Monday, July 27, 2009

Ext4 causes data loss

I am reading this in lot of Linux journals, magazines and forums that the new ext4 filesystem causes massive data loss in case of desktop manager crashes. For example, if KDE crashes during loading, most of its configuration files are lost. The reason is that ext4 uses late journalling of files meaning changes are committed physically to the disk only after ~ 120 seconds while the metadata is written immediately leading to truncation of files in case of a crash. For ext3 this time was ~ 5 secs. This would be fixed only in a later kernel 2.6.30. So, it is better to avoid ext4 for now. Those who have already done it might want to revert back to avoid data loss.

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