Disk defragmenter in Linux

Fajar Priyanto fajarpri at cbn.net.id
Fri Dec 23 07:32:30 UTC 2005

Hi all,
A today's mail from one of the new comer brings me this question again in my 
mind. Linux disk defragmenter. Does it really not needed?

I've been googling around and find that this matter has been discussed as 
early as 1998. And it seems that the only distro that provides a defragmenter 
program is debian.

There are several way of fixing a heavy defragmented disk in Linux, but the 
easiest way is to copy all of the content of the partition into another 
place, completely erase that partition, and copy back the content.

My own experience shows me just that. My /home partition was almost full with 
only 2% freespace. During that time, my Kmail became very slow such as when 
downloading email or when I moved between mail folders. The harddisk was just 
spinning all the time.

Then I copy all my files and mails from the /home partition and move them all 
to another partition. Then delete them from /home. After that, I copied some 
of the files and mail back to /home in order to keep 20% of /home free. So 
far the performance is ok.

However, still the question remains. If Linux ext3 doesn't need defragmenter, 
and able to defrag itself, what is the process name? And when does it run? 
Can I see it in action? Is there an utility to see on what percentage my 
current defragmentation? I tried fschk but no luck.

Thank you,
Fajar Priyanto | Reg'd Linux User #327841 | Linux tutorial 
14:32:29 up 1:32, 2.6.14-1.1653_FC4 GNU/Linux 
Let's use OpenOffice. http://www.openoffice.org

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