[CentOS] Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Thomas Harold thomas-lists at nybeta.com
Wed Dec 9 18:51:19 UTC 2009

On 12/9/2009 12:23 PM, Miguel Di Ciurcio Filho wrote:
> Miguel Medalha wrote:
>> I am about to install a new server running CentOS 5.4. The server will
>> contain pretty critical data that we can't afford to corrupt.
> Just for the record, Theodore Ts'o marked ext4 as stable and ready for
> general usage more than one year ago [1]. On 25 December 2008 kernel
> 2.6.28 was released with ext4 considered ready for production. So, ext4
> is not _that_ new anymore. One year latter that Fedora 12 and Ubuntu
> 9.10 began using ext4 as default.
> I believe for 5.5 or even on 5.6, ext4 will not be a tech preview
> anymore. Considering that RH has extended the support so much, and how
> ext3 is so limited with the current and future disk's capacities (fsck
> on a 1TB volume is not funny). The current ext4 module is close to the
> one on 2.6.29 plus lots of fixes [2]
> [1]
> http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6.git;a=commit;h=03010a3350301baac2154fa66de925ae2981b7e3
> [2] rpm -q --changelog kernel|grep ext4

My leaning is that 5.4 would be a bit too soon for production data, 
unless you have a very specific need and very good backups.  But it's 
darned close to ready.

Waiting until 5.5 or 5.6 (or 6.0) or at least waiting until next spring 
sounds like a reasonable middle ground.  That gives the Ubuntu and FC 
hordes time to beat on it in less controlled settings.

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