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Enhanced Read-Only File System is a efficient high-performance read only filesystem. It features in-place decompression for maximum efficiency. Only LZ4 compression is supported at this time. EROFS has features which makes it superior to other read-only filesystems like squashfs on devices with limited memory.

EROFS has been available in the mainline Linux kernel's "staging" area since 2018.


  • Little-endian on-disk design.
  • 4KB block size. This limits the total possible capacity of a EROFS filesystem to 16 TB.
  • Optional support for extended attributes (xattrs)
  • Supports POSIX.1e ACLs by using xattrs
  • Fixed-output compression for high performance
  • LZ4 is the only supported algorithm

EROFS supports who different inode versions:

v1 v2
Inode metadata size: 32 bytes 64 bytes
Max file size 4 GB 16 EB (also limited by max. vol size)
Max uids/gids 65536 4294967296
File creation time no yes (64 + 32-bit timestamp)
Max hardlinks 65536 4294967296
Metadata reserved 4 bytes 14 bytes

User-space utilities

Compressed EROFS images can be created with mkfs.erofs which is a part of erofs-utils (actually, it's the only binary in that package as of now). The code can be aqcuired from xiang/erofs-utils.git.

erofs-utils requires lz4 and it has issues with lz4 <=1.8.3. You may want to compile both lz4 and erofs-utils from git:

git clone
cd lz4/
su -c 'make install'

make install will by default install to /usr/local/ which means lz4's include and library directories need to be specified when compiling erofs-utils:

git clone git:// -b dev
cd erofs-utils/
./configure --with-lz4-incdir=/usr/local/include/ --with-lz4-libdir=/usr/local/lib
su -c 'make install'

The basic syntax for creating a EROFS image is:

mkfs.erofs -zlz4hc myimage.erofs.img folder1/ folder2/

While -z is required it is also the only currently supposed compression algorithm.

Mount options

fault_injection=%d Enable fault injection in all supported types with specified injection rate. Supported injection type:
Type_Name Type_Value
FAULT_KMALLOC 0x000000001
FAULT_READ_IO 0x000000002
(no)user_xattr Setup Extended User Attributes. Note: xattr is enabled by default if CONFIG_EROFS_FS_XATTR is selected.
(no)acl Setup POSIX Access Control List. Note: acl is enabled
cache_strategy=%s Select a strategy for cached decompression.

disabled: In-place I/O decompression only;
readahead: Cache the last incomplete compressed physical cluster for further reading. It still does in-place I/O decompression for the rest compressed physical clusters;
readaround: Cache the both ends of incomplete compressed physical clusters for further reading. It still does in-place I/O decompression for the rest compressed physical clusters.

In most cases the standard -o loop option is enough to mount a EROFS image:

mount -o loop myfiles.erofs.img /mnt/tmp

Technical details

EROFS supports 4KB fixed-output clustersize transparent file compression.

         |---- Variant-Length Extent ----|-------- VLE --------|----- VLE -----
         clusterofs                      clusterofs            clusterofs
         |                               |                     |   logical data
... |    .        |             |        .    |             |  .          | ...
    |-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|
         size          size          size          size          size
          .                             .                .                   .
           .                       .               .                  .
            .                  .              .                .
         ... |             |             |             | ... physical data
             |-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|-> cluster <-|
                  size          size          size

A physical cluster can contain a maximum of 4KB compressed or uncompressed data. Logical clusters have a on-disk index which describes it's physical cluster address, cluster type and other details.


EROFS is developed by Chinese technology giant Huawei. It is free software and the source code is available in the kernel git tree. The user-space utilities are available in erofs-utils.git.

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