Since I found out about LVM I have been giving more thought to the process for choosing the file system for my future installs.

Usually I'd always choose whatever default option the distro would offer me for my partitions. And that works fine when we are talking about just a simple desktop.

If you are planning to setup a machine for some kind of server, how do you evaluate your alternatives? I'm planning on never installing a system without LVM again.

Would it limit in any way the options for file systems that I could choose from? And, if you are doing LVM, would it matter for you if you choose ext2, ext3, ext4, since the maximum partition size is defined by your logical volume, not an actual physical partition?

2 Answers 2


LVM doesn't restrict what filesystems can be put on top of it. (It doesn't know or care.)

If you're choosing between ext2, ext3, and ext4, the maximum partition size isn't the main concern, unless of course you need to go beyond the limits of the earlier versions, in which case the choice is mandatory.


One thing to consider is whether the filesystem supports resizing (growing and shrinking), since LVM lets you resize logical partitions. ext3/4 supports resizing, as does btrfs. I've never tried, but the documentation says that XFS can be resized as well.

  • 1
    XFS supports live resizing (you can extend the FS while it's mounted and in use).
    – wazoox
    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:42

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