Commercial vs. Open-Source Flash File Systems for Linux


Linux developers have many open-source file systems to choose from. Some of these products – JFFS2, for example – have become de-facto standards in embedded Linux designs. Do they provide performance that is fast enough to make a favorable impression with device users? Can the reliability of these open-source file systems be trusted for critical applications? Are you confident that their roadmap will answer the needs of future version of your products? And finally, who can you call for support when you have a technical problem involving the file system? This paper examines four flash file systems for Linux. Three of these – JFFS2, YAFFS2 and UBIFS – are open-source, GPL products; the fourth solution is a commercial data management platform from Datalight, a 28-year expert in embedded software solutions.


Embedded Linux engineers and architects as well as forward-thinking product managers and engineering directors will be interested in the head-to-head product comparisons that are provided in this paper. A basic knowledge of flash memory architecture is assumed.