EXT4 In Linux 4.10 Gains DAX iomap, Encryption Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 14 December 2016 at 11:00 AM EST. 6 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
The EXT4 file-system is seeing some new feature work with the in-development Linux 4.10 merge window.

The EXT4 feature pull request for the Linux 4.10 merge window queues the dax-4.0-iomap-pmd branch, which includes changes to use the new iomap framework for DAX. This makes the EXT4 DAX I/O code-paths utilize the iomap framework rather than their older DAX functionality, which then allows for more efficient block mapping, PMD page fault support, minor bug fixes, and improvements. DAX is the direct access support in the Linux kernel for file-systems to have more efficient, direct read/write access to persistent memory storage devices. This DAX iomap code being added via the EXT4 pull will also be shared with the XFS DAX code.

The EXT4 updates for Linux 4.10 also include fscrypt updates, which includes changes for being able to support UBIFS encryption, an in-place encryption mode, partial page encryption, and other clean-ups.

EXT4 in Linux 4.10 is also better protected in cases of maliciously corrupted xattr blocks and a maliciously corrupted superblock. Plus there is an assortment of other clean-ups and fixes with the EXT4 kernel code.

More details via the pull request by Ted Ts'o.
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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