ext4 pen-drive formatting/permissions


Tired of fat32 fragility, I reformatted a 4GB pen-drive as ext4 using Yast’s partitioner. I chose format as ext4 and checked fstab options “can be mounted by user”, “no access time” and “ordered journaling”. I thought that these fstab options would be ineffective since a removable device won’t be added to fstab.

when I insert the pen-drive it auto-mounts and the folder /media/EMTEC is created (EMTEC is the volume name). The relevant mount entries are:

:~> cat /etc/fstab | grep sde
:~> cat /etc/mtab | grep sde
/dev/sde1 /media/EMTEC ext4 rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,barrier=1,data=ordered 0 0

There’s no fstab entry, as it should be, and there is a mtab entry corresponding to the pen-drive, /sde1. However the /media/EMTEC as created (by udev, I suppose) is owned by root, I can’t write to it. But if I change (as root) the /etc/EMTEC folder permissions so it belongs to the regular user, i can (obviously) write to it and it stays so between remounts. Haven’t tried a reboot yet.

What I’m not sure is if ordered journaling is OK for a pen-drive - or any kind of journaling, for that matter. Or will this significantly decrease flash memory life?

Also, the fstab options set in Yast appear to be remembered by whatever creates mtab, as well as /media/EMTEC permissions. Is that so? Where are these settings kept? How does this work?

Any insights will be much appreciated.



Almost forgot: oS 11.4 64-bit KDE 4.7.0 kernel

It depends on how the device is used. ie if for backup/transport then the life should be ok. If for active data (ie lots of read/writes) I suspect journaling can reduce life. I’d turn it off in either case for pen like devices to max life.