Are there any real advantages of ext4 over ext2 ?

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Jul 8 19:59:10 UTC 2020

On Wed, 8 Jul 2020 23:40:12 +0530, Manish Jain wrote:
> I have a dual boot computer with FreeBSD and Linux.
> My Linux partitions are ext4 simply because ext4 is now the default 
> under Linux. However, ext4 is not supported directly by FreeBSD. As a 
> result, writing to those filesystems from FreeBSD is painfully slow (via 
> fuse).
> It is notable that ext2fs is directly supported by FreeBSD.

You are talking about different levels of support - by the
kernel or by a kernel module, for read-only or read/write.

> ext4 supports huge files (in terra bytes) [...]

Prefix: tera. Tera, 10^12 != terra, earth. ;-)

> [...] and filesystems (in thousands 
> of peta bytes). But very few people have such files/filesystems. At 
> least, don't - my use case is max 64 GB file, max 500 GB filesystem.

If you have such a case, ext4 is possibly an option, but there
are other filesystems that might be better suited to hold
extremely large files withing even larger filesystems.

> So I wonder are there any real advantages of ext4 over ext2 ?

In my experience, ext4 is more stable than ext2, and therefore
can cope with potential filesystem problems better. Furthermore,
it's more recent, so it's not entirely impossible that ext2
support will be removed sometimes in the future.

However, for the case of a "data exchange partition to be used
for FreeBSD and Linux in read/write mode", ext2 can definitely
be called a lowest common denominator. That doesn't mean it is
superior to more recent native filesystems, but for _that_ case,
it surely is a valid choice.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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