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Old 11-19-2012, 15:20   #1
kensb2
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Best HDD Format for Media CentOS 6.X?

Hey Linux gurus, I was curious if there is a particular HDD format preferred for an internal media drive? I know there are several different types, and I believe the HDD my OS is on is ext2 IIRC.

I have a brand new 1.5TB drive I'm getting ready to install. I will then transfer my existing media from an NTFS formatted 1.5TB that I need to perform testing on (have seen some 'wonky' behavior from it).

My goal is to (eventually) setup a media server on my CentOS box to serve media to several PS3s over my home network. Any advise suggestions is much appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2012, 00:31   #2
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Ext 2 is pretty old. I'm not a file system guru so I really don't know all the technical differences. That said, I've used ext4 for years with no problems.

Why are you thinking about NTFS?

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainstormy View Post
Ext 2 is pretty old. I'm not a file system guru so I really don't know all the technical differences. That said, I've used ext4 for years with no problems.

Why are you thinking about NTFS?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
I chose ext 2 (IIRC) when I setup my CenOS box because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to choose. I <think> CentOS gives a brief description of each file format and which they recommend using depending on what's going on that particular HDD.

As far as the NTFS goes, I am NOT thinking about using it. I have another existing 1.5TB drive already installed, that was originally formatted via Windows (thus NTFS). Once I get all my media copied over to the new drive, the old one will be reformatted in a native Linux format so I don't have to worry about mounting it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:56   #4
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Ext4 is a solid choice for you.
I do kind of cringe that you are using ext2 on your root drive.

Starting with ext3 and now ext4 is the concept of transaction logging.
All fire systems are lazy and some more lazy than others.
That is say you delete a file or change it or whatever. The OS doesn't apply the change right now. It will happen when the OS has some down time. That's the lazy part, don't want to over-work that OS.

So, lets say you made a bunch of changes and moved some files and created a 30 page document and then the system crashes, for whatever reason. There are now a bunch of inconsistencies, files opened and not closed, changes maybe partly made etc. This can cause real havoc.
So, a journaling or logging file system has some disk space for file change metadata that gets updated RIGHT NOW.
So, when you boot up a logging file system the OS checks the log for changes and compares it to the file system and makes any needed changes and all is well.
This is why a modern Linux system can survive a power cycle (in most cases) without harm.

Ext2 is not a journaling/logging file system. eeks.

I am a fan of btrFS and zfs but I'm kind of a file system hobbiest. Ext4 is very good and way, way better than ext2 and it's part of the main stream Linux install.

As to the second part. I use MediaTomb UPnP media server and like it a lot. It's available to install with most Linux distros and even my Google Nexus tablet likes it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:20   #5
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@Linux3, thanks for all the info. I'm quite new to linux in general, and haven't had time to read that in-depth into it. It sounds like I'm hoping that I am wrong in my recollection, and that I'm at least using Ext3 for my root drive. It sounds like I will be formatting and reformatting my 2 1.5TB drives in Ext4 when I get a chance to work on it.

I've heard of MT, and think I may have had it on a Mint 9 box I'd built a few years back when I was first messing with linux. Do you know how well it plays with a PS3? That is the major component for me as far as serving media goes, as that's what all media will be sent to. I was trying to implement PS3 MS for COS, but the only guides I could find were for COS 5.x and weren't working. I don't know enough about linux to figure out what I don't know, so to speak.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linux3 View Post
Ext4 is a solid choice for you.
I do kind of cringe that you are using ext2 on your root drive.

Starting with ext3 and now ext4 is the concept of transaction logging.
All fire systems are lazy and some more lazy than others.
That is say you delete a file or change it or whatever. The OS doesn't apply the change right now. It will happen when the OS has some down time. That's the lazy part, don't want to over-work that OS.

So, lets say you made a bunch of changes and moved some files and created a 30 page document and then the system crashes, for whatever reason. There are now a bunch of inconsistencies, files opened and not closed, changes maybe partly made etc. This can cause real havoc.
So, a journaling or logging file system has some disk space for file change metadata that gets updated RIGHT NOW.
So, when you boot up a logging file system the OS checks the log for changes and compares it to the file system and makes any needed changes and all is well.
This is why a modern Linux system can survive a power cycle (in most cases) without harm.

Ext2 is not a journaling/logging file system. eeks.

I am a fan of btrFS and zfs but I'm kind of a file system hobbiest. Ext4 is very good and way, way better than ext2 and it's part of the main stream Linux install.

As to the second part. I use MediaTomb UPnP media server and like it a lot. It's available to install with most Linux distros and even my Google Nexus tablet likes it.
Pretty much everything he said.

Mediatomb or miniDLNA will handle your UPNP needs just fine.
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The fire is no longer my major concern since I am leaving immediately on an unexpected road trip to Indianapolis. Watch the national news over the next couple of days, I'll wave... well, only if I'm cuffed in the front.
RIP Jack
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kensb2 View Post
It sounds like I will be formatting and reformatting my 2 1.5TB drives in Ext4 when I get a chance to work on it.
You do not need to reformat your drives to go from ext2 to ext3. The underlying data is the same, so all you have to do in activate the journaling capabilities of the newer system.

There are any number of pages that describe the process, just google "convert ext2 to ext3"

AFAIK, this is a risk free process.

You can also do the same to go to ext4, but you do not gain all of the advantages without a reformat.

ARS
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kensb2 View Post
@Linux3, thanks for all the info. I'm quite new to linux in general, and haven't had time to read that in-depth into it. It sounds like I'm hoping that I am wrong in my recollection, and that I'm at least using Ext3 for my root drive. It sounds like I will be formatting and reformatting my 2 1.5TB drives in Ext4 when I get a chance to work on it.

I've heard of MT, and think I may have had it on a Mint 9 box I'd built a few years back when I was first messing with linux. Do you know how well it plays with a PS3? That is the major component for me as far as serving media goes, as that's what all media will be sent to. I was trying to implement PS3 MS for COS, but the only guides I could find were for COS 5.x and weren't working. I don't know enough about linux to figure out what I don't know, so to speak.
Don't hold me to it, but I believe MT is capable of transcoding for a PS3.. but I'm not sure exactly what is involved.
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Originally Posted by GioaJack View Post
The fire is no longer my major concern since I am leaving immediately on an unexpected road trip to Indianapolis. Watch the national news over the next couple of days, I'll wave... well, only if I'm cuffed in the front.
RIP Jack
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kensb2 View Post
It sounds like I'm hoping that I am wrong in my recollection, and that I'm at least using Ext3 for my root drive. It sounds like I will be formatting and reformatting my 2 1.5TB drives in Ext4 when I get a chance to work on it.

I Do you know how well it plays with a PS3? That is the major component for me as far as serving media goes, as that's what all media will be sent to.
Take a look at /etc/fstab
Open a terminal
you@yoursystemname:~$ cat /etc/fstab <enter>
Look at the line for the "/" partition, it will say ext2 or ext3.
Yes, you can convert ext2 to ext3 but doing it for the root partition is not for the faint of heart as it takes some command line work.

MediaTomb works just fine with the PS3. In the config file there is one line you uncomment and all is well. Dead easy.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:52   #10
kensb2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspartz View Post
You do not need to reformat your drives to go from ext2 to ext3. The underlying data is the same, so all you have to do in activate the journaling capabilities of the newer system.

There are any number of pages that describe the process, just google "convert ext2 to ext3"

AFAIK, this is a risk free process.

You can also do the same to go to ext4, but you do not gain all of the advantages without a reformat.

ARS
As I mentioned above, one drive is brand new (format), the other is currently NTFS (reformat). I haven't really done all that much to the COS server yet, so if I do have to reformat my root drive to get ext 4, I would probably do it. It certainly couldn't hurt to have the experience of setting it up again.

Thanks again to everyone for all the info/advise. I might get a chance to format the new drive and subsequent media transfer today (hopefully). If not, then this weekend. I'll check back and let you know what format my root drive is in.

Last edited by kensb2; 11-20-2012 at 12:53.. Reason: content
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:45   #11
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Just wanted to give everyone a quick update: my root HDD was actually formatted in ext4 when I checked it, so I'm good to go there. I also installed an additional 4 GB of ram (DDR2) in addition to the new HDD (formatted in ext4). All went well there. I started the transfer of my 1.3TB of movies from the old drive to new, and will check on it when I get home from work today.
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