System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Logical Block Size

The logical block size is the size of the blocks that the UNIX kernel uses to read or write files. The logical block size is usually different from the physical block size (usually 512 bytes), which is the size of the smallest block that the disk controller can read or write.

You can specify the logical block size of the file system. After the file system is created, you cannot change this parameter without rebuilding the file system. You can have file systems with different logical block sizes on the same disk.

By default, the logical block size is 8192 bytes (8 Kbytes) for UFS file systems. The UFS file system supports block sizes of 4096 or 8192 bytes (4 or 8 Kbytes). 8 Kbytes is the recommended logical block size.

SPARC only -

You can only specify 8192-byte block size on the sun4u platform.

To choose the best logical block size for your system, consider both the performance desired and the available space. For most UFS systems, an 8-Kbyte file system provides the best performance, offering a good balance between disk performance and use of space in primary memory and on disk.

As a general rule, to increase efficiency, use a larger logical block size for file systems where most of the files are very large. Use a smaller logical block size for file systems where most of the files are very small. You can use the quot -c file-system command on a file system to display a complete report on the distribution of files by block size.