Microsoft exFAT File-System Mailed In For Linux 5.4 Along With Promoted EROFS & Greybus

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 18 September 2019 at 12:30 PM EDT. 3 Comments
Greg Kroah-Hartman began volleying his Linux 5.4 kernel pull requests today of the subsystems he oversees. The most significant of this morning's pull requests are the staging area changes that include the Microsoft exFAT file-system support.

As we've been expecting, Linux 5.4 is bringing exFAT support after last month's surprise announcement by Microsoft publishing the exFAT specification and giving it an open-source blessing for integrating the file-system support at long last into the Linux kernel.

The driver that is queued in staging is that of the old code open-sourced by Samsung years ago. That exFAT driver code is messy and developers acknowledged the poor code quality but already through a number of patches have been working to improve its quality. With Linux 5.4 there is read/write support for exFAT so it's better than nothing and with time the driver will be improved while hopefully graduating out of staging in the not too distant future.

Microsoft's exFAT file-system has been around for more than a decade now and is common to newer USB flash drives, SD cards, and other portable storage mediums along with the likes of printers and other devices supporting it as a modern alternative to NTFS or FAT32. Previous to now have just been out-of-tree exFAT solutions for Linux read/write support.

Elsewhere in staging land, the Linux 5.4 kernel is bringing continued work on the wilc1000, rtl8192u, rtl8723bs, rtl8188eu, and other drivers.

Graduating out of staging and into Linux 5.4 proper is the EROFS file-system from Huawei that is being used as a read-only file-system on their smartphones. Greybus as a driver subsystem used by Google's canned Project Ara modular smartphone and serving as a protocol for Unified Protocol hardware transport is also graduating out of staging.

More details within the staging PR.
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