A few years ago I'd say stick with
ext3 but nowadays
ext4 is better. A recent (May 16, 2011) round up from thegeekstuff.com sums it up rather nicely:
- Supports huge individual file size and overall file system size.
- Maximum individual file size can be from 16 GB to 16 TB
- Overall maximum ext4 file system size is 1 EB (exabyte). 1 EB = 1024 PB (petabyte). 1 PB = 1024 TB (terabyte).
- A directory can contain a maximum of 64,000 subdirectories (as opposed to 32,000 in ext3)
- You can also mount an existing ext3 fs as ext4 fs (without having to upgrade it).
- Several other new features are introduced in ext4: multiblock allocation, delayed allocation, journal checksum, fast fsck, etc. All you need to know is that these new features have improved the performance and reliability of the filesystem when compared to ext3.
- In ext4, you also have the option of turning the journaling feature off.
A very good comparison from 2009 on linuxologist.com has a graph about write performance with 4 GB:
and also has some other information on ext4.
I myself have had zero problems with ext4.
If you need to share a partition with Windows you will need
I myself have given up on Windows so I have everything set to
ext4 and use a USB stick to transfer data to a Windows machine (mainly at work).
What you can do for a setup is the following:
Then you can make the last one a shared partition for both OS's.