GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

Blog archive

Why we don't defrag Unix

If you've ever been a regular user of Linux or some other variant of Unix, you've probably wondered why you never have had to defrag your hard drive. After all, this operation is standard maintenance for keeping Microsoft Windows humming along. It's been one of life's little enduring mysteries here at the GCN Blog.

Finally, Dominic Humphries provides a plausible, and remarkably concise, answer in his blog, in the entry 'Why doesn't Linux need defragmenting?'

In a nutshell, 'Windows tries to put all files as close to the start of the hard drive as it can, thus it constantly fragments files when they grow larger and there's no free space available,' he writes, providing plenty of helpful graphics to illustrate the matter. In contrast Linux, 'scatters files all over the disk so there's plenty of free space if the file's size changes.' This latter approach works great as long as the disc doesn't get too full, as others have pointed out in more minute detail.

Now, if he could only explain why my Firefox browser takes up so much memory'.

--Posted by Joab Jackson

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Aug 18, 2006 at 9:39 AM


Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    CISA chief Chris Krebs disusses the future of the agency at Auburn University Aug. 22 2019

    Shared services and the future of CISA

    Chris Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS, said that many federal agencies will be outsourcing cyber to a shared service provider in the future.

  • Telecom
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA softens line on looming EIS due date

    Think of the September deadline for agencies to award contracts under the General Services Administration's $50-billion telecommunications contract as a "yellow light," said GSA's telecom services director.

  • Defense
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    IC looks to stand up a new enterprise IT program office

    The intelligence community wants to stand up a new program executive office to help develop new IT capabilities.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.