Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm currently filling up an empty 16GB flash drive which gives me a lot of time for imponderables. It's formatted as fat32 or whatever it came with (and I'll probably leave it that way for ease of portability). I'm just wondering if it would make any difference in write/access times if I had formatted it to ext2 or 3.

share|improve this question
    
Bear in mind you may well be rate-limited by the USB transfer rate, which would also depend on your version of USB... –  ire_and_curses Sep 25 '12 at 22:05
    
For slow media like a USB flash drive, any speed difference between filesystems would be hard to notice. –  Jim Paris Sep 25 '12 at 22:21
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

A copy operation involves updating/adding a node in the filesystem's datastructure.This involves reading,processing and finally inserting the info node for the copied file.If your device and port(Remember port throughput is determined according to the slower one) is fast enough then the problem lies in the filesystem.

You may be victim of one of the two situations:

  1. Large number of files:
    In case there are many small files to be copied then the filesystem matters.Look Here , its associated link and Ext vs FAT, where they discuss about various filesystems performance.
  2. Corrupted File System:
    This is more common problem where we misunderstand our Flash drive as slow and even sometimes we end up with half/less capacity on drive then specified.The obvious solution to this problem is using disk utility or dd to clear partition (Freeing whole drive) and then repartition.
share|improve this answer
    
Lots to digest in those links. It looks like it does make a difference, but as both answers so far point out, the effect is probably much smaller than throughput constraints. –  Joe Sep 28 '12 at 6:28
add comment

Your usb flash drive wont be more affected by filesystem perfomance than by your usb interface speeds. USB 2.0 interface speeds are very low and flash drive write speeds are very low, so slow that heavy write operation would slow the process to crawl.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.