New Linux Filesystems

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  • DevynCJohnson
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    • @devyncjohnson

    Developers are always making new filesystems. Four relatively new (2008-2009) filesystems now available to Linux include Tux3, HAMMER, UBIFS, and the Reliance Nitro filesystem.


    Tux3 was made by Daniel Phillips and introduced to the Linux kernel v2.6.x in July 2008. This open-source filesystem uses the B-Tree structure and is like other typical Unix inode filesystems (like ext4). Like other filesystems, there are limitations. For instance, the largest size a Tux3 partition can be is 1.15 Exabytes (EB) or one Exbibyte (EiB). The partition limit is the same as the file-size limit. Tux3 can address up to 2.814749767*1014 files which can also be displayed as 281474976700000 or 248 files. The filenames may have up to 255 characters and such characters include everything except NULL and "/". Linux can boot off of Tux3 filesystems and use POSIX permissions. fsck currently supports Tux3 integrity checks.


    The second new filesystem to discuss is HAMMER which is the default filesystem used by DragonFlyBSD. Matthew Dillon originally made the HAMMER filesystem for DragonFlyBSD, but HAMMER has been ported to Linux. However, the current non-vanilla Linux kernels can only read HAMMER if the module is added. The partition size limit is one Exabyte. HAMMER is known for its great crash and error recovery. HAMMER also uses snapshots to help maintain the integrity of files. To download HAMMER or get more information on it, see these links -

    FUN FACT: The next version of HAMMER (called HAMMER2) is currently under development for DragonFlyBSD users.


    Another new filesystem available to Linux is the Unsorted Block Image File System (UBIFS). This is another raw flash drive filesystem that is an improvement over JFFS2, but is comparable to LogFS. UBIFS supports caching, unlike JFFS2. UBIFS supposedly operates faster and more efficiently than JFFS2. UBIFS allows filenames to contain any character besides NULL and "/". Notice a few sentences previously, I said this is for "raw flash drives". That means this filesystem will not work on hard-drives, MMCs, or SD cards. The larger the UBIFS storage device, the more memory that will be consumed on your system. This memory consumption is nothing to worry about, but that can be helpful to know. UBIFS supports transparent compression which means the files are compressed before being written to the device. For more info, check out the main website -

    Reliance Nitro filesystem

    Reliance Nitro filesystem is yet another filesystem newly (2009) available to Linux thanks to the company Datalight ( The max volume and file size is thirty-two terabytes (TB). This embedded flash filesystem is supposedly a very fast and fault tolerant filesystem. Reliance Nitro is a proprietary filesystem that users must purchase.

    Further Reading

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