Filesystems on low end hardware

I have a spare netbook running atom with 2G ram and 500G hdd. I installed Ubuntu 22.04 on it using ext4 filesystem. Then configured lxd to use zfs storage.
It will have 2 or 3 containers at max. Only two users. Snapshots will be very helpful.
I know it’s not the best choice of filesystem for LXD storage on this hardware (as it has low ram) , so I’m asking about recommendations for the host and the containers.
(for now I’m testing, I will restart from scratch when everything gets clear)
Thanks for the advice

I’ve got a few questions before I take a shot at responding.

  1. What is the reason for preferring ZFS over Ext4?
  2. Does your two users require root access to the machine or the containers?
  3. How many cores does that atom processor have?

Good morning.

  1. I didn’t really prefer zfs, it was the default option so I choose it
  2. Only me for maintenance
  3. 2 cores

I’d just make/resize a partition with whatever filesystem that is already installed, or preferred. LVM is a little better than Ext4, Btrfs has features that you really can’t take advantage of, unless CoW is important. Just be sure to make backups especially for data(usb drives?). You can override the defaults when executing lxd init. See below for options. You can also do all this from the command line if you wanted to go that route.

Short answer, Btrfs (specially with the newer 6.1 and even better 6.2 kernel)
You might wanna enable zram as well since you’ve only got 2GBs of ram

I’m going to restart from scratch, I’m evaluating the feasibility, performance, ease of use, etc…

I’ve never thought about upgrading the kernel. I’m doing it right now. And will check zram.
But Btrfs for host or lxd storage or both or it’s not important. I’m thinking I’ll need lxc snapshot for the containers, the host will only receive updates.

For performance consider @stgraber comments on btrfs.

Hi @Jarod5001,
if you are not consider RAID and consistency then you have to switch with COW support that LVM has and you have just one drive I suppose.

Since you’ve only got a single hdd, just format the whole disk with btrfs or if you want full-disk-encryption use btrfs of top of luks.

You need to schedule automatic snapshots on the host as well since if the host goes down everything goes down with it so you need a quick recovery method.

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