Paragon Looks To Upstream Their Microsoft exFAT Driver For The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 19 October 2019 at 08:48 AM EDT. 21 Comments
With the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel release there is now an exFAT file-system driver based on an old Samsung code drop of their exFAT driver support for mobile devices. This comes after Microsoft made the exFAT specification public recently and gave their blessing for a native Linux driver for the file-system. The Linux developers acknowledge though the current exFAT code is "horrible" and a "pile of crap" but is within the staging area.

So in Linux 5.4's staging is this preliminary read-write driver for exFAT that continues to be cleaned up and further improved upon. Meanwhile there is also another out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver based on Samsung's sdFAT code that is said to be in better shape than the mainline code. But now there's another option with Paragon Software wanting to upstream their own exFAT driver into the Linux kernel.

Paragon Software is a company known for providing commercial file-system drivers for Linux / macOS / Windows. For years already Paragon has offered a commercial exFAT Linux driver while now with these open-source drivers being out there, they want to get their code into the kernel.

Posted on Friday was an initial patch from Paragon with a read-only GPL-licensed exFAT Linux driver. They are said to be following up with a patch providing the read-write support. Their proposal is to have their driver be part of the main file-system area of the kernel, bypassing staging.

We'll see how soon they post their exFAT write support and whether this driver attracts enough interest to go mainline and potentially replace the staging driver.
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