FAT File-System Driver For Linux Sees Patch To Run Multiple Times Faster
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 11 April 2020 at 09:18 AM EDT. 44 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
At the same time of Linux receiving a new exFAT driver, the Linux kernel is still seeing improvements to its classic FAT file-system code.

For those voluntarily still relying upon FAT16/FAT32 file-systems you should really think about upgrading especially with Linux having a good exFAT driver now, but for those stuck to FAT use-cases like digital cameras or EFI partitions, at least there is a patch pending to allow the FAT performance to be much more efficient moving forward.

OGAWA Hirofumi who is known for his work on the Tux3 file-system sent out a patch for improving the readahead handling within the FAT file-system code for Linux. This patch to improve the FAT readahead performance can really help with the performance. The patch allows for the FAT readahead size to be tuned, changes to avoid the small size I/O requests, and updating the readahead window before exhausting it.


When testing on a USB-connected hard drive, a transfer test that previously took 383 seconds to complete was now able to finish in just 51 seconds.

The few dozen lines of code patch can be found on the mailing list. It's too late for seeing it picked up in the 5.7 kernel but perhaps we'll see it for 5.8.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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