Newer ext4 systems use delayed allocation to improve performance. This delays block allocation until it writes data to disk. Delayed allocation improves performance and reduces fragmentation by using the actual file size to improve block allocation. This feature may cause a risk of data loss in cases where a system loses power before all of the data has been written to disk. This may occur if a program is replacing the contents of a file without forcing a write to the disk with fsync. Make sure the default auto_da_alloc option is enabled on ext4 file systems.

Administrators can tune ext3 and ext4 file systems by setting the file system flushes and noatime to improve server performance. The following changes can be made in the /etc/fstab file.