This page serves to give some information on possible filesystems for Linux machines, in particular those that may be used for very large filesystems (many TB). The list is sorted by age!


  • SGI's filesystem (1994) that was ported to Linux around 2001
  • no 16 TB limitation; max size is 8 Eib (1 exbibyte = 2^60 bytes)
  • no data compression and checksumming (data-integrity) features. It does have metadata checksums.
  • the default for RHEL starting at version 7


  • Sun's filesystem which is natively available on Solaris (since 2005)) and OpenSolaris (both of which are freely available)
  • no 16 TB limitation; max size is 2^128 bytes
  • (optional) transparent (gzip) compression (LZO compression available as patch)
  • atomic updates - means that the on-disk state is consistent at all times, there's no need to perform a lengthy filesystem check after forced reboots/power failures
  • background checksumming and self-healing for data integrity
  • Built-in stripes (RAID-0), mirrors (RAID-1) and RAID-Z (it's like software RAID-5, but more efficient due to ZFS's copy-on-write transactional model)
  • triple parity raid (raidz3) has been added to ZFS [1]
  • there is a port of ZFS to FreeBSD
  • the source code license of ZFS is incompatible with the GPL of the Linux kernel, therefore not in the latter
  • install from


  • ext4 is based on ext3 (same developers)
  • default of some Linux distros
  • no 16 TB limitation; max size is 1 EiB (1 exbibyte = 2^60 bytes)
  • no compression and checksumming (data-integrity) features