Increase performance on USB install

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by bertil Mar 10-7:51 am.

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    Just wanted to share what I did.

    I installed antiX on a USB thumb-drive and ran into performance issues.

    I decided to try and trade data integrity for performance reducing writes. This might also increase the thumb-drive life. I am aware that this is very aggressive tuning and that I traded a lot of integrity away.

    So, I disabled journaling:

    >tune2fs -o journal_data_writeback /dev/sdXY
    >tune4fs -O ^has_journal /dev/sdXY

    and modified my /etc/fstab thus:
    UUID=991deee3-6eda-4d49-8c4b-badfc512ae9d / ext4 defaults,noatime,barrier=0,data=writeback,commit=600 1 1

    So far it is working well …….


    Hmmm, wondering how this would compare to simply using a usb formatted to ext2 ?


    lookup the explanation of relatime (the default). It shouldn’t incur a performance penalty, compared to noatime.

    During a dynamic root persistence session, writes occur only during a persist-save operation.
    With attention to data integrity, I wouldn’t dare forego journaling… and we should expect that the
    “performance gain” from doing so (in the context of dynamic root persistence) will be nil.


    I’ve used ext2/ext3/ext4 on USB2 pendrives with no noticeable differences in speed, so I stick with ext4 these days. The best speed gain is by loading to ram. 🙂

    Linux (& BSD) since 1999


    Well, ext2 vs ext4 without journal seems like a heated and long debate a few years ago. I think inconclusive also.
    Ext4 do have some improvements unrelated to journaling that should decrease writes. Then on the other hand, that is overhead with an impact.

    I not only disabled journaling, I also added noatime. That affects ext2 as well. As noted above, there is relatime as an alternative. And I think some layzytime as well in newer kernels.

    I do not really know what I am doing. Just trying out that others did. I am not sure how writeback plays into this. First I disable journaling. Then tells the kernel to mount the drive with writeback journaling(?).

    I have installed antiX on the USB, so no persistence.

    Here is my dump2fs if anyone is interested.

    $ sudo dumpe2fs /dev/sdb1 |more
    dumpe2fs 1.43.4 (31-Jan-2017)
    Filesystem volume name: rootantiX
    Last mounted on: /

    Filesystem features: ext_attr resize_inode dir_index filetype extent 64bit flex_bg sparse_super large_file huge_file dir_nlink extra_isize metadata_csum
    Filesystem flags: signed_directory_hash
    Default mount options: journal_data_writeback user_xattr acl

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