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Question:

Given these three filesystems: XFS, BTRFS and EXT4, I'm wishing to know which does provide the best data resilience to data corruption in a setup without RAID. And, of course, why?

(You can also elaborate on "setup with RAID" as long as you first responded without)


I'm not asking for your opinion about them and I will flag OT answers appropriately. More specifically, I'm asking for references and data, not about "I've been running with EXT4/BTRFS/XFS for X years and have yet to see a corruption": this will be flagged as out topic.


  • By data corruption, I mean any data alteration on-disk (non exhaustive possible sources of corruption: disk bit flip, RAM bit flip, cosmic rays, abrupt shut-down, etc.)
  • Resilience here is two-fold:
    • A more resilient filesystem will allow me to get back as much data as it can, especially if the metadata are corrupted
    • but it shouldn't do so silently (or would be considered less resilient).

I know about how and what is checksummed. Though this is just one way to provide corruption detection. Other FS might use other techniques. Since I'm not an expert in the field, I can't tell if this is the only method used.

Plus, checksumming doesn't tell me about the efficiency of recovery if, say, 4kB of metadata are corrupted.

closed as primarily opinion-based by slm Sep 23 '14 at 16:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I'm pretty sure ext4 provides no protection against data corruption. It checksum's metadata but not file contents. So this race is between XFS and BTRFS (neither of which I have enough concrete knowledge of). – Bratchley Sep 23 '14 at 15:58
  • You may want to change your question to asking about ZFS instead of EXT4. ZFS does have some protection for data corruption. – Bratchley Sep 23 '14 at 16:00