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+WHAT IS Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS)?
+NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as SSD, eMMC, and SD cards, have
+been equipped on a variety systems ranging from mobile to server systems. Since
+they are known to have different characteristics from the conventional rotating
+disks, a file system, an upper layer to the storage device, should adapt to the
+changes from the sketch in the design level.
+F2FS is a file system exploiting NAND flash memory-based storage devices, which
+is based on Log-structured File System (LFS). The design has been focused on
+addressing the fundamental issues in LFS, which are snowball effect of wandering
+tree and high cleaning overhead.
+Since a NAND flash memory-based storage device shows different characteristic
+according to its internal geometry or flash memory management scheme, namely FTL,
+F2FS and its tools support various parameters not only for configuring on-disk
+layout, but also for selecting allocation and cleaning algorithms.
+The file system formatting tool, "mkfs.f2fs", is available from the following
+For reporting bugs and sending patches, please use the following mailing list:
+BACKGROUND AND DESIGN ISSUES
+Log-structured File System (LFS)
+"A log-structured file system writes all modifications to disk sequentially in
+a log-like structure, thereby speeding up both file writing and crash recovery.
+The log is the only structure on disk; it contains indexing information so that
+files can be read back from the log efficiently. In order to maintain large free
+areas on disk for fast writing, we divide the log into segments and use a
+segment cleaner to compress the live information from heavily fragmented
+segments." from Rosenblum, M. and Ousterhout, J. K., 1992, "The design and
+implementation of a log-structured file system", ACM Trans. Computer Systems
+10, 1, 26–52.
+Wandering Tree Problem
+In LFS, when a file data is updated and written to the end of log, its direct
+pointer block is updated due to the changed location. Then the indirect pointer
+block is also updated due to the direct pointer block update. In this manner,
+the upper index structures such as inode, inode map, and checkpoint block are
+also updated recursively. This problem is called as wandering tree problem ,
+and in order to enhance the performance, it should eliminate or relax the update
+propagation as much as possible.
+ Bityutskiy, A. 2005. JFFS3 design issues. http://www.linux-mtd.infradead.org/
+Since LFS is based on out-of-place writes, it produces so many obsolete blocks
+scattered across the whole storage. In order to serve new empty log space, it
+needs to reclaim these obsolete blocks seamlessly to users. This job is called
+as a cleaning process.
+The process consists of three operations as follows.
+1. A victim segment is selected through referencing segment usage table.
+2. It loads parent index structures of all the data in the victim identified by
+ segment summary blocks.
+3. It checks the cross-reference between the data and its parent index structure.
+4. It moves valid data selectively.
+This cleaning job may cause unexpected long delays, so the most important goal
+is to hide the latencies to users. And also definitely, it should reduce the
+amount of valid data to be moved, and move them quickly as well.
+- Enlarge the random write area for better performance, but provide the high
+ spatial locality
+- Align FS data structures to the operational units in FTL as best efforts
+Wandering Tree Problem
+- Use a term, “node”, that represents inodes as well as various pointer blocks
+- Introduce Node Address Table (NAT) containing the locations of all the “node”
+ blocks; this will cut off the update propagation.
+- Support a background cleaning process
+- Support greedy and cost-benefit algorithms for victim selection policies
+- Support multi-head logs for static/dynamic hot and cold data separation
+- Introduce adaptive logging for efficient block allocation
+background_gc_off Turn off cleaning operations, namely garbage collection,
+ triggered in background when I/O subsystem is idle.
+disable_roll_forward Disable the roll-forward recovery routine
+discard Issue discard/TRIM commands when a segment is cleaned.
+no_heap Disable heap-style segment allocation which finds free
+ segments for data from the beginning of main area, while
+ for node from the end of main area.
+nouser_xattr Disable Extended User Attributes. Note: xattr is enabled
+ by default if CONFIG_F2FS_FS_XATTR is selected.
+noacl Disable POSIX Access Control List. Note: acl is enabled
+ by default if CONFIG_F2FS_FS_POSIX_ACL is selected.
+active_logs=%u Support configuring the number of active logs. In the
+ current design, f2fs supports only 2, 4, and 6 logs.
+ Default number is 6.
+disable_ext_identify Disable the extension list configured by mkfs, so f2fs
+ does not aware of cold files such as media files.
+/sys/kernel/debug/f2fs/ contains information about all the partitions mounted as
+f2fs. Each file shows the whole f2fs information.
+ - major file system information managed by f2fs currently
+ - average SIT information about whole segments
+ - current memory footprint consumed by f2fs.
+1. Download userland tools and compile them.
+2. Skip, if f2fs was compiled statically inside kernel.
+ Otherwise, insert the f2fs.ko module.
+ # insmod f2fs.ko
+3. Create a directory trying to mount
+ # mkdir /mnt/f2fs
+4. Format the block device, and then mount as f2fs
+ # mkfs.f2fs -l label /dev/block_device
+ # mount -t f2fs /dev/block_device /mnt/f2fs
+-l [label] : Give a volume label, up to 256 unicode name.
+-a [0 or 1] : Split start location of each area for heap-based allocation.
+ 1 is set by default, which performs this.
+-o [int] : Set overprovision ratio in percent over volume size.
+ 5 is set by default.
+-s [int] : Set the number of segments per section.
+ 1 is set by default.
+-z [int] : Set the number of sections per zone.
+ 1 is set by default.
+-e [str] : Set basic extension list. e.g. "mp3,gif,mov"
+F2FS divides the whole volume into a number of segments, each of which is fixed
+to 2MB in size. A section is composed of consecutive segments, and a zone
+consists of a set of sections. By default, section and zone sizes are set to one
+segment size identically, but users can easily modify the sizes by mkfs.
+F2FS splits the entire volume into six areas, and all the areas except superblock
+consists of multiple segments as described below.
+ align with the zone size <-|
+ |-> align with the segment size
+ | | | Segment | Node | Segment | |
+ | Superblock | Checkpoint | Info. | Address | Summary | Main |
+ | (SB) | (CP) | Table (SIT) | Table (NAT) | Area (SSA) | |
+ . .
+ . .
+ . .
+ . .
+ . .
+- Superblock (SB)
+ : It is located at the beginning of the partition, and there exist two copies
+ to avoid file system crash. It contains basic partition information and some
+ default parameters of f2fs.
+- Checkpoint (CP)
+ : It contains file system information, bitmaps for valid NAT/SIT sets, orphan
+ inode lists, and summary entries of current active segments.
+- Segment Information Table (SIT)
+ : It contains segment information such as valid block count and bitmap for the
+ validity of all the blocks.
+- Node Address Table (NAT)
+ : It is composed of a block address table for all the node blocks stored in
+ Main area.
+- Segment Summary Area (SSA)
+ : It contains summary entries which contains the owner information of all the
+ data and node blocks stored in Main area.
+- Main Area
+ : It contains file and directory data including their indices.
+In order to avoid misalignment between file system and flash-based storage, F2FS
+aligns the start block address of CP with the segment size. Also, it aligns the
+start block address of Main area with the zone size by reserving some segments
+in SSA area.
+Reference the following survey for additional technical details.
+File System Metadata Structure
+F2FS adopts the checkpointing scheme to maintain file system consistency. At
+mount time, F2FS first tries to find the last valid checkpoint data by scanning
+CP area. In order to reduce the scanning time, F2FS uses only two copies of CP.
+One of them always indicates the last valid data, which is called as shadow copy
+mechanism. In addition to CP, NAT and SIT also adopt the shadow copy mechanism.
+For file system consistency, each CP points to which NAT and SIT copies are
+valid, as shown as below.
+ | CP | SIT | NAT |
+ . . . .
+ . . . .
+ . . . .
+ | CP #0 | CP #1 | SIT #0 | SIT #1 | NAT #0 | NAT #1 |
+ | ^ ^
+ | | |
+The key data structure to manage the data locations is a "node". Similar to
+traditional file structures, F2FS has three types of node: inode, direct node,
+indirect node. F2FS assigns 4KB to an inode block which contains 923 data block
+indices, two direct node pointers, two indirect node pointers, and one double
+indirect node pointer as described below. One direct node block contains 1018
+data blocks, and one indirect node block contains also 1018 node blocks. Thus,
+one inode block (i.e., a file) covers:
+ 4KB * (923 + 2 * 1018 + 2 * 1018 * 1018 + 1018 * 1018 * 1018) := 3.94TB.
+ Inode block (4KB)
+ |- data (923)
+ |- direct node (2)
+ | `- data (1018)
+ |- indirect node (2)
+ | `- direct node (1018)
+ | `- data (1018)
+ `- double indirect node (1)
+ `- indirect node (1018)
+ `- direct node (1018)
+ `- data (1018)
+Note that, all the node blocks are mapped by NAT which means the location of
+each node is translated by the NAT table. In the consideration of the wandering
+tree problem, F2FS is able to cut off the propagation of node updates caused by
+leaf data writes.
+A directory entry occupies 11 bytes, which consists of the following attributes.
+- hash hash value of the file name
+- ino inode number
+- len the length of file name
+- type file type such as directory, symlink, etc
+A dentry block consists of 214 dentry slots and file names. Therein a bitmap is
+used to represent whether each dentry is valid or not. A dentry block occupies
+4KB with the following composition.
+ Dentry Block(4 K) = bitmap (27 bytes) + reserved (3 bytes) +
+ dentries(11 * 214 bytes) + file name (8 * 214 bytes)
+ |dentry block 1 | dentry block 2 |
+ . .
+ . .
+ . [Dentry Block Structure: 4KB] .
+ | bitmap | reserved | dentries | file names |
+ [Dentry Block: 4KB] . .
+ . .
+ . .
+ | hash | ino | len | type |
+ [Dentry Structure: 11 bytes]
+F2FS implements multi-level hash tables for directory structure. Each level has
+a hash table with dedicated number of hash buckets as shown below. Note that
+"A(2B)" means a bucket includes 2 data blocks.
+A : bucket
+B : block
+N : MAX_DIR_HASH_DEPTH
+level #0 | A(2B)
+level #1 | A(2B) - A(2B)
+level #2 | A(2B) - A(2B) - A(2B) - A(2B)
+ . | . . . .
+level #N/2 | A(2B) - A(2B) - A(2B) - A(2B) - A(2B) - ... - A(2B)
+ . | . . . .
+level #N | A(4B) - A(4B) - A(4B) - A(4B) - A(4B) - ... - A(4B)
+The number of blocks and buckets are determined by,
+ ,- 2, if n < MAX_DIR_HASH_DEPTH / 2,
+ # of blocks in level #n = |
+ `- 4, Otherwise
+ ,- 2^n, if n < MAX_DIR_HASH_DEPTH / 2,
+ # of buckets in level #n = |
+ `- 2^((MAX_DIR_HASH_DEPTH / 2) - 1), Otherwise
+When F2FS finds a file name in a directory, at first a hash value of the file
+name is calculated. Then, F2FS scans the hash table in level #0 to find the
+dentry consisting of the file name and its inode number. If not found, F2FS
+scans the next hash table in level #1. In this way, F2FS scans hash tables in
+each levels incrementally from 1 to N. In each levels F2FS needs to scan only
+one bucket determined by the following equation, which shows O(log(# of files))
+ bucket number to scan in level #n = (hash value) % (# of buckets in level #n)
+In the case of file creation, F2FS finds empty consecutive slots that cover the
+file name. F2FS searches the empty slots in the hash tables of whole levels from
+1 to N in the same way as the lookup operation.
+The following figure shows an example of two cases holding children.
+ --------------> Dir <--------------
+ | |
+ child child
+ child - child [hole] - child
+ child - child - child [hole] - [hole] - child
+ Case 1: Case 2:
+ Number of children = 6, Number of children = 3,
+ File size = 7 File size = 7
+Default Block Allocation
+At runtime, F2FS manages six active logs inside "Main" area: Hot/Warm/Cold node
+and Hot/Warm/Cold data.
+- Hot node contains direct node blocks of directories.
+- Warm node contains direct node blocks except hot node blocks.
+- Cold node contains indirect node blocks
+- Hot data contains dentry blocks
+- Warm data contains data blocks except hot and cold data blocks
+- Cold data contains multimedia data or migrated data blocks
+LFS has two schemes for free space management: threaded log and copy-and-compac-
+tion. The copy-and-compaction scheme which is known as cleaning, is well-suited
+for devices showing very good sequential write performance, since free segments
+are served all the time for writing new data. However, it suffers from cleaning
+overhead under high utilization. Contrarily, the threaded log scheme suffers
+from random writes, but no cleaning process is needed. F2FS adopts a hybrid
+scheme where the copy-and-compaction scheme is adopted by default, but the
+policy is dynamically changed to the threaded log scheme according to the file
+In order to align F2FS with underlying flash-based storage, F2FS allocates a
+segment in a unit of section. F2FS expects that the section size would be the
+same as the unit size of garbage collection in FTL. Furthermore, with respect
+to the mapping granularity in FTL, F2FS allocates each section of the active
+logs from different zones as much as possible, since FTL can write the data in
+the active logs into one allocation unit according to its mapping granularity.
+F2FS does cleaning both on demand and in the background. On-demand cleaning is
+triggered when there are not enough free segments to serve VFS calls. Background
+cleaner is operated by a kernel thread, and triggers the cleaning job when the
+system is idle.
+F2FS supports two victim selection policies: greedy and cost-benefit algorithms.
+In the greedy algorithm, F2FS selects a victim segment having the smallest number
+of valid blocks. In the cost-benefit algorithm, F2FS selects a victim segment
+according to the segment age and the number of valid blocks in order to address
+log block thrashing problem in the greedy algorithm. F2FS adopts the greedy
+algorithm for on-demand cleaner, while background cleaner adopts cost-benefit
+In order to identify whether the data in the victim segment are valid or not,
+F2FS manages a bitmap. Each bit represents the validity of a block, and the
+bitmap is composed of a bit stream covering whole blocks in main area.