Ext2 or ext4 for thumb drive?

Should I be using ext2 or ext4 for usb flash drives? I read online that ext4 with no journal is ideal, but I cannot find an LEDE or Openwrt command to format ext 4 with no journal. So, what say ye?

Ext4 all the way. I had to make a similar decision a few months back. You can always format without journal on another distro. Make sure to heed the sync versus async parameters to optimize write speed.

It really depends on what you want to accomplish and your device.
ext3 is a bit lighter than ext4 but for obvious reasons not very suitable for portability. In that case exfat is your best bet which works well on both Linux, Windows and OSX.

How is the support for F2FS? Where can we use it? Is it still broken? (https://lede-project.org/docs/user-guide/extroot_configuration)


Do you need speed?: exfat
Do you need reliability?: ext4

It is going to be a Samba share and MiniDLNA media directory. I have no need to disconnect it very often. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

exfat is probably better on a thumbdrive than ext4, esp when it comes to performance.

f2fs was specifically designed for slow flash media so there's that.

Ext4 should be preferred over ext2. Just format without the journal.

Exfat if you need Windows support.

Both are designed for flash media
You probably want exFAT if you have a OS X devices too.

I've written a usage monitoring dashboard for LEDE and a variety of other firmware variants. It requires that you have a USB drive attached to the router.

I learned (the hard way) that ext2 can leave files in a bad state if there is an unexpected shutdown of the router. I've not had similar problems since moving to ext4. So from my own perspective, I'd recommend ext4.

However, that said, a number of my dashboard users have had problems with ext4 and/or ext3... their firmware/chipset combinations (???) do not necessarily like ext4 (their drives do not mount or mount in read-only mode). When they formatted the drive to ext2, everything started working.

In terms of formatting my drives, recently, I've been using the free version of Mini Partition Tools for Windows (gasp!)... but there are a number of other utilities available

Not sure if this helps but it is one of the most common issues my users have to contend with.


F2FS works fine except f2fs-tools 1.7.0 on big-endian platforms.
Months ago I contacted f2fs-tools devs and they fixed the problem. But they release quite rarely.
1.7.0 is broken for sure , 1.8 should contain fix
I use f2fs on my lede devices as second partition. In earlier versions in openwrt f2fs was artificially disabled for extroot (https://dev.openwrt.org/ticket/21858), now it seems to be fixed (https://git.lede-project.org/?p=project/fstools.git;a=blob;f=block.c;hb=HEAD)

exfat is bad choice because exfat does not support unix permissions

strictly speaking it's a historical accident that exFAT works decently on flash media.

f2fs on the other hand was developed by Samsung for eMMC. Should work well on other flash media as well.