Charles Stack on Sun, 25 Apr 1999 11:16:45 -0400 (EDT)

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Re: Linux file system

I still don't see what the difference is between a fragmented FAT drive and
an ext2 formated drive.  If your files are scattered all of the hard drive,
this requires an increase in processing and drive movement to find those
pieces.  That should mean lower performance.  Perhaps, its the way these
files are linked that make it more efficient (or less painful) than a
fragmented FAT system (analogous to those threaded interpreter languages of
the late 70's and early 80's  vs something like interpreted BASIC or early
incarnations of FORTH (which uses a dictionary approach))

I keep hearing how ext2 is so superior to FAT, but to date, nobody has
adquately explained how the searching for fragments is more effiencient than
having a contiguous file or why ext2 is superior.  Anyone care to try?

FWIW, I do prefer Linux over Windoze but I'm looking for a good, solid
answer and am not looking to be flame-bait...just a good, solid answer.


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger C. Scudder Jr. <>
To: 'Steven J. Pulito' <>; PLUG Mailing List
Date: Sunday, April 25, 1999 6:56 AM
Subject: RE: Linux file system

>This is my take on this subject...
>The reason FAT file systems need to be de-fragmented is because of the way
>disk space is allocated.  A file may be split into several pieces and a
table it
>recorded to keep track of where one section ends and the next begins.
>where the performance hit comes in.  If there are lots of files split into
lots of
>pieces the disk head starts spending a substantial amount of time
>The reason all of this becomes necessary is because the disk space can only
>be allocated in a linear fashion from front to back.  This causes problems
>files are deleted there ends up being a lot of small free spaces.  Unless
>splitting method is used  the front to back method is very inefficient.
>In the case of the ext2 file system,  files need not be split because there
is no
>front to back allocation restriction.  Space is allocated in a scheme that
>reduces the number of small unused free spaces.  Imagine playing Tetris if
>you didn't have to always work from the bottom up.  You'd get a lot more
>opportunities to arrange the blocks just right.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Steven J. Pulito []
>Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 1999 1:51 AM
>To: PLUG Mailing List
>Subject: Linux file system
>Hello everybody,
>quick question:
>I've heard that there is no need to defrag a linux hard drive because the
>file system does it automatically.  Could someone verify this and possibly
>elaborate on the technical details?
>Steve Pulito
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