Increase EXT3 format speed.

Ted Ts'o tytso at
Mon Feb 28 18:54:50 UTC 2011

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:18:59PM +0100, Stephane Cerveau wrote:
> On certain USB MSC dongle, the mkfs.ext3 can take around 3 min for
> 4GB. It seems that the process is locked in sync function. Do you
> know how I could increase the speed of this process?
> With mkfs.ext4 it's about 1 min to format it ...

What is the high-level problem that you are trying to solve?  Is this
for testing purposes?  Are you trying to do something for production?
Are these dongles new, or do they contain a previously generated
ext2/3/4 file system?

Depending on the answers to these questions, there are some short-cuts
you can take that will speed up mke2fs for ext3, but there are
downsides and they aren't safe in all situations (which is why they
are not the default).  Ext4 has a way to initialize the inode table
lazily, after the file system is mounted, which is why it's faster to
use mke2fs.

						- Ted

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