Most of the file systems in use today were designed in an era when rotating discs ruled the world. Well, as things have shifted more toward NAND flash-based storage in mobile devices the problems with older file systems have been more visible. Samsung has just tackled the problem by designing a new file system called F2FS that's geared toward flash storage specifically. What's better, it is open source and has been submitted to the Linux kernel. This makes it perfect for implementation in Android.


This isn't the first time Samsung tried to deploy a new file system. RFS was used on the original Galaxy S phones with catastrophic results. F2FS is based on a Log-structured File System (LFS) that takes into account some of the limitations of previous LFS systems. Flash storage has different characteristics due to its internal geometry, so designing a new file system from the ground up makes some sense. F2FS should be better for flash storage than current systems like ext4 or exFAT -- it's reportedly faster and is very easy to apply.

Luckily for us, Samsung chose to offer this file system for integration with the Linux kernel rather than keep it in-house. The 16 patches submitted by Samsung make this an easy to implement file system for Linux-based Android. Getting it into Linux itself also makes it more likely it will be widely adopted by other OEMs. SD cards, SSDs, and other devices could also benefit from F2FS, but the file system won't be immediately supported on platforms like Windows.

Don't worry, though - thanks to FUSE/MTP, you will be able to mount an F2FS-based device even if your system doesn't support it.

[Muktware, Phoronix, LKML, Google+ – Thanks, Jeff]