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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System Administration Guide
II. File Systems
File system refers to the files and directories stored on a computer. A file

system can have different formats called file system types. These
formats determine how the information is stored as files and directories.
Some file system types store redundant copies of the data, while some
file system types make hard drive access faster. This part discusses the
ext3 file system types.

Table of Contents
5. The ext3 File System
6. Access Control Lists
Booting the Hosts
The ext3 File System
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System
Administration Guide
Chapter 5. The ext3 File System
The default file system is the journalingex t 3 file system.
5.1. Features of ext3
The ext3 file system is essentially an enhanced version of the ext2 file
system. These improvements provide the following advantages:
After an unexpected power failure or system crash (also called an
unclean system shutdown), each mounted ext2 file system on the

machine must be checked for consistency by thee2fsck program.
This is a time\u00adconsuming process that can delay system boot time
significantly, especially with large volumes containing a large number
of files. During this time, any data on the volumes is unreachable.

The journaling provided by the ext3 file system means that this sort
of file system check is no longer necessary after an unclean system
shutdown. The only time a consistency check occurs using ext3 is in
certain rare hardware failure cases, such as hard drive failures. The
time to recover an ext3 file system after an unclean system shutdown
does not depend on the size of the file system or the number of files;
rather, it depends on the size of thejournal used to maintain
consistency. The default journal size takes about a second to
recover, depending on the speed of the hardware.

Data Integrity

The ext3 file system provides stronger data integrity in the event that an unclean system shutdown occurs. The ext3 file system allows you to choose the type and level of protection that your data receives. By default, the ext3 volumes are configured to keep a high level of data consistency with regard to the state of the file system.


Despite writing some data more than once, ext3 has a higher
throughput in most cases than ext2 because ext3's journaling
optimizes hard drive head motion. You can choose from three
journaling modes to optimize speed, but doing so means trade\u00adoffs
in regards to data integrity.

Easy Transition
It is easy to migrate from ext2 to ext3 and gain the benefits of a
robust journaling file system without reformatting. Refer toSection
5.3 Converting to an ext3 File System for more on how to perform
this task.

The following sections walk you through the steps for creating and
tuning ext3 partitions. For ext2 partitions, skip the partitioning and
formating sections below and go directly to Section 5.3 Converting to

an ext3 File System.
File Systems
Creating an ext3 File
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System
Administration Guide
PrevChapter 5. The ext3 File System Next
5.2. Creating an ext3 File System

After installation, it is sometimes necessary to create a new ext3 file
system. For example, if you add a new disk drive to the system, you may
want to partition the drive and use the ext3 file system.

The steps for creating an ext3 file system are as follows:
1. Create the partition usingparted orfdisk.
2. Format the partition with the ext3 file system usingmkfs.
3. Label the partition usinge2label.
4. Create the mount point.
5. Add the partition to the/etc/fstab file.

The ext3 File System
Converting to an ext3
File System
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System
Administration Guide

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