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comparing format style (not distro specific)
I am reinstalling slack now and wanted to know which to use, its not going to have a heavy load, but I want speed. I dont truly NEED a journaling sysem do i? what does it do? and the computer is an ibm thinkcentre, does that mean i should use JFS?
please give me a little to decide on. until then i will try ext2
I personally would stay clear of ext2 because of the lack of journaling. Some of the advantages of journaling filesystems can be found here and here. Ext3 and reiserfs seem to be the most popular journaling filesystems on Linux and you don't necessarily need to run jfs just because you have an IBM machine.
Like I mentioned above Reiserfs and Ext3 are the most popular journalling filesystems on Linux. There seems to be an abundance of tools to work with these filesystems when compared to jfs and xfs. There is a good article at Debian Administration that compares various linux filesystems with the main focus being on Ext3 and Reiserfs. Hopefully that will help you to choose which one is best for you.