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#1 2020-10-10 12:53:42

uther
Member
Registered: 2019-05-16
Posts: 44  

[SOLVED] ext4 usb flash drive is slow

I've formatted one of my usb drives as ext4 as I wanted fast drive for linux systems.
Unfortunately the drive is facemeltingly slow, not only in write but in read too. And I don't now if this is hardware, or vendor related or if it's just a Linux thing (tm).

Should I unironically stick with NTFS, as it can give me better I/O? Are there any downsides of using Msft file system with Linux?

Last edited by uther (2020-10-11 09:49:15)

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#2 2020-10-10 13:43:18

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 415  

Re: [SOLVED] ext4 usb flash drive is slow

Some thoughts to that:
* Use ext2 instead of ext3/4, no journal so should be faster. Linux permissions.
* Use exfat. Pro: can be read on Win7/8/9/10 too. Does not have the FAT32 limitations. Downside: no Linux permissions.
* Same for NTFS.

rolfie

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#3 2020-10-10 14:39:51

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,064  
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Re: [SOLVED] ext4 usb flash drive is slow

rolfie wrote:

Use ext2 instead of ext3/4, no journal so should be faster.

It is possible to disable the journal for ext4:

# tune2fs -O "^has_journal" /dev/sdXY

But f2fs is probably a better option for a USB stick and anyway I don't think the filesystem will make much difference because the USB port itself is the bottleneck.

@OP: is this USB2 or USB3? What are the actual speeds you experience?

See https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Benchmarking#dd for a simple, repeatable way to benchmark the device.


Black Lives Matter

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#4 2020-10-10 16:40:35

uther
Member
Registered: 2019-05-16
Posts: 44  

Re: [SOLVED] ext4 usb flash drive is slow

Thanks rolfie. After format to ext2 the drive is a lot faster.

HoaS - thanks for the tip, USB3. Sometimes the drive were completly unresponsive while browsing with Thunar. Every file transfer took several minutes to start. With mid-size and large files the transfer speeds dropped pretty quickly to ~10MB, and between every file during copying there was a 10-20 sec delay.
After format most of this issues are gone.

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