Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


ext3 vs. fat32: fsck benchmark

It's been ages since I fsck'd my two Western Digital MyBook USB drives. I was amazed just how much longer it takes to check fat32 drives compared to ext3 ones. sdb is a 250G drive; sdc is a 320G drive. Both contain a mix of file types and sizes, and both have two partitions - one fat32, one ext3. My original reason for this split was that at the time I was dual-booting Windows/Linux, and support for writing to NTFS in Linux and to ext3 from Windows was at the time less that optimal. My next drive will be ext3, or perhaps something even newer (ext4? reiserfs?).

Here's the data from this semi-scientific comparison, which says that ext3 is faster by at least an order of magnitude:

Partition, Type Fsck Time (hour) Free Space (G) Used Space (%) Used Space (G) Size (G)
sdc1, fat32 43.1 22 87 138 159
sdb1, fat32 10.9 4.7 89 35 40

sdb2, ext3 2.2 6.8 97 171 188
sdc3, ext3 0.9 17 88 115 138

And here's the `fsck` & `df -h` output:

/dev/sdb1: 40G 35G 4.7G 89%
/dev/sdb1: 18367 files, 4567286/5181919 clusters
Elapsed: 10.9 hours
/dev/sdc1: 159G 138G 22G 87%
/dev/sdc1: 1032 files, 8992148/10370914 clusters
Elapsed: 43.1 hours
/dev/sdb2: 188G 171G 6.8G 97%
/dev/sdb2: 223588/50692096 files (2.4% non-contiguous), 46338930/50675034 blocks
Elapsed: 2.2 hours
/dev/sdc3: 138G 115G 17G 88%
/dev/sdc3: 8946/18333696 files (29.8% non-contiguous), 30330767/36638240 blocks
Elapsed: 0.9 hours