Manjaro KDE was wondering about FileSystems Extra Storage Ext4 vs ExFat

I am currently running EXT4 as my filesystem and most of my hard drives are set up for EXFat… However I was thinking about moving everything to EXT4 as I plan to only stick with Linux for now and forever. if I need something on another OS ill use a usb stick formatted with EXFat…

So I took my 4tb drive of media I usually spare 600gb’s for clearance, if I need to add some small files or whatever later on. This Drive is EXFat… I synced it over to a hard drive with that I formatted with EXT4. My Exfat drive I have 908.6gb free. After I synced everything over successfully to the EXT4 Drive, i now only have 668.4gb free… 240.2gb of space lost…

I then changed tune2fs -m[0..100] /dev/sdX to 0 blocks It changes from the 668.4 to 854.7 “settings reserved blocks percentage to 0% (0 blocks)” is what I was met with. So now I only lost 53.9gb of space.

Its not the END of the world, but over 5 drives, we are talking close to 200gb’s+ of lost storage…

I thought EXT4 would possibly help with Lost Storage… but it seems to require more storage? Maybe I missed something… but I was just wondering if someone could maybe help explain if there is a better option. Thanks in advance for any help I receive.

What is “lost storage”?

There’s no such a thing as lost storage actually, you just need to understand the concept of block size, or in Windows term: cluster size a.k.a. allocation unit size. Both EXT4 and ExFAT allows configuration of this value upon filesystem creation time, i.e.: it’s not possible to change it later without reformatting.

Block size is the minimum size a file can occupy in a disk, on windows this will be shown as size on disk, every file will be stored as a multiple of this value. So, if you have a lot of small files, it’s advised to use small block size (4KB, maybe even 1KB, but it will impact performance it may hurt) as well as if you set it to, say, 1MB, even a 1KB file will eat 1MB. Likewise, a 1.001MB file will eat 2MB.

Using the same block size, however, ExFAT will always take less space, because it’s still a FAT family member anyway. It has no journaling whatsoever that can help in restoring the filesystem to a usable state upon an unexpected event, such as power failure. At best what you can do is to do filesystem repair, which takes considerable amount of time to run.

thanks for the reply and explanation. I pretty much am using the drives for Media, Movies, Music, Video Clips, nothing crucial so I am just trying to get the most storage out of my storage drives. Yea if A Drive Fails it sucks, but its not the end of the world, a lot of the stuff I might not need or get to use but I like having it there if something creative calls for it. … I Run Linux of some kind I would say 98% of the time, on occasion I boot into windows maybe to check out a game for an hour or so… but very rarely.

my last question is if I set `tune2fs -m 0 if I set it to 0 does it affect the drive in anyway? I synced a drive over to an EXT4 Drive and i was able to run this and i gained back 186.3gb of space which is a lot of space. I guess when I mentioned Lost Space, I guess this is where I was referring too. I am still on the fence with sticking with EXFat for compatible with windows and Mac, but I don’t use windows nor mac, so it really is a Linux Life for me, which is why I was considering using EXT4 going forward for my data drives.

Not sure what you mean by: does it affect the drive?

It affects the file system on that partition - the amount of space that is reserved for the root user.
I’d not advise to set it to zero on the filesystem that holds your / partition
but on such a large drive, setting it to 1 or even lower is ok in any case.
A few hundred MB reserved for root should be plenty - even just 1% is way more than that on 4TB.

If you know what kind of files are going to be stored (many small files or rather few and large files)
you can optimize it further at the time the filesystem is created -
the bytes-per-inode ratio can not be adjusted later on
but can improve the amount of space that the filesystem itself will occupy.

Ext4 - ArchWiki

(Wisdom lies in reading :wink: )

Have you ever tried btrfs with compression on ?

You can find good Information about Btrfs in the wiki

You might also try the XFS filesystem it works very well on storage and the system.