The Staging exFAT Driver Set To Be Nuked In Linux 5.7, Thanks To Samsung's New Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 10 March 2020 at 01:10 PM EDT. 9 Comments
With the Linux 5.7 kernel this spring there is going to be a new exFAT file-system drive developed by Samsung as outlined last week. While that is being added to the formal file-system area of the kernel rather than staging so both could co-exist for a transition period, already with Linux 5.7 will be the removal of the existing staging driver.

See the aforelinked article from last week for more of the back story on this new Microsoft exFAT file-system driver developed by Samsung and already shipping on millions of devices. That driver was accepted into the file-system area in the VFS for-next tree a few days ago making it material for Linux 5.7.

From Linux 5.4 through 5.6 in staging meanwhile was the exFAT driver based on the older Samsung code that was quickly merged once receiving Microsoft's blessing last year and the company publishing the exFAT specification. The new exFAT file-system driver was wired up so that both drivers couldn't be flipped on in Kconfig leading us to think there may have been more of a transition period for users to this new driver.

But now in staging-testing is the removal of this old driver. All 8k+ lines of code are being dropped in favor of the new solution beginning with Linux 5.7.

The Linux 5.7 cycle should be kicking off with the merge window around the start of April while that kernel release will then debut around early June. Farewell to the short-lived staging exFAT driver in embracing the new driver that Samsung will continue to work on upstream.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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