Treatise on Formatting FLASH Storage Devices
Benjamin M. Schwartz
bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Feb 4 16:11:57 EST 2009
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Mitch Bradley wrote:
> It has been my experience that USB sticks and SD cards with intact
> factory formatting tend to last longer and run faster than ones that
> have been reformatted with random layouts.
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.
This has been done before for Linux, in the guise of UMSDOS/UVFAT .
Although that work has fallen out of date, I suspect one could
reimplement it quickly using new linux features such as FUSE. The
question is: would such an approach be worthwhile?
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