Linux Kernel 3.8 Released, Includes F2Fs File System for Solid State Storage

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 19 2013 8:58 AM
After getting delayed a couple of days, the Linux 3.8 kernel is all polished and ready to go, Linus Torvalds announced. The big new feature in the 3.8 kernel is F2FS (Flash-Friendly File system), a new file system designed specifically to take advantage of NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as solid state drives (SSDs).

"NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as SSD, eMMC, and SD cards, have been widely being used for ranging from mobile to server systems. Since they are known to have different characteristics from the conventional rotational disks, a file system, an upper layer to the storage device, should adapt to the changes from the sketch," Samsung's Jaegeuk Kim explained.

Intel SSD

"F2FS is a new file system carefully designed for the NAND flash memory-based storage devices. We chose a log structure file system approach, but we tried to adapt it to the new form of storage. Also we remedy some known issues of the very old log structured file system, such as snowball effect of wandering tree and high cleaning overhead," Kim continued.

Other changes introduced with the new kernel include true CPU hot-plug support, Radeon graphics driver performance tweaks, default support for the graphics cores of Haswell processors, full 3D support for all GeForce GPUs, improved networking performance, and much more.

Linux is in position to build up some momentum in the mainstream market. In addition to better graphics support in the newest Linux kernel, you have companies like Valve backing the open source platform, most notably by releasing an official Steam Client for Ubuntu.
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RWilliams replied on Tue, Feb 19 2013 4:58 PM

I am half-tempted to give F2FS a try, but I think I am going to do the smart thing and wait for the tools to mature a little bit more. Sounds intriguing though.

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mhenriday replied on Wed, Feb 20 2013 6:57 AM

Fascinating ! Is this new file system something HH could consider testing against the current version, or must we turn to more specialised reviewers ? Given that the new system seems to be optimised for NAND-based storage devices, does that mean it will have negative consequences for those running it on spinning disks ?...

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Feb 22 2013 5:20 PM

I'm not tempted with F2FS (I'm running Ext4 and BTRFS), but I've been running the 3.8 kernel release candidates for a while, and they rock!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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mhenriday replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 4:28 AM

Michael Larabel over at Phoronix has benchmarked  the new file system as compared to other systems such as Btrfs and EXT4. He summarises the results as follows :

When it comes to these initial F2FS file-system benchmark results, the performance overall is very nice for this new file-system. However, as shown by the Dbench result, the data might not always be writing to the disk right away compared to other Linux file-systems. ...

Henri

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