Performance of native FreeBSD partition vs FAT32 partition on FreeBSD 3.2-STABLE

Performance of native FreeBSD partition vs FAT32 partition on FreeBSD 3.2-STABLE

Post by Tom Jobbin » Thu, 12 Aug 1999 04:00:00


I am planning to set up a FreeBSD file server for my small network.  This
file server will provide access to a large number of WAV audio files - in
total there are about 25gb worth at the moment, and each file is between 30
and 100mb, with the average being around 50mb.  I will be using UDMA IDE
hard drives (1 * 27gb to start with, hopefully 2 * fairly soon afterwards)
rather than SCSI, to keep costs down.  The FreeBSD machine will be a Dell
Pentium Pro 200 with 40mb of ram.

I will be sharing the files over a switched, full duplex 100mb/s network,
using Samba 2 so that they can be accessed from Windows.  Initially only one
workstation will access them at a time.

Ideally, I would like these IDE hard drives to be formatted as FAT32.
Therefore I would have a small FreeBSD HD, say 2gb, as the primary drive,
which I would boot from.  Then IDE drives 2 and 3 would be formatted as
FAT32, and would be mounted under FreeBSD using mount_msdos.  I'd probably
mount them Read-Only for safety, as their contents wont change very often.

The reason I want to do this is that it means I could at any time take out
one or both of the drives and put it into any win98 machine - useful if my
FreeBSD box dies, or if I need to put the files in another machine for any

However, this will be a false economy if mounting FAT32 would significantly
impact on the file sharing performance.

Could anyone tell me whether there will be much or any performance loss
using mounted FAT32 as compared to native FreeBSD partitions?



PS. Any performance tips for making the FreeBSD machine as fast and
efficient for this task as possible would also be much appreciated - e.g.
sysctl tweaks, etc


1. FreeBSD 4.5 vs. FreeBSD 3.2 - Which One

The MS analogy is far from apt.  FreeBSD 4.5 is every bit as fast as 3.2 (if
not faster), and has many improvements and bug fixes.  If you're already
using -stable then stick with it.

Unless you're really gung ho about giving yourself historical background
into the inner workings of FreeBSD, just use a recent version.  If do want
to have a stab at 3.x, use 3.5.1 (ideally upgraded to the latest security
patchset version).  2.2.8 is an even earlier milestone version.

The main reason people are still using older versions can be summed up as
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Think about production servers and
people who administer them.  Upgrading or reinstalling an OS involves some
downtime, even if it's just a few minutes.  And some people just don't have
the time to do upgrades unless there's a very compelling reason.  From the
standpoint of learning about FreeBSD, though, you certainly want to track
regular releases or even -stable at more frequent intervals.  The only
reason I can think of you'd do a new install of an old version of FreeBSD is
to get old hardware support--MFM/EDSI disks, for example, or a NIC that uses
the le or ie driver.  (MFM controller support was officially removed in 4.0.
The le and ie drivers are currently broken in 4.5 and -stable, but show some
promise of getting fixed.)


2. ktop build / run problems?

3. Mounting extended (DOS) partitions under FreeBSD 3.2 Rel.

4. IBM 6321 Monitor

5. can't get freebsd 3.2 installed from dos partition ... please help me

6. accountance function of linux

7. natd on FreeBSD 3.2-Stable really slow

8. Changing Dir. Ownership

9. can i mount fat32 partitions from freebsd 4.2?

10. I have a SMP problem in FreeBSD 3.2 STABLE ctm 268

11. I want an iso9660 image of FreeBSD 3.2-STABLE

12. dhcp with FreeBSD 3.2-STABLE

13. installing freebsd from fat32 partition