ReiserFS on a Linux mail server

Etienne Goyer etienne.goyer at
Tue Jan 20 09:33:06 EST 2004

This is really just my personnal opinion.  I have never used ReiserFS
myself (neither XFS, actually).  I am an happy user of ext3 since it
became mainstream.  

ReiserFS is a (relatively) new design.  It have a very small user base
compared to ext3.  Ext3 is well-known and well-tested design.  FS 
recovery tools for ext3 are mature and well-known by Linux sysadmin.  It 
is backward-compatible with ext2.  It is the default on most Linux 

Personnally, unless I am experiencing a bottleneck I can trace back to
the FS, I would go for the conservative choice and opt for ext3.  Unless
you have a very large userbase (I would say 10K users, but it depend on
many factors), performance will probably not be an issue in your setup.
I can see no gain for you by going with ReiserFS.

If, for some reason, you really can't use ext3, I would go with the 
second safest choice and use XFS (or JFS).  It's another proven design 
that's been in use for many years, althought the Linux implementation is
relatively recent.

Just my 0,02$.  Nothing scientific here; it's just that when talking 
about a service as critical as email, I prefer to stay on the safe side.

On Tue, Jan 20, 2004 at 04:01:01AM -0500, Jeff Gray wrote:
> Greetings all. I am an experienced Windows NT administrator (go ahead and 
> let it out now) making the transition to Linux. I have been assigned to a 
> team who are going to be migrating Exchange servers to Linux servers running 
> Postfix, Cyrus and Amavisd-new for spam and virus filtering. Currently all 
> options are being evaluated right now so I would like to take the initiative 
> and set up my own test server so I can start learning the concepts inside 
> out. I already have the hardware ready..... 1 Ghz P3, 1 gig ram, 4 ATA133 
> drives, 3ware RAID adapter.
> I have been doing a lot of reading regarding the journaling filesystems 
> available for Linux. Here is the conclusion that I have reached: ext3 is 
> basically ext2 with journaling added on top. XFS is well suited for 
> environments where very large files are going to be served. ReiserFS has 
> been optimized to handle small files in a very efficient manner and thus is 
> a great candidate for an all around general mail, apache and samba server.
> I was mainly deciding between ReiserFS and XFS but so far I'm leaning 
> towards the former. My question is to other mail administrators either 
> running Postfix, Cyrus or both....... from your experiences what have you 
> learned about dealing with ReiserFS version 3? Are there some special 
> filesystem optimizations that you would like to share with the list? I 
> forgot to mention that I will be utilizing LVM on my test server as well. 
> Any comments or suggestions? Thank you for taking the time to read this!
> _________________________________________________________________
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Etienne Goyer                    Linux Québec Technologies Inc.       etienne.goyer at

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