BTRFS EXT3 EXT4 XFS and KVM virtual machine: a host-side filesystem comparison

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Linux & Unix

User Rating:  / 14

Windows 7 x64 install time

So, what was the fastest filesystem when dealing with Windows 7 x64 installation?


BTRFS EXT3 EXT4 XFS with KVM: Windows 7 x64 install time

EXT3 was the leader, but EXT4 and XFS basically tied it. On the other hand, BTRFS is very slow: we will later try to understand why.


#1 NGRhodes 2012-07-25 12:07

When looking at fragmentation, do not forget that EXT4 supports a maximum 32K blocks in an extent, which at the default 4KB block size is 128MB.
As your benchmarks show, does not appear to be a performance limitation.
What would be more interesting is rerunning the benchmarks on an aged filesystem and compare how performance degrades with age.
#2 Gionatan Danti 2012-07-30 11:20
Hi NGRhodes,
sorry for the late reply.

You are correct about EXT4 extent size, but theoretically nothing prevents 2 extents to be placed one after the other. In fact, the filefrag utility checks if two extents are consecutively placed and, in this case, it does not report two different fragments, but only one.

Do you have any proposal about the aged filesystem? Any idea is welcomed ;)
#3 Jack Douglas 2012-10-14 21:15

Thanks for the very helpful article. Would you be open to the suggestion of running the same tests with OCFS2 on a single node (it is the only fs other than btrfs with 'reflink' file snapshots that are very useful for backing up VMs)

Kind regards
#4 Boki 2016-04-21 12:59
Thanks for great article, and now, almost 4 years later, is there any new diff results or suggestions?

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