F2FS Results Mixed Against Microsoft's exFAT On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 6 March 2013. Page 1 of 4. 4 Comments

In the benchmarking that has happened since the release of the Linux 3.8 kernel, there's been many tests that occurred of Samsung's Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS). With that testing has also come many requests to compare the performance of this file-system designed for flash storage devices to Microsoft's exFAT file-system as well as NTFS. In this article are those benchmark results.

Up to this point the F2FS file-system benchmarks on Phoronix have shown really great results against Btrfs and EXT4 from a high-end Intel SSD, positive SDHC storage benchmark results, and better performance than NILFS2. The new file-system was also proven to run really well on USB flash drives. With those tests, the comparison was done against other existing Linux kernel file-systems like EXT4, Btrfs, and even older competition like ReiserFS and EXT3 for some of the articles.

F2FS is a log-structured file-system that conceived by Samsung (that article has more details on the F2FS design principles) in October of 2012 and merged months laterinto Linux 3.8. The first performance results relayed by the developers were impressive for this open-source file-system that's designed for best use on solid-state drives, eMMC, SD cards, and other (NAND-based) flash memory storage devices.

Comparing F2FS against FAT32 was left out since the old file-system's requirements don't end up working out well for running many of our Linux benchmarks. The NTFS and exFAT file-systems were also left out because of their questionable state under Linux. Microsoft exFAT, the Extended File Allocation Table, is the new file-system out of Redmond designed for devices like portable media players, media centers, and flash storage devices. The exFAT file-system overcomes the file size limits of FAT32 while being leaner than NTFS. While superior to FAT32, exFAT can't be natively implemented within the Linux kernel due to Microsoft patents.

With the encumbered legal situation of exFAT, it's only implemented via FUSE for widespread use. In early 2009 there was some early read-only support for exFAT for the kernel that was never merged but done through reverse-engineering and still conflicts with the legal status of exFAT. In early 2012, the exFAT situation was still crap with the Microsoft file-system being limited to FUSE. In January of this year, exFAT 1.0 was released for Linux as a reverse-engineered FUSE module.

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