Chris Browne wrote:

The results have not been totally conclusive...

 - Several have found JFS to be a bit faster than anything else on
   Linux, but some data loss problems have been experienced;

 - ext2 has the significant demerit that with big filesystems, fsck
   will "take forever" to run;

 - ext3 appears to be the slowest option out there, and there are some
   stories of filesystem corruption;

In an Oracle paper entitled Tuning an "Oracle8i Database Running Linux" (, Dr. Bert Scalzo says, "The trouble with these tests-for example, Bonnie, Bonnie++, Dbench, Iobench, Iozone, Mongo, and Postmark-is that they are basic file system throughput tests, so their results generally do not pertain in any meaningful fashion to the way relational database systems access data files." Instead he suggests users benchmarking filesystems for database applications should use these two well-known and widely accepted database benchmarks:

AS3AP ( a scalable, portable ANSI SQL relational database benchmark that provides a comprehensive set of tests of database-processing power; has built-in scalability and portability for testing a broad range of systems; minimizes human effort in implementing and running benchmark tests; and provides a uniform, metric, straightforward interpretation of the results.

TPC-C ( an online transaction processing (OLTP) benchmark that involves a mix of five concurrent transactions of various types and either executes completely online or queries for deferred execution. The database comprises nine types of tables, having a wide range of record and population sizes. This benchmark measures the number of transactions per second.

I encourage you to read the paper -- Dr. Scalzo's results will surprise you; however, while he benchmarked ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and RAW, he did not include XFS.

SGI and IBM did a more detailed study on Linux filesystem performance, which included XFS, ext2, ext3 (various modes), ReiserFS, and JRS, and the results are presented in a paper entitled "Filesystem Performance and Scalability in Linux 2.4.17" ( This paper goes over the details on how to properly conduct a filesystem benchmark and addresses scaling and load more so than Dr. Scalzo's tests.

For further study, I have compiled a list of Linux filesystem resources at:


 James Thornton
Internet Business Consultant,

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