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I read about the XFS filesystem and found that it is good at storing large files. Why are some filesystems (XFS) good at storing large files and others (ext4/ext3) are not? Is it because of the physical architecture of XFS?

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The reason is the design of XFS. If you dig in to its history, you will see SGI was famous for workstations designed for audio and video editing. SGI created XFS to handle huge files (xxx MB or more) very well. They added the use of extents (with usual size of around 1MB) to improve good performance in handling big files. You can find more details here

  • can you tell me in more details with some links so that I could understand. – user3847894 Jan 14 at 15:42
  • @user3847894, please check updated answer – Romeo Ninov Jan 14 at 15:44
  • ext4 is also using extents. – LustreOne Jan 17 at 17:09
  • One major difference between ext4 and XFS is how they manage free space used for allocation. Ext4 scans bitmaps to find free space, while XFS keeps two trees of free extents (one sorted by offset, one sorted by size). This can be faster in some cases, but adds ongoing overhead to manage. Either filesystem may be faster than the other depending on the workload, available CPU, disk speed, etc. – LustreOne Jan 17 at 17:11

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