F2FS

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F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System) is a file system intended for NAND-based flash memory equipped with Flash Translation Layer. Unlike JFFS or UBIFS it relies on FTL to handle write distribution. It is supported from kernel 3.8 onwards.

An FTL is found in all flash memory with a SCSI/SATA/PCIe/NVMe interface [1], opposed to bare NAND Flash and SmartMediaCards [2].

Creating a F2FS file system

In order to create a F2FS file system, install f2fs-tools.

Create the file system:

# mkfs.f2fs -l mylabel /dev/sdxY

where /dev/sdxY is the target volume to format in F2FS. See mkfs.f2fs(8) for all available options.

Mounting a F2FS file system

The file system can then be mounted manually or via other mechanisms:

# mount /dev/sdxY /mnt/foo

Grow an F2FS file system

When the filesystem is unmounted, it can be grown if the partition is expanded. Shrinking is not currently supported.

First use a partition tool to resize the partition: for example, suppose the output of the print command in the parted console for your disk is the following:

   Number  Start   End     Size        File system     Name                  Flag
    1      1049kB  106MB   105MB       fat32           EFI system partition  boot, esp
    2      106MB   11,0GB  10,9GB      ext4
    3      11,0GB  12,3GB  1322MB      f2fs
    4      31,0GB  31,3GB  261MB       ext4

To resize the f2fs partition to occupy all the space up to the fourth one, just give resizepart 3 31GB and exit. You can now expand the filesystem to fill the new partition using:

# resize.f2fs /dev/sdxY

where /dev/sdxY is the target F2FS volume to grow. See resize.f2fs(8) for supported options.

Note: If you're using GPT, the partition's GUID (seen in /dev/disk/by-partuuid/) might change, but the filesystem UUID (seen in /dev/disk/by-uuid/) should stay the same.

Checking and repair

Checking and repairs to f2fs file systems are accomplished with fsck.f2fs provided by f2fs-tools. See fsck.f2fs(8) for available switches.

File-based encryption support

Since Linux 4.2, F2FS natively supports file encryption. Encryption is applied at the directory level, and different directories can use different encryption keys. This is different from both dm-crypt, which is block-device level encryption, and from eCryptfs, which is a stacked cryptographic filesystem. To use F2FS's native encryption support, see the fscrypt article.

Known issues

Long running fsck delays boot

If the kernel version has changed between boots, the fsck.f2fs utility will perform a full file system check which will take longer to finish.[3]