If you try to format partitions on a PC with Linux, you can find a great number of file system options. These options shouldn’t be something extraordinary, and if you don’t know which Linux system to choose, there are universal options.
Use Ext4 if You’re Not Sure
To cut the long story short – if you are looking for something neutral and universal, Ext4 is just the right thing. You won’t lose choosing it.
Ext4 usually is a basic file system on a vast majority of Linux variations. The reason for this is it is universal. Ext4 is an enhanced version of Ext3 file system. If you are looking for something more advanced and powerful, it may not suit you. However, if your goal is something firm and stable – Ext4 is simply what you need.
It is highly possible that, in the nearest future, most Linux distributions will be developing in BtrFS direction. BtrFS, nowadays, is still advanced and has a great potential in developing, but it is still in development. So, if you want something more stable on production systems, you will consider something else. Such distributions can have flaws, and it is unacceptable while working with data.
Important: The advice to use Ext4 as a universal one works only if applied to Linux system partitions and other things accessible by Linux. If you are trying to format an external drive and you want to share it with other OS, it will not work, because other operations systems cannot read Ext4. It is better to use exFAT or FAT32 in such cases.
If you are trying to set up partitions on a main boot drive on Linux, it will be a good idea to create a SWAP partition with 2–3 GB of space. Such a partition will be used for additional space when RAM is full and Linux automatically loads off memory there. Paging file in Windows is similar to this swap file. Such partition should be formatted as swap, but not as a particular file system.
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