EXT3 or not to EXT3.....

Hi, I’m looking to reformat my drobo via droboshare with EXT3 as the filesystem.

Benefits of EXT3:

  1. The droboshare should be able to fsck the volumes filesystem locally without having to shutdown the drobo and DAS attach it to another system. *** is this correct? ***
  2. DAS plug into linux with no issues
  3. DAS plug into windows using Ext2fsd http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd
  4. Mac, im not sure yet but figuring that its based on *nix, im figuring it should be able to. Not a huge issue either way.

Im not that familiar with EXT3 so does anyone have any corrections (to the above), warnings, suggestions, comments etc?


Where do you want the Drobo to live? Give it a native file system for where it will spend the most time. Droboshare counts as a linux box. If you’re using a DS, then the file system does not matter to the network clients, they will see an SMB (samba) share, and not the native file system at all.

NTFS-3G will let you access NTFS on linux & MAC

Linux has a (crappy) HFS driver, and for windows, you need to pay.

FAT32 is well supported everywhere, but has lots of limitations.

You will get equal portability with either FAT, NTFS or ext3.

Permission models are all different on all the file systems, and the DS tries to abstract them away as too complicated for the target market. So there isn’t really much hope for portability in that.

If you want to leave the system under linux or XP for a large portion of the time, keep your LUN <= 2 TiB.
win >= Vista support larger LUNS as does OSX.

Generally, the native file system performs best on it’s home turf. (ext3 on linux will run rings around ntfs with the same CPU under linux. Under NT, the difference will likely shrink.)

My environment is entirely linux, so I only run ext3, but ymmv.

I looked around a bit to for a method to hook ext3 to an Intel Mac natively, but in the end I used VMware Fusion, ran Linux in a VM and connected the USB disk to that. I used Samba inside Linux to mount the fileshare I was copying from, or rsync via ssh, and it got the job done, at pretty much native speed.

thanks for the replies guys :slight_smile:

Can you comment on the fsck ability? Can i fsck the drive directly from the droboshare? (via ssh)[hr]
hmm… something i hadnt noticed but just realised is that EXT3 on droboshare has a volume limit of 2tb (without some custom work) :frowning: thats way way too small!