EXT4 For Linux 5.5 Sees New Improvements For This Mature File-System

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 29 November 2019 at 12:06 AM EST. 7 Comments
While EXT4 is the most common Linux file-system among distributions and is quite mature at this stage, it does continue seeing noteworthy improvements every so often with new kernel releases. With Linux 5.5 there are more notable improvements on deck.

Among the EXT4 material for Linux 5.5 includes:

- Direct I/O via Iomap support.

- Support for FSCRYPT encryption on setups where the block size is smaller than the system page size, where as on previous releases the block and page sizes had to match.

- The journal credits handling was reworked to avoid a possible situation of the journal running out of space.

- Various other fixes and code improvements.

The list of EXT4 feature changes for Linux 5.5 can be found via this since-honored pull request.

Looking ahead to 2020 are more evolutionary improvements for EXT4. this patch series about a shardmap approach to possibly replace the file-system's Htree implementation for directory index code. It will be interesting to see that EXT4 shardmap code evolve and perhaps make it into the mainline kernel in the not too distant future.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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