EXT4 Case Insensitive Support Sent In For The Linux 5.2 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 8 May 2019 at 08:00 AM EDT. 31 Comments
The EXT4 case-insensitive directories / file-name lookups were sent in yesterday for the mainline Linux 5.2 kernel.

As covered in that aforelinked article, the case-insensitive file-name look-up support works on a per-directory basis and can be setup by flipping on the +F inode attribute on an empty directory. The functionality relies upon Unicode 12.1 case handling and will preserve the actual case of the directory/filename on-disk. This functionality is specific to the EXT4 file-system driver itself although the Unicode code is entering a common area of the file-system kernel code.

This EXT4 case-insensitive support should work for a number of use-cases but does have some limitations like not supporting the per-directory encryption support on the same directories.

As outlined in the EXT4 pull request, there are also a number of code clean-ups and bug fixes but the optional case-insensitive support is the primary feature of this common Linux file-system for the 5.2 kernel.

It will be interesting to see what usage comes of this EXT4 case-insensitive support. It does have the potential of helping efforts like Wine where their current case-insensitive file-name solution is less than optimal/performant albeit works on any Linux file-system. Other users meanwhile are not happy seeing EXT4 support this Windows-like case insensitivity concept.
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