My system needs a very high number of inodes on the partition because it is going to store many, many small files. (It's going to be an OSM, OpenStreetMap TileServer running mapnik and tirex).

As far I as learnt the number of inodes of a ext4 partition can only be created when formatting with mkfs.ext4 (see answer here). Increasing later is not possible but would require one to reformat (see comment here).

So it's really good to do it right at installation. Is there a way to pass arguments to mkfs.ext4 for mkfs.ext4 -T usage-type /dev/something? So I could mkfs.ext4 -T news /dev/something (usage type news has a lot of inodes).

  • 1
    man mkfs.ext4 under -T, especially the mention of /etc/mke2fs.conf, and man mke2fs.conf does not help?
    – dirkt
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 11:40
  • Not during the installation process ;)
    – nachtigall
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


This is supported in the installer. To choose the usage type of a partition created during installation, you need to proceed as follows:

  • when you get to the partition phase, select “Manual” (you can still have guided partitioning in the manual partitioning tool)
  • choose the drive you want to partition
  • confirm you want to create a partition table (if necessary)
  • choose the free space
  • create your partitions (you can select “Automatically partition the free space” here to have the installer create them for you)
  • once your partitions have been created, you’ll return to the list of drives and partitions
  • choose the partition (or logical volume if you’re using LVM) whose usage you want to change
  • select “Typical usage” (which should be “standard” by default)
  • at this point, on Ext4, you can choose the usage you want from “standard”, “news” (lots of inodes), “largefile” (fewer inodes), “largefile4” (even fewer inodes)
  • select “Done setting up the partition” to return to the list of drives and partitions
  • select “Finish partitioning and write changes to disk” to continue the installation

The usage you select is used as the value of the -T parameter for mkfs.ext4.

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