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File Systems

The dm-zoned device-mapper target makes it possible to use any file system with host-managed zoned block devices. It does this by hiding the device's sequential write constraints. This solution is simple and makes it possible to use file systems, but its potentially high overhead during the block-based zone-reclamation process means that is not the maximally efficient solution.

File systems whose implementations directly support zoned block devices have more efficient zone-reclamation processing. This is because file systems that directly support zoned block devices have metadata and file abstractions that provide more information about the usage and validity of storage blocks than do file systems that take the dm-zoned-block-based approach.

Some file systems are designed in such a way that they work well with the sequential write constraint of host-managed zoned block devices. This is the case for log-structured file systems such as f2fs and copy-on-write (CoW) file systems such as Btrfs.


zonefs is a very simple file system that exposes each of the zones of a zoned block device as a file. zonefs has been included with the upstream Linux kernel since version 5.6.0.


zonefs does not hide from the user the sequential write constraints of zoned block devices. In this, it is unlike a regular POSIX-compliant file system with native zoned-block device support (e.g. f2fs). Files that represent sequential write zones on the device must be written sequentially, starting from the end of the file (these are "append only" writes).

zonefs is therefore more similar to a raw-block-device-access interface than it is to a full-featured POSIX file system. The goal of zonefs is to simplify the implementation of zoned block device support in applications, and it aims to do this by replacing raw block device file accesses with the richer regular-file API (which avoids relying on the possibly more obscure and developer-unfriendly direct block device file ioctls). One example of this approach is the implementation of LSM (log-structured merge) tree structures (such as used in RocksDB and LevelDB) on zoned block devices: SSTables are stored in a zone file in a way that is similar to the way a regular file system works rather than as a range of sectors of the entire disk. The introduction of the higher-level construct "one file is one zone" can reduce the number of changes needed in the application, and also introduces support for different application programming languages.

The files that represent zones are grouped by zone type, and those zone types themselves are represented by sub-directories. This file structure is built entirely using zone information that is provided by the device and therefore does not require any complex on-disk metadata structure.

On-Disk Metadata

zonefs on-disk metadata is composed only of an immutable super block which persistently stores a magic number and optional feature flags and values. On mount, zonefs uses the block layer API function blkdev_report_zones() to obtain the device zone configuration and populates the mount point with a static file tree that is based solely on this information. File sizes come from the device zone type and the write-pointer position, both of which are managed by the device itself. zonefs operates only based on information from the device. zonefs does not have any metadata of its own.

The super block is always written on disk at sector 0. The first zone of the device that stores the super block is never exposed as a zone file by zonefs. If the zone that contains the super block is a sequential zone, the mkzonefs format tool always "finishes" the zone (that is, it transitions the zone to a full state to make it read-only, preventing any data write).

Zone Type Sub-Directories

Files that represent zones of the same type are grouped together under the same sub-directory, which is automatically created on mount.

For conventional zones, the sub-directory "cnv" is used. This directory is created only if the device has usable conventional zones. If the device has only a single conventional zone at sector 0, the zone will not be exposed as a file (because it will be used to store the zonefs super block). For such devices, the "cnv" sub-directory will not be created.

For sequential write zones, the sub-directory "seq" is used.

These two directories are the only directories that exist in zonefs. Users cannot create other directories and can neither rename nor delete the "cnv" and "seq" sub-directories.

The size of the directories indicates the number of files that exist under the directory. This size is indicated by the st_size field of struct stat, which is obtained with the stat() or fstat() system calls.

Zone files

Zone files are named using the number of the zone they represent within the set of zones of a particular type. Both the "cnv" and "seq" directories contain files named "0", "1", "2", ... The file numbers also represent increasing zone start sector on the device.

No read- and write-operations to zone files are allowed beyond the file maximum size (that is, beyond the zone size). Any access that exceeds the zone size fails with the -EFBIG error.

Creating, deleting, renaming and modifying any attribute of files is not allowed.

The number of blocks of a file as reported by stat() and fstat() indicates the size of the file zone (in other words, the maximum file size).

Conventional Zone Files

The size of conventional zone files is fixed to the size of the zone that they represent. Conventional zone files cannot be truncated.

These files can be randomly read and written using any type of I/O operation: buffered I/Os, direct I/Os, memory mapped I/Os (mmap), etc. There are no I/O constraints for these files beyond the file size limit mentioned above.

Sequential zone files

The size of sequential zone files that are grouped in the "seq" sub-directory represents the file's zone-write-pointer position relative to the zone start sector.

Sequential zone files can be written only sequentially, starting from the file end (that is, write operations can be only "append writes"). zonefs makes no attempt to accept random writes and will fail any write request that has a start offset that does not correspond to the end of the file, or to the end of the last write issued and still in-flight (for asynchronous I/O operations).

Because dirty page writeback by the page cache does not guarantee a sequential write pattern, zonefs prevents buffered writes and writeable shared mappings on sequential files. Only direct I/O writes are accepted for these files. zonefs relies on the sequential delivery of write I/O requests to the device implemented by the block layer elevator (See Write Command Ordering).

There are no restrictions on the type of I/O used for read operations in sequential zone files. Buffered I/Os, direct I/Os and shared read mappings are all accepted.

Truncating sequential zone files is allowed only down to 0, in which case, the zone is reset to rewind the file zone write pointer position to the start of the zone, or up to the zone size, in which case the file's zone is transitioned to the FULL state (finish zone operation).

Format options

Several optional features of zonefs can be enabled at format time.

  • Conventional zone aggregation: ranges of contiguous conventional zones can be aggregated into a single larger file instead of the default "one file per zone".
  • File ownership: By default, the owner UID and GID of zone files is 0 (root) but can be changed to any valid UID/GID.
  • File access permissions: the default access permissions (640) can be changed.

IO error handling

Zoned block devices can fail I/O requests for reasons similar to the reasons that regular block devices fail I/O requests, e.g. if there are bad sectors. But the standards that govern the behavior of zoned block devices also define additional conditions (in addition to these known I/O failure patterns) that can result in I/O errors.

  • A zone may transition to the read-only condition: Although the data that is already written in the zone is still readable, the zone can no longer be written. No user action on the zone (zone management command or read/write access) can change the zone condition back to a normal read/write state. While the reasons for the device to transition a zone to read-only state are not defined by the standards, a typical cause for such transition would be a defective write head on an HDD (all zones under this head are changed to read-only).

  • A zone may transition to the offline condition: An offline zone can be neither read nor written. No user action can transition an offline zone back to an operational "good state". Similar to zone read-only transitions, the reasons that a drive transitions a zone to the offline condition are undefined. A typical cause is (for example) a defective read-write head on an HDD that causes all zones on the platter under the broken head to be inaccessible.

  • Unaligned write errors: These errors result from the device receiving a write request that has a start sector that does not correspond to the write-pointer position of the target zone. Although zonefs enforces sequential file write for sequential zones, unaligned write errors can still happen in the case of a partial failure of a very large direct I/O operation that is split into multiple BIOs/requests or asynchronous I/O operations. If one of the write requests within the set of sequential write requests that is issued to the device fails, all write requests that are queued after it will become unaligned and fail.

  • Delayed write errors: As with regular block devices, if the device-side write cache is enabled, write errors can occur in ranges of previously-completed writes when the device write cache is flushed, e.g. on fsync(). As in cases of immediate unaligned write errors, delayed write errors can propagate through a stream of cached sequential data for a zone, which can cause all data after the sector that caused the error to be dropped.

All I/O errors detected by zonefs are reported to the user with an error code returned for the system call that triggered or detected the error. The recovery actions taken by zonefs in response to I/O errors depend on the I/O type (read vs write) and on the reason for the error (bad sector, unaligned writes or zone condition change).

  • For read I/O errors, zonefs takes recovery action action only if the file zone is still in good condition and there is no inconsistency between the file inode size and its zone write pointer position. If a problem is detected, I/O error recovery is executed (see below table).

  • For write I/O errors, zonefs I/O error recovery is always executed.

  • A zone condition change to "read-only" or "offline" also always triggers zonefs I/O error recovery.

zonefs minimal I/O error recovery can change a file's size and its file access permissions.

  • File size changes: Immediate or delayed write errors in a sequential zone file can cause the file inode size to be inconsistent with the amount of data successfully written in the file zone. For example, the partial failure of a multi-BIO large write operation will cause the zone write pointer to advance partially, even though the entire write operation is reported as failed to the user. In such cases, the file inode size must be advanced to reflect the zone write pointer change and eventually allow the user to restart writing at the end of the file. A file size may also be reduced to reflect a delayed write error detected on fsync(): in this case, the amount of data effectively written in the zone may be less than originally indicated by the file inode size. After any such I/O error, zonefs always fixes the file inode size to reflect the amount of data persistently stored in the file zone.

  • Access permission changes: A zone condition change to read-only is indicated with a change in the file access permissions, rendering the file read-only. This disables changes to the file attributes and data modification. For offline zones, all permissions (read and write) of the file are disabled.

Further action taken by zonefs I/O error recovery can be controlled by the user with the "errors=xxx" mount option. The table below summarizes the result of zonefs I/O error processing, depending on the mount option and on the zone conditions.

"errors=xxx" mount optionDevice zone conditionFile sizeFile readFile writeDevice readDevice write
remount-roread-onlyas isyesnoyesno
zone-roread-onlyas isyesnoyesno
repairread-onlyas isyesnoyesno

Further notes:

  • The "errors=remount-ro" mount option is the default behavior of zonefs I/O error processing if no errors mount option is specified.
  • With the "errors=remount-ro" mount option, the change of file access permissions to "read-only" applies to all files. The file system is remounted read-only.
  • Access permission and file-size changes caused by the device transitioning zones to the offline condition are permanent. Remounting or reformatting the device with mkfs.zonefs (mkzonefs) will not change offline zone files back to a good state.
  • All file access permission changes to read-only that are due to the device transitioning zones to the read-only condition are permanent. Remounting or reformatting the device will not re-enable file write access.
  • File access permission changes implied by the "remount-ro", "zone-ro" and "zone-offline" mount options are temporary for zones in a good condition. Unmounting and remounting the file system restores the previous default (format time values) access rights to the files affected.
  • The repair mount option triggers only the minimal set of I/O error recovery actions (that is, file size fixes for zones in a good condition). Zones that are indicated as "read-only" or "offline" by the device still imply changes to the zone file access permissions as noted in the table above.

Mount options

zonefs defines the "errors=behavior" mount option to allow the user to specify zonefs behavior in response to I/O errors, inode size inconsistencies or zone condition changes. The defined behaviors are as follows.

  • remount-ro (default)
  • zone-ro
  • zone-offline
  • repair

The run-time I/O error actions defined for each behavior are detailed in IO error handling. Mount-time I/O errors cause the mount operation to fail.

Read-only zones are handled differently at mount time than they are at run time. If a read-only zone is found at mount time, the zone is always treated in the same manner as offline zones (that is, all accesses are disabled and the zone file size set to 0). This is necessary, because the write pointer of read-only zones is defined as invalid by the ZBC and ZAC standards (which makes it impossible to discover the amount of data that has been written to the zone). In the case of a read-only zone that is discovered at run-time, as indicated in IO error handling, the size of the zone file is left unchanged from its last updated value.

Zonefs User Space Tools

The mkzonefs tool is used to format zoned block devices for use with zonefs. This tool is available on GitHub.

zonefs-tools also includes a test suite that can be run against any zoned block device, including nullblk block device created with zoned mode.


The following list of commands formats a 15TB host-managed SMR HDD with 256 MB zones (with the conventional zones aggregation feature enabled):

# mkzonefs -o aggr_cnv /dev/sdX
# mount -t zonefs /dev/sdX /mnt
# ls -l /mnt/
total 0
dr-xr-xr-x 2 root root 1 Nov 25 13:23 cnv
dr-xr-xr-x 2 root root 55356 Nov 25 13:23 seq

The size of the zone files' sub-directories indicates the number of files that exist for each type of zone. In this example, there is only one conventional zone file (all conventional zones are aggregated under a single file):

# ls -l /mnt/cnv
total 137101312
-rw-r----- 1 root root 140391743488 Nov 25 13:23 0

This aggregated conventional zone file can be used as a regular file:

# mkfs.ext4 /mnt/cnv/0
# mount -o loop /mnt/cnv/0 /data

The "seq" sub-directory, which groups files for sequential write zones, has 55356 zones in this example:

# ls -lv /mnt/seq
total 14511243264
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:23 0
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:23 1
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:23 2
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:23 55354
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:23 55355

For sequential write zone files, the file size changes as data is appended at the end of the file. This is similar to the behavior of any regular file system:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/seq/0 bs=4096 count=1 conv=notrunc oflag=direct
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
4096 bytes (4.1 kB, 4.0 KiB) copied, 0.00044121 s, 9.3 MB/s

# ls -l /mnt/seq/0
-rw-r----- 1 root root 4096 Nov 25 13:23 /mnt/seq/0

The written file can be truncated to the zone size, which prevents any further write operations:

# truncate -s 268435456 /mnt/seq/0
# ls -l /mnt/seq/0
-rw-r----- 1 root root 268435456 Nov 25 13:49 /mnt/seq/0

Truncation to 0 size allows freeing the file zone storage space and restarts append-writes to the file:

# truncate -s 0 /mnt/seq/0
# ls -l /mnt/seq/0
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 Nov 25 13:49 /mnt/seq/0

Since files are statically mapped to zones on the disk, the number of blocks of a file as reported by stat() and fstat() indicates the size of the file zone:

# stat /mnt/seq/0
File: /mnt/seq/0
Size: 0 Blocks: 524288 IO Block: 4096 regular empty file
Device: 870h/2160d Inode: 50431 Links: 1
Access: (0640/-rw-r-----) Uid: ( 0/ root) Gid: ( 0/ root)
Access: 2019-11-25 13:23:57.048971997 +0900
Modify: 2019-11-25 13:52:25.553805765 +0900
Change: 2019-11-25 13:52:25.553805765 +0900
Birth: -

The number of blocks of the file ("Blocks") in units of 512B blocks gives the maximum file size of 524288 * 512 B = 256 MB, which corresponds to the device zone size in this example. Note that the "IO block" field always indicates the minimum I/O size for writes and that it corresponds to the device's physical sector size.


The Flash-Friendly File System (f2fs) was designed on the basis of a log-structured file system approach, but was modified to avoid the classical problems of the traditional log-structured approach (e.g. the snowball effect of "wandering trees" and the high "cleaning overhead").

f2fs supports various parameters not only for configuring on-disk layout but also for selecting allocation and cleaning algorithms.

Zoned Block Device Support

Zoned block device support was added to f2fs with kernel 4.10. Because f2fs uses a metadata-block on-disk format with fixed-block location, only zoned block devices that include conventional zones are supported. Zoned devices composed entirely of sequential zones cannot be used with f2fs as a standalone device and they require a multi-device setup in order to place metadata blocks on randomly writable storage. f2fs supports multi-device setup where multiple block device address spaces are linearly concatenated to form a logically larger block device. The dm-linear device mapper target can also be used to create a logical device that is composed of both conventional zones and sequential zones suitable for f2fs.

f2fs zoned block device support was achieved using the following principles.

  1. Section Alignment In f2fs, a section is a group of fixed-size segments (2 MB). The number of segments in a section is determined to match the zoned device zone size. For example: with a 256 MB zone size, a section contains 128 segments of 2MB.
  2. Forced LFS mode By default, f2fs tries to optimize block allocation (in order to avoid excessive append write) by allowing some random writes within segments. The LFS mode forces sequential writes to segments and forces the sequential use of segments within sections, which results in full compliance with the zoned block device's write constraint.
  3. Zone reset as discard operation In the past, block discard (or trim) indicated to a device that a block or range of blocks are no longer in use. This has been replaced with the execution of a "zone write pointer reset" command when all blocks of all segments of a section are free. This allows the section to be reused.

Compared to a solution that uses the dm-zoned device mapper target, the performance of f2fs on zoned devices does not suffer from "zone reclaim overhead", because writes are always sequential and do not require on-disk temporary buffering. f2fs garbage collection (segment cleanup) generates overhead only for workloads that frequently delete files or modify files' data.

Zone Capacity Support

NVMe ZNS SSDs can have a per zone capacity that is smaller than the zone size. To support ZNS devices, f2fs ensures that block allocation and accounting considers only the blocks in a zone that are within the zone's capacity. This support for NVMe ZNS zone capacity has been available since it was introduced in Linux kernel version 5.10.

f2fs volumes need some storage space that is randomly writable in order to store and update in-place metadata blocks for the volume. Since NVMe zoned namespaces do not have conventional zones, a f2fs volume cannot be self-contained within a single NVMe zoned namespace. To format an f2fs volume using a NVMe zoned namespace, a multi-device volume format must be used in order to provide an additional regular block device to store the volume metadata blocks. This additional regular block device can be either a regular namespace on the same NVMe device or a regular namespace on another NVMe device.


f2fs uses 32-bit block numbers with a block size of 4 KB. This results in a maximum volume size of 16 TB. Any device or combination of devices (for a multi-device volume) with a total capacity that is larger than 16 TB cannot be used with f2fs.

To overcome this limit, the dm-linear device mapper target can be used to partition a zoned block device into serviceable, smaller logical devices. This configuration must ensure that each logical device that is created is assigned a sufficient amount of conventional zones to store f2fs fixed location metadata blocks.

Usage Example with a Host Managed SMR HDD

To format a zoned block device with mkfs.f2fs, the option -m must be specified:

# mkfs.f2fs -m /dev/sdb

f2fs-tools: mkfs.f2fs Ver: 1.12.0 (2018-11-12)

Info: Disable heap-based policy
Info: Debug level = 0
Info: Trim is enabled
Info: [/dev/sdb] Disk Model: HGST HSH721415AL
Info: Host-managed zoned block device:
55880 zones, 524 randomly writeable zones
65536 blocks per zone
Info: Segments per section = 128
Info: Sections per zone = 1
Info: sector size = 4096
Info: total sectors = 3662151680 (14305280 MB)
Info: zone aligned segment0 blkaddr: 65536
Info: format version with
"Linux version 5.0.16-300.fc30.x86_64 ( (gcc version 9.1.1 20190503 (Red Hat 9.1.1-1) (GCC)) #1 SMP Tue May 14 19:33:09 UTC 2019"
Info: [/dev/sdb] Discarding device
Info: Discarded 14305280 MB
Info: Overprovision ratio = 0.600%
Info: Overprovision segments = 86254 (GC reserved = 43690)
Info: format successful

The formatted zoned block device can now be directly mounted. No further setup is necessary:

# mount /dev/sdb /mnt

Usage Example with a NVMe ZNS SSD

Unlike SMR hard-disks, the kernel by default does not select the mq-deadline block-IO scheduler for block devices that represent NVMe zoned namespaces. To ensure that the regular write operations used by f2fs are delivered to the device in sequential order, the IO scheduler for the NVMe zoned namespace block device must be set to mq-deadline. This is done with the following command:

# echo mq-deadline > /sys/block/nvme1n1/queue/scheduler

In the above command, /dev/nvme1n1 is the block device file of the zoned namespace that will be used for the f2fs volume. Using this namespace, a multi-device f2fs volume that uses an additional regular block device (/dev/nvme0n1 in the following example) can be formatted using the -c option of mkfs.f2fs, as shown in the following example:

# mkfs.f2fs -f -m -c /dev/nvme1n1 /dev/nvme0n1

F2FS-tools: mkfs.f2fs Ver: 1.14.0 (2021-06-23)

Info: Disable heap-based policy
Info: Debug level = 0
Info: Trim is enabled
Info: Host-managed zoned block device:
2048 zones, 0 randomly writeable zones
524288 blocks per zone
Info: Segments per section = 1024
Info: Sections per zone = 1
Info: sector size = 4096
Info: total sectors = 1107296256 (4325376 MB)
Info: zone aligned segment0 blkaddr: 524288
Info: format version with
"Linux version 5.13.0-rc6+ (user1@brahmaputra) (gcc (Ubuntu 10.3.0-1ubuntu1) 10.3.0, GNU ld (GNU Binutils for Ubuntu) 2.36.1) #2 SMP Fri Jun 18 16:45:29 IST 2021"
Info: [/dev/nvme0n1] Discarding device
Info: This device doesn't support BLKSECDISCARD
Info: This device doesn't support BLKDISCARD
Info: [/dev/nvme1n1] Discarding device
Info: Discarded 4194304 MB
Info: Overprovision ratio = 3.090%
Info: Overprovision segments = 74918 (GC reserved = 40216)
Info: format successful

To mount the volume formatted with the above command, the regular block device must be specified:

# mount -t f2fs /dev/nvme0n1 /mnt/f2fs/


Btrfs is a file system based on the copy-on-write (CoW) principle. This principle has the result that no block update can be written in-place. Btrfs currently supports zoned block devices, but that support is experimental.

Zoned Block Device Support

Zoned block device support was added to btrfs with kernel 5.12. Because super-blocks are the only on-disk data structure with a fixed location in btrfs, zoned block device support introduces the concept of log-structured super-blocks to eliminate in-place updates (overwrites) of fixed super block locations. Zoned mode reserves two consecutive zones to hold each of the super-blocks (primary and backup super-blocks) in btrfs. When a new super-block is written, it is appended to its respective super-block zone. After the first super-block zone is filled, the next super block is written to the second super-block zone and the first is reset. At mount time, btrfs can find the latest version of the super-block by looking at the position of the zone write pointer of the super-block zones. The most recent and valid super-block is always the last block stored before the write pointer position.

Block Allocation Changes

Btrfs block management relies on grouping blocks into block groups. Each block group is composed of one or more device extents. The device extents of a block group may belong to different devices (e.g. in the case of a RAID volume). ZBD support changes the size of a device extent from its default size to the size of the device zones. This ensures that all device extents are always aligned to a zone.

Allocation of blocks within a block group is changed so that the allocation is always sequential from the beginning of the block group. To do this, an allocation pointer is added to block groups and used as the allocation hint. These changes ensure that blocks freed below the allocation pointer are ignored, which results in sequential block allocation within each group regardless of the block group usage.

I/O Management

Although the introduction of the allocation pointer ensures that blocks are allocated sequentially within groups (and therefore sequentially within zones), I/O operations that write out newly allocated blocks can be issued out of order, and this can cause errors when writing to sequential zones. This problem is solved by introducing a "write I/O request staging list" to each block group. This list is used to delay the execution of unaligned write requests within a given block group.

The zones of a block group are reset to allow rewriting only when the block group is free (that is, when all the blocks within the block group are unused).

When dealing with btrfs volumes that are composed of multiple disks, restrictions are added to ensure that all the disks have the same zone model (and in the case of zoned block devices, the same zone size). This matches the existing btrfs constraint that dictates that all device extents in a block group must have the same size.

All writes to data block groups use Zone Append writing, which makes it possible to maintain a high queue depth without violating the device zone's sequential write constraints. Every write to dedicated meta-data block groups is serialized with a file-system-global zoned metadata I/O lock.

Zone Capacity Support

NVMe ZNS SSDs can have a per zone capacity that is smaller than the zone size. To support ZNS devices, btrfs ensures that block allocation and accounting considers only the blocks in a zone that are within the zone capacity. This support for NVMe ZNS zone capacity has been available since Linux kernel version 5.16. Also, since kernel 5.16, btrfs keeps track of the number of active zones on a device and issues "Zone Finish" commands as needed.


Not all features currently available in btrfs are supported in the current zoned mode of the file-system.

These unavailable features include:

  • RAID Support
  • NOCOW Support
  • Support for fallocate(2)
  • Mixed data and meta-data block groups

System Requirements

In order to use btrfs on zoned block devices, the following minimum system requirements must be met:

  • Linux kernel 5.12 (for SMR) or 5.16 (for NVMe ZNS)
  • btrfs-progs 5.12 (for SMR) or 5.15 (for NVMe ZNS)
  • util-linux 2.38

The source code for btrfs-progs is hosted on GitHub. More information on util-linux can be found here.

If a kernel supports btrfs on a zoned block device, it will automatically select the mq_deadline block IO scheduler by default. This ensures write ordering correctness for any SMR hard-disk that is used in a zoned btrfs volume.

As in the case of f2fs use with an NVMe ZNS SSD, the mq-deadline scheduler must be set manually to ensure that the regular write operations used by btrfs are delivered to the device in sequential order. For a NVMe zoned namespace device /dev/nvmeXnY, this is done with the following command:

# echo mq-deadline > /sys/block/nvmeXnY/queue/scheduler

Alternatively, the following udev rule can be used to automatically set the mq-deadline scheduler for all zoned block devices that have been formatted with btrfs.

SUBSYSTEM!="block", GOTO="btrfs_end"
ACTION!="add|change", GOTO="btrfs_end"
ENV{ID_FS_TYPE}!="btrfs", GOTO="btrfs_end"

ATTR{queue/zoned}=="host-managed", ATTR{queue/scheduler}="mq-deadline"


Usage example with a Host Managed SMR HDD

To format a zoned block device with mkfs.btrfs, the -m single and -d single options must be specified, because no block group profile other than "single" is currently supported.

# mkfs.btrfs -m single -d single /dev/sda
btrfs-progs v5.15.1
See for more information.

Zoned: /dev/sda: host-managed device detected, setting zoned feature
Resetting device zones /dev/sda (74508 zones) ...
NOTE: several default settings have changed in version 5.15, please make sure
this does not affect your deployments:
- DUP for metadata (-m dup)
- enabled no-holes (-O no-holes)
- enabled free-space-tree (-R free-space-tree)

Label: (null)
UUID: 7ffa00fe-c6a3-4c6c-890f-858e17118c66
Node size: 16384
Sector size: 4096
Filesystem size: 18.19TiB
Block group profiles:
Data: single 256.00MiB
Metadata: single 256.00MiB
System: single 256.00MiB
SSD detected: no
Zoned device: yes
Zone size: 256.00MiB
Incompat features: extref, skinny-metadata, no-holes, zoned
Runtime features: free-space-tree
Checksum: crc32c
Number of devices: 1
1 18.19TiB /dev/sda

The formatted block device can now be directly mounted. No other setup is necessary.

# mount /dev/sda /mnt


XFS currently does not support zoned block devices. The dm-zoned device mapper target must be used to enable zoned device use with XFS.

An early design document discussed the development work necessary to support host aware and host managed disks with XFS. Parts of this design have already been implemented and included into the kernel stable releases (e.g. the "per inode reverse block mapping b-trees" feature). However, more work is necessary to fully support zoned block devices.


Attempts at improving ext4 performance with host aware zoned block devices by making changes to the file system journal management are described in in this article. These changes are small and succeed in maintaining good performance. However, support for host managed zoned block devices is not provided, because some of the fundamental aspects of ext4 design cannot easily be changed to match host managed device constraints.

The field of host optimizations for host aware zoned block devices remains in the research phase and is not included in ext4 stable kernel releases. It should also be noted that ext4 does not support host managed disks. As with XFS, however, the ext4 file system can be used together with the dm-zoned device mapper target.