Format partition as ext4 and setting overhead to 0%


New Member
Sep 26, 2020
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Need to format an external hard drive partition. It's not a system drive/partition so no system log files will be written to it. (who uses an external hard drive to write system log files anyway?)

By default when you format a partition as ext4, the system reserves 5% of the disk space. So, only 95% of the space is available for use. With a huge partition, this can amount to a lot of space 'lost'.

I read that we can tweak the 5% overhead to 1% or even 0% with the command :

sudo tune2fs -m 1 /dev/sdb2


sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdb2

I also read that setting it to 0% is not advisable. The reserved space apparently lowers fragmentation chances and holds some space to run fsck.

But, I think that post is talking about leaving 1% if it's the system partition and not an external drive partition for example.

Does anyone think using 0% for the overhead is fine for an external drive ext4 partition?

Also, I'm gonna be encrypting the partition using veracrypt. If I ever need to run fsck, would having a 0% overhead become an issue?
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