Treatise on Formatting FLASH Storage Devices

david at david at
Thu Feb 5 01:54:01 EST 2009

On Wed, 4 Feb 2009, Bobby Powers wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 4:11 PM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
> <bmschwar at> wrote:
>> This gives us Linux users a bit of a dilemma if we want to use FTL flash
>> for primary storage.  FAT does not provide the file access permissions,
>> symlinks, hardlinks, or even case sensitivity, that we desire for most
>> filesystems on unixy systems.  However, FTL devices behave as a sort of
>> FAT-oriented black box, full of secret proprietary firmware that loves
>> FAT.  One obvious proposal, therefore, would be to use FAT for storage,
>> but wrap it with a layer that implements all our favorite POSIX stuff.
> What about a small script that could do two things:
> - determine and dump the factory partitioning data from a device (by
> looking at how the FAT filesystem is laid out) to a file (perhaps we
> could build up a database for popular FLASH devices, like the SanDisk
> Ultra III's?)
> - take the factory partitioning data from a device (or dump file) and
> create a new partition map and well behaved ext2/3/4/whatever file
> system on the device

all you need to do is to not change the partition table, do a mkfs on the 
existing partiton and then use tar or cp to put files there.

no need to involve dump files.

David Lang

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