Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm setting up a backup system on an external drive.

I would have gone with ext4, but heard that XFS is more suited for my needs. I haven't worked with files of this magnitude before so my question is:

Which Linux-based file system is best for handling a ~75GB tar file? And are there other file systems I should consider?

Notes: I already know which tools I will use, namely rsync for the /home partition, and tar for the OS partition. Plenty other posts talk about backup methods, but I can't find any that address very large files. The backup will be run bi-weekly through a shell script.


share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I was involved in setting up an Thecus N5500 for backups of large files on a network (Copies of virtual machine disks, 150GB+ vmdk files). Initially, I formatted the device as ext3, as it's old, stable, and I've used it before, but I ran into problems with it - files that couldn't be deleted, hanging when trying to access them, etc. Reformatting to XFS, which is built for dealing with large files, completely resolved these issues, so based no my (admittedly small) experience, I'd go with that.

share|improve this answer
Exactly what I wanted to hear, thanks! – invert Jan 11 '10 at 8:03

75Gb isn't all that large really. I'm a tad conservative when it comes to filesystems, so I'd stick with ext3; unlike both XFS and ext4 it's not known to have bugsfeatures that can leave your data in an inconsistent state if there's a power outage

share|improve this answer
True, as with most (especially journalling) file systems. That's why I love my UPS. – invert Jan 11 '10 at 8:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .