Paragon Submits Third Version Of New NTFS Kernel Driver For Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 29 August 2020 at 03:47 AM EDT. 50 Comments
Two weeks ago file-system driver vendor Paragon Software posted patches for their previously commercial NTFS Linux driver with hopes of getting the code mainlined. That initial patch drew some criticism for how it was handled but a week later a new version was published that split up the patches nicely and had other feedback. Prior to calling it a weekend, Paragon sent out a third version of the "NTFS3" Linux kernel driver patches.

On Friday a third revision to Paragon's "NTFS3" driver was sent out for review by upstream Linux kernel developers. With this new version there is now FIEMAP support, fixed encoding support, and various coding clean-ups to better jive with the Linux kernel coding standards and improve the code quality.

Most notable with this new patch version are several mount options now being wired up: acl, noatime, no_acs_rules, and prealloc mount options are now all supported by this NTFS read/write kernel driver for Linux.

The v3 patches are out for consideration on the kernel mailing list.

It doesn't look like this will be the last version as in the hours since the patches were posted there has already been some sharp criticism. Longtime Linux kernel developer Al Viro began a message critiquing some of the code as, "this is bollocks." Mark Harmstone who has done other open-source file-system work also commented he is still waiting on a response from his comments from the v2 patches. He is concerned that if the patches are addressed prior to being corrected "it becomes an awful lot more difficult to correct design flaws like these."

So the new NTFS Linux driver patches at least continue to be reviewed and of interest to the upstream kernel developers and the broader Linux community for offering proper write support unlike the current kernel driver while also being much faster than the alternative NTFS FUSE driver. But for now it remains to be seen if/when this driver will be cleaned up to a state that is ready for accepting and how it will ultimately play out with the other NTFS kernel (primarily read only) kernel driver currently living in the tree. At least judging from the weekly patch series from Paragon Software, they are at least serious about getting the driver upstreamed and carrying out the necessary due diligence.
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