I read a good article over at LWN.net entitled, Why filesystems are hard. I am not going to summarize it for you. Too many netizens (net citizens) are reliant on quick fixes and blurbs. But this is a rant for another post. Go read it, it is not a waste of time.
But what I will discus are my thoughts on the article.
Every since I downloaded my first linux distribution (8th grade), there has been ext3. All of my countless builds and rebuilds across multiple distros (fedora, debian, ubuntu) I pretty much stuck with ext3. It was the default and it worked. It wasn’t until one of my college classes we covered the nitty gritty of filesystems and even then I remember it being covered in just 2 sessions. Still every build I just built using the default fs (although by this time I had at least setup RAID). It wasn’t really until I got a job where I started interacting with various filesystems. And while we use XFS for its speed (no one wants to fsck a 2TB journaled filesystem), again the majority are on a ext3. There has been talk about switching to ZFS or EXT4, but this definitely won’t happen until they are quite a bit mature.
Now that Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala is out and its default fs is EXT4, there will be a lot more people testing it out. They will find those very infrequent and rare bugs, and eventually EXT4 will be everyone’s default.