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For slow flash memory (cheap thumb drive), ext4 is the fastest stable file system for all use cases with no relevant exception:
Since we can usually dispense with the benefits of a journal for this type of storage, this is a way to achieve the least awful I/O-speed.
Disabling the journal for an existing ext4 partition can be achieved using
tune2fs -O ^has_journal /dev/sdXN
Note that it is often recommended to format removable flash media with ext2, due to the lack of a journal. ext4 has many advantages over ext2 even without the journal, with much better speed as one of the consequences. So the only usecase for ext2 would be compatibility with very old software.
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