[PATCH] LogFS take three

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at infradead.org
Thu May 17 02:25:17 EDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-05-17 at 15:12 +0900, Dongjun Shin wrote:
> The current trend of flash-based device is to hide the flash-specific details
> from the host OS. The flash memory is encapsulated in a package
> which contains a dedicated controller where a small piece of software (F/W or FTL)
> runs and makes the storage shown as a block device to the host.

Yes. These things are almost always implemented _very_ badly by the same
kind of crack-smoking hobo they drag in off the streets to write BIOSen.

It's bog-roll technology; if you fancy a laugh try doing some real
reliability tests on them time some. Powerfail testing is a good one.
This kind of thing is OK for disposable storage such as in digital
cameras, where it doesn't matter that it's no more reliable than a
floppy disc, but for real long-term storage it's really a bad idea.

> IMHO, for a flash-optimized filesystem to be useful and widely-used, it would be better
> to run on a block device and to be designed to run efficiently on top of the FTL.
> (ex. log-structured filesystem on general block device)

There's little point in optimising a file system _specifically_ for
devices which in often aren't reliable enough to keep your data anyway.
You might as well use ramfs.

It's unfortunate really -- there's no _fundamental_ reason why FTL has
to be done so badly; it's just that it almost always is. Direct access
to the flash from Linux is _always_ going to be better in practice --
and that way you avoid the problems with dual journalling, along with
the problems with the underlying FTL continuing to keep (and copy around
during GC) sectors which the top-level filesystem has actually
deallocated, etc.


More information about the linux-mtd mailing list