btrfs ] — Is a fast performer and is able to handle very large disks and files.
    • [ FAT ] — File Allocation Table (FAT) is an old and somewhat primitive file system.  Because it’s the only one usable by DOS, just about every major OS understands FAT.  This makes it very usable for transferring data between many OSs.
    • [ NTFS ] — New Technology File System (NTFS) is the preferred file system of recent Windows OSs.  Although Linux can read files from this file system, it is unable to write to it.
    • [ HFS ] — Hierarchical File System (HFS) is used with many Apple implementations.  In addition, HFS+ has been developed to account for the recent growing sizes of disks.  Linux provides write capabilities with the journaling feature disabled.
    • [ ISO-9660 ] — This is the standard filesystem for CD-ROMs.
    • [ UDF ] — Universal Disk Format (UDF) is the next generation file system for optical disks.
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