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I am wondering if anyone can help me understand the difference(s) between the different file system types: ie. swap, ext4, reiserfs, etc... I am working with the manual partitioning during installation process for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

I read step-by-step instructions regarding the process of using manual partitioning during installation, but I found some of what I read to be a bit confusing.

For example, it was suggested to set "/" root fs to ext4. These instructions continued to say that "/home", "/boot", "/tmp", and "/var" partitions also be set to ext4. However, slightly contradicting its previous statements, these instructions said that "/home" could also be set as reiserfs--stating that it is a quicker type, but that ext4 was more flexible.

Considering that I am a first-time user, having prior experience only with Windows OS, these are all extremely foreign to me. What file type(s) should I set these partitions to in order to achieve optimal system performance?

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Ext4 is the default and most widely used on Ubuntu. As a fairly new user, it's the one I've used most often.

There's a good overview of file system types, on the ubuntu help pages here.

Have fun!

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