Linux 4.19 Staging Brings EROFS File-System & Gasket Driver Framework
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 18 August 2018 at 02:57 PM EDT. 8 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Following the USB subsystem updates, Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the kernel's staging area work for the Linux 4.19 merge window.

This experimental/testing area of the Linux kernel is adding a new file-system with 4.19: EROFS. EROFS is developed by Huawei for possible Android device use-cases. EROFS stands for the Extendable Read-Only File-System and is developed to address shortcomings in other Linux read-only file-systems. EROFS features compression support and other features, but the on-disk layout format isn't 100% firm yet -- hence going into the staging area.

Another big addition to the Linux 4.19 staging area is the Google Gasket Driver Framework. GASKET is short for the "Google ASIC Software, Kernel Extensions, and Tools." This driver framework is about developing thin kernel drivers for basic functionality and punting all of the extra functionality into user-space code. An initial Gasket user in the kernel is the Google Apex driver for their Apex chip.

Google's intentions for Gasket aren't entirely clear but may be used for some sort of user-space driver portability between Linux and their in-development Fuchsia OS, among other possible use-cases.

Another change to the staging area that may be of interest to Phoronix readers is page-flipping support for the VirtualBox graphics driver, vboxvideo.

The Linux 4.19 staging area also has a lot of continued work on wilc1000, mt7621-mmc, rtl8192e, rtl8192u, rtl8723bs, Goldfish, Comedi, and more.

The staging pull can be viewed here. This pull has 28,224 lines of new code but does away with 27,633 lines of existing code across more than four hundred files.
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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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