Linux False Facts

Why this page

Because when people are deceived once by false informations, they may get a wrong opinion forever. I hear sometimes that with Linux even an old PII 400 can give you glitchfree Divx play (maybe even H264) ….. what I respond is it can be true (MPlayer with a Matrox on a PII 400 can play almost all normal Divx) but it also can be false (depending on the hardware and video codec complexity). That's why I started this page to rationalise a little.

Linux don't need a defragmenter

I was also told that there was a little daemon running automatically when the io level was low to defragment anything that should be. It's true that ext3 does not have any tool to defragment but strangely it has some script to detect defragmentation (see here). So ext3 (and any other linux filesystem that I know of) can also become fragmented (like NTFS or FAT32). If you have an almost nearly full partition with a lot of file creation/delete/update, it will certainly be heavily fragmented.

The truth is that most of Linux filesystem are less prone to fragmentation because of their use of cache and the delayed writing to the disk. And there is only one filesystem (IIRC) that has an online (you don't have to unmount your partition to use it) defragmenter : XFS with xfs_fsr. It seems that ext4 will get a tool like that too.

So the above sentence is false : Even Linux filesystems may become fragmented and fragmentation is not only THE Windows problem.

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