We have innodb_use_native_aio=ON by default since the introduction of that parameter in MariaDB 5.5. However, to really benefit from the setting, the files should be opened in O_DIRECT mode, to bypass the file system cache. In this way, the reads and writes can be submitted with DMA, using the InnoDB buffer pool directly, and no processor cycles need to be used for copying data.
The setting O_DIRECT should be equivalent to the old default innodb_flush_method=fsync in other aspects. Only the file system cache will be bypassed.
Note: innodb_flush_method=O_DIRECT in combination with a tiny innodb_buffer_pool_size may cause a significant performance regression, because we will no longer be able to take advantage of the file system cache of the operating system kernel. The InnoDB buffer pool will completely replace it. Affected users should configure innodb_flush_method=fsync.
This change will not affect Microsoft Windows. The default there is innodb_flush_method=unbuffered, which is roughly equivalent to O_DIRECT.