Linux Kernel 3.8 Released, Introduces SSD-bound F2FS File System

Posted on February 20, 2013 8:50 AM by Rob Williams

Linux users: grab those hard-hats, the 3.8 kernel is here. While a lot has been packed into this release as normal, the feature that stands out is “F2FS”, a file-system optimized for any type of storage utilizing flash storage, SSDs or otherwise. The difference between this FS and others is that it takes into consideration the “FTL”, or flash translation layer, which is used to interpret flash storage as a block-based devices that most file systems out there were designed around.

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Linux Mint 14 “KDE” Edition

The interesting thing about F2FS is that it wasn’t announced all too long ago, just this past fall. For it to soar through the cycle and become an official kernel option already is impressive. I am sure (without looking) that there will be an experimental tag affixed to it in the kernel options, but regardless, Samsung definitely seems to have worked its magic here.

With this feature, I’m quite tempted to toss a spare SSD into my machine and give it a test, but it might be best to wait a couple of releases for things to flush out, and to see if it happens to catch on in any real way. It’ll definitely be interesting to see benchmarks using this FS vs. the other common ones, and I’m sure someone will be getting to those soon.

Other key features include updates to ext4 and Btrfs, network stack namespaces for unprivileged users, journal checksums in XFS aaaaand, the removal of support for 80386 processors. Amazed that it was still supported this long? So are we.

To read more on the latest kernel, we recommend hitting up Kernel Newbies, and to go in-depth on F2FS, check out this LWN article. All set? Download the kernel from the official site.

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