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New NTFS Linux Driver Spun A Ninth Time, Still Under Review

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Volta View Post

    Closing Linux in proprietary environment doesn't make Linux proprietary. Going to the bank doesn't make you a banker.
    It's just degrees of semantics in regards to open software being used on closed platforms. No amount of open source and GPL matters when you don't hold the keys to your own system which essentially makes Linux nothing more than an Open Source component to a proprietary blob.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by ed31337 View Post
      Does anybody have any suspicions as to why Paragon is looking to mainline their NTFS driver? Wouldn't this sabotage their commerical driver income? For something that would presumably be working against them for future revenue, they sure are keeping at this project!
      Considering the lack of internal stable API in the Linux kernel Paragon might have realized that it's easier/cheaper to mainline their NTFS driver rather than maintain it locally. Speaking of income - that's a valid concern for which I have no explanation. Perhaps their revenue has dried up and instead of throwing away the code that they've invested quite a lot of money in, they instead decided to give back to the Linux community.

      Originally posted by ed31337 View Post
      Pure speculation: Perhaps Microsoft is secretly working towards rebasing Windows to run off of Linux? Maybe Microsoft is funding Paragon's efforts behind the scenes? Mainlining a full R/W commercial NTFS driver in Linux would help "Microsoft Linux" become closer to reality. This is the only explanation I can come up with as to why Paragon is suddenly so keen on doing this work...
      No, never. Also, Paragon's driver is based on NTFS specs and might not be as reliable as Windows own NTFS driver. Actually I'm 100% sure the native NTFS driver in Windows is a lot more reliable and tested.

      Originally posted by ed31337 View Post
      First we got systemd, which makes services under Linux work a lot more like how services operate in Windows. Next we got exFAT file system support. Now we're getting NTFS file system support. Valve is working on WINE for playing old Windows games under Linux, despite very low Linux marketshare by their own statistics. Yesterday, we got Microsoft's open sourced Calculator ported to Linux...

      It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle slowly being put together, piece by piece...
      Your imagination is running wild.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by eydee View Post
        Disregarding all the legal issues, significant changes happened to NTFS between XP and Vista. In fact, XP SP1 can't even read an NTFS volume made by Vista, XP need newer updates for that. Not that useful, isn't it?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS

        To be correct you have a statement that is true but is also deceptive. If you are looking at on disc formatting NTFS from XP SP1 to Vista are absolutely the same. First on disc formatting change is with Windows 8.1 with the log file. There is attribute data that NTFS partition made by Vista can have that causes XP prior to SP2 to in fact buffer overflow in the NTFS driver. The horrible part here is using tool released with NT 4.0 for Posix support to allow create for posix subsystem applications to create symlinks would also also cause XP SP1 to bite the big one for the same reason. XP ntfs driver was not 100 percent bug free.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by eydee View Post
          If MS wanted a decent NTFS driver in Linux, they could just use their own, not some 3rd party stuff.
          Sure, Microsoft could port their own NTFS driver over, but how compatible with the Linux source code infrastructure do you think their Windows NTFS code is? This would require a bunch of development effort on their part, which negates some of the cost benefit of rebasing Windows to the Linux kernel.

          Plus, as we understand it, Microsoft's Windows source code isn't entirely Microsoft's. It probably includes significant licensed code that they are under obligation to keep closed source. Remember when Netscape decided to "open source" Netscape Navigator? They had to gut out a bunch of proprietary stuff that they weren't allowed to release, and the resultant Mozilla was almost a total re-write in the end.

          Instead, why wouldn't Microsoft shop around for existing NTFS code that is nearly as good as their own (or better?), but is already ported to Linux and easier to open source? If Paragon's NTFS meets all the specs, then this could be a cost saving maneuver.

          They could blame it LSW or just their "love" for Linux, no need to do anything secretly.
          Anybody remember when Apple's main product was the iPod music player? There were rumors that Apple may be working on a smart phone next, but Apple repeatedly denied any such product was in the works, right up until the day Steve Jobs got on stage at their big product announcement event and unveiled the iPhone (which obsoleted the iPod).

          Corporations have bills to pay. If word gets out that their existing product is going to be obsoleted in the near future, that can have a negative impact on revenues right now, before they've gotten their next generation product ready for the market. If it's more profitable to keep things secret, you can bet they're going to keep things secret.
          Last edited by ed31337; 10-18-2020, 11:06 AM.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by birdie View Post
            Considering the lack of internal stable API in the Linux kernel Paragon might have realized that it's easier/cheaper to mainline their NTFS driver rather than maintain it locally. Speaking of income - that's a valid concern for which I have no explanation. Perhaps their revenue has dried up and instead of throwing away the code that they've invested quite a lot of money in, they instead decided to give back to the Linux community.
            There is a simple answer. NTFS last new patents 2001. NTFS is going patent end of life. Once patent end of life happens any party can decide to extend the Linux kernel driver to support read write. This would possible leave Paragon with no market for their NTFS driver code base. But if Pagagon does get their driver mainlined first they can still technically sell their labour to extend it in future.

            Originally posted by birdie View Post
            No, never. Also, Paragon's driver is based on NTFS specs and might not be as reliable as Windows own NTFS driver. Actually I'm 100% sure the native NTFS driver in Windows is a lot more reliable and tested.
            That is a bit of a pushing it. Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 2000 all have one thing in common some screw up in the NTFS driver resulting in user files magically pulling the disappearing act that had to be patched. The idea that the Windows ntfs driver is reliable and tested well is in the maybe camp. So it is possible that a driver based off full complete NTFS specifications may end more more reliable.

            Also version 2 of the mainline Paragon submited has a huge number of bugs detected and forced to be fixed by sparse in mainline Linux kernel running over the driver. Its going to take time to see where this lands. Its possible that it lands that the NTFS driver in the Linux kernel is safer to use than the NTFS driver in Windows.

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            • #26
              Here's my speculation as why Paragon is doing this: NTFS is obsolete in commercial space, their only form of revenue (consumers don't pay for drivers). ReFS is where all the commercial value is, and they all are going to ReFS. And who is the only provider of driver for ReFS? The same people that wrote the official linux NTFS driver. Great publicity, credibility, all for releasing something that was quickly becoming obsolete. ReFS came out 8 years ago and most corporate settings take about a decade to integrate new tech paradigms, so that's my theory.

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              • #27
                Paragon is the Startech of file systems.

                They essentially create all of these widgets to combine certain file systems to general use OS'es.

                They even have a btrfs driver for Windows.

                Where do they make their money? backup & partition software for SMB's.

                They have had some interesting tools over the years.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by ed31337 View Post
                  First we got systemd, which makes services under Linux work a lot more like how services operate in Windows.
                  Either you have never managed system services on Windows, daemons with systemd, or both to make such a strange claim.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by ed31337 View Post

                    Does anybody have any suspicions as to why Paragon is looking to mainline their NTFS driver? Wouldn't this sabotage their commerical driver income? For something that would presumably be working against them for future revenue, they sure are keeping at this project!

                    Pure speculation: Perhaps Microsoft is secretly working towards rebasing Windows to run off of Linux? Maybe Microsoft is funding Paragon's efforts behind the scenes? Mainlining a full R/W commercial NTFS driver in Linux would help "Microsoft Linux" become closer to reality. This is the only explanation I can come up with as to why Paragon is suddenly so keen on doing this work...

                    First we got systemd, which makes services under Linux work a lot more like how services operate in Windows. Next we got exFAT file system support. Now we're getting NTFS file system support. Valve is working on WINE for playing old Windows games under Linux, despite very low Linux marketshare by their own statistics. Yesterday, we got Microsoft's open sourced Calculator ported to Linux...

                    It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle slowly being put together, piece by piece...
                    Conspiracy theories are nice and all; but I bet they just haven't been making enough money off of it, and instead of killing the product off they decided to share it to prevent their past hard work from going down the drain and fading into obscurity now that they will no longer bother marketing it and nobody's bothering to buy it.

                    It doesn't make much sense as a commercial product either, since the people who desperately need this over ntfs-3g can be counted on one hand, whereas the people who will benefit from them sharing it with the linux kernel can be counted in thousands if not millions.

                    Just shut up and be thankful when companies do nice things instead of doubting everyone's motives. Although most companies (especially the largest ones) are cold machines that run purely based on what the numbers say, or what some idiot in a suit claims the numbers say; not all companies operate this way, not all company founders and ceos disregard ethics and morals in favor of profit. Sometimes people just feel like doing nice things, maybe they simply really cared about this product and were disappointed that so few people were using it so they decided to forego profits in order to spread their technology so that they can feel more proud of their work. It could also just be PR since most of their potential clients for their other work are deeply involved in the open source community, positioning themselves as a liked contributor to open source software is great PR for them.

                    Whatever their reasons are, we have no reason to not be grateful for it. Although I must admit I am curious as you are about how this came to be.
                    Last edited by rabcor; 10-18-2020, 07:04 PM.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

                      No reason someone can't be evil and use the Linux kernel with proprietary kernel modules.

                      Also, see Android. That's literally proprietary Linux.

                      They took a standard Linux OS, hid that from the user, and gave us a Java front-end tied to Google servers and services with an app store that rips developers off just as bad as Steam. They didn't even need to be evil and hide behind proprietary kernel modules. They just hid the entire Linux kernel and userspace with VM-Droid.

                      Linux can totally be proprietary and the GPL doesn't prevent it at all. All the GPL does is ensure that companies might release some fustercluck of a kernel source like Motorola and Samsung do with their Android phones. GPL and Open Source doesn't prevent using locked bootloaders, the (IMHO) criminal act of tying unlocking the bootloader to agreeing to give up one's warranty, and using that locked bootloader to fire up a proprietary software stack designed to keep you from using Linux and the standard Linux userspace tools.
                      Actually Android isn't proprietary; the Java APIs are (with some exceptions) fully open source. Android as such does respect all four freedoms, but in practice it's almost always tivoised (= you can't build a and install a modified version on a given device). But that's not the fault of Android but rather the device. It's not simply a matter of semantics, you can take Android and build your own hardware to run it on it, but if you buy a Samsung or Google phone you are screwed.

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