Linux FAT File Creation/Birth Time Reporting, Proposal For Statx I/O Alignment Info
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 19 May 2022 at 05:02 AM EDT. 12 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
Back in 2017 for the Linux 4.11 kernel the statx system call was added for allowing enhanced file information reporting. Since then various file-systems began adding Statx support and worked its way up into Glibc and the like in user-space for Linux finally having file creation time reporting and other attributes. Two separate statx-related additions are now working their way to the kernel.

First up, queued into Andrew Morton's patch queue is creation time reporting for FAT file-systems. This is for proper file creation/birth time handling for FAT16/FAT32 file-systems on Linux. The Linux driver has reported a creation time "ctime" previously but ultimately muddled as the change time for a file as well.

With this patch expected to be merged for the upcoming Linux 5.19 cycle, FAT creation time is properly reported via statx now just like the creation/birth time reporting for the various other file-systems added in the years since this system call was introduced.

Separately, Google's Eric Biggers has proposed extending statx to be able to report I/O alignment information. The statx reporting for I/O alignment can be used by user-space for determining when a file supports direct I/O and the involved alignment details. This also allows ensuring user-space uses proper I/O alignment for a file. His "RFC" patch series adds the I/O alignment information to statx and wires it up for EXT4 and F2FS file-systems.
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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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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