default file system, was: Comparison to Workstation Technical Specification

Ric Wheeler rwheeler at
Sun Mar 2 14:47:27 UTC 2014

On 03/01/2014 08:51 AM, Chris Adams wrote:
> Once upon a time, Chris Murphy<lists at>  said:
>> >There are good reasons to use XFS by default for Server.
> Are they listed somewhere?

XFS has many advantages:

* best performance for most workloads  (especially with high speed storage and 
larger number of cores)
* tends to be less CPU intensive (better optimizations around lock contention, etc)
* most robust at large scale - has been run at hundred plus TB sizes for many 
years (and today's storage is getting way bigger, 16TB is about half a shelf of 
* XFS is the most common file system in multiple key upstream communities: most 
common base for ceph, gluster and openstack more broadly
* pioneered most of the techniques now in ext4 for performance (like delayed 

That said, ext4 has not been standing still:

* it has made major advances as well in the past few years in closing in on XFS 
* goes toe to toe with XFS in many workloads, especially on smaller storage 
sizes.  It will tend to be faster than XFS with some specific workloads (like 
single threaded, metadata intensive workloads)
* commonly used file system in major sites & systems (google, android, RHEL6)

I think that having XFS as the default for servers and ext4 as a default for 
workstations is reasonable. As part of the group that works on both, it won't 
make our lives any crazier :)


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