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  • Ext4 was released as a functionally complete and stable filesystem in Linux 2.6.28
  • It's safe to use it in production environments.
  • The ext4 or fourth extended filesystem is a journaling file system developed as the successor to ext3.
  • Kernel 2.6.28, containing the ext4 filesystem, was finally released.
  • The ext4 filesystem can support volumes with sizes up to 1 exabyte[6] and files with sizes up to 16 terabytes.
  • Extents are introduced to replace the traditional block mapping scheme used by ext2/3 filesystems.
  • The ext4 filesystem is backward compatible with ext3 and ext2, making it possible to mount ext3 and ext2 filesystems as ext4.
  • In ext3 the number of subdirectories that a directory can contain is limited to 32,000. This limit has been raised to 64,000 in ext4.
  • Ext4 uses checksums in the journal to improve reliability, since the journal is one of the most used files of the disk.
  • In ext4, unallocated block groups and sections of the inode table are marked as such. This enables e2fsck to skip them entirely on a check and greatly reduce the time it takes to check a file system of the size ext4 is built to support.
  • Ext4 allocates multiple blocks for a file in single operation, which reduces fragmentation by attempting to choose contiguous blocks on the disk.
  • Right now there's not a stable version of grub that supports booting a kernel from a ext4 partition. It's recommended that you keep /boot in a ext3 partition.
  • Ext4 will use the new data structures only on new data, the old structures will remain untouched and it will be possible to read/modify them when needed.

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Page last modified on April 30, 2009, at 08:08 AM