HOWTO : Convert existing ext3 to ext4

According to the current issue (issue #22, Page 26 “Letters”) Full Circle Magazine at http://www.fullcirclemagazine.org, we can convert the existing ext3 to ext4 by the following command. However, I did not try it yet until the release of Ubuntu 9.04.

tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/DEV

ext4 is running fast and stable under Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha. I have installed it on a AData 300 Series 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD, MLC) with no problem. However, the BIOS should not select Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). According to some source, ext4 is also good for SSD usage.

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2 Responses

  1. Uhhhhm, two issues with that.

    1. The partition MUST be unmounted before conversion or you will destroy it and most of the date.

    2. You MUST also run e2fsck -fp /dev/DEV (Example/dev/sda1 if this is the drive you’re converting) with an e2fsprogs that are aware of Ext4, and you must also have the partition unmounted for this, and you must do it before you reboot or else the file system will be in an inconsistent state and fail to mount.

    3. You must change the volume’s ext3 reference in /etc/fstab to ext4 before you try to mount it.

    It’s very easy to ruin a partition if you just blow straight through this.

  2. Ryan,

    Thank you very much for your comment. Hope nobody try the command straight through yet.

    Samiux

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