Why Empty Partitions on Linux Have 5 % Used Space & ext4 and NTFS Speeds

Since it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to Windows, I reformatted my other partitions to ext4. Moving 2 TiB to NTFS took more than a week. But after that, when I moved 8 TB to ext4, it took only like 7 hours, it constantly wrote at maximum speed. Moving the same 8 TB on Windows used to take like 3 days and I had to use TeraCopy because Microsoft’s file explorer always crashed after a day of moving files or something like that. I conclude: ext4 is much faster than NTFS and NTFS on Linux is extremely slow. After reformatting all partitions, I deleted my backup and made a new one because my two-way backup would have overwritten newer files on my drives with older versions from my external backup drive because NTFS and ext4 have different date systems that are not compatible.

When I wanted to move those 8 TB from one 8 TB NTFS drive to another 8 TB ext4 drive, Dolphin (KDE’s file explorer) told me there was not enough space. But both drives are the same model with the exact same space and I used to do this exact file movement on Windows. According to Dolphin, the ext4 drive already had 370 GiB in use, even though it was completely empty and freshly picked from Tingle’s Formidable Formattingland. And I received different results for available space in Dolphin, KDE Partition Manager and with different commands. As usual, after hours of searching the interwebs, masses of people who gave wrong answers and nearly giving up, I found the solution. Apparently, Linux reserves 5 % of each partition for stuff like moving files and defragmentation. For most people on the interwebs, that resulted in comparably small amounts of seemingly lost space. But for my 8 TB drive in 370 GiB of seemingly lost space. The different amount of free space displayed results in different calculation methods, some show the actual empty space and some the available space which excludes reserved space. Reserving space is surely reasonable and useful, but firstly, I don’t usually move files on my 8 TB fideo archive drives and secondly, 5 % might be a reasonable percentage for smaller drives but it’s definitely not for large drives. And at least on those drives, I prefer to manually control the amount of space I leave empty.

So I used a command to set the reserved space to 0, which is I. I mean plural, ITE. I mean, sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdg1. You can find out your partition’s path with lsblk -f. If you don’t know how device paths work, read the third paragraph of this blue box. And if you haven’t read that entire page by sunrise, I’ll cut your tits off. Hail Caesar.