Linus Torvalds Calls On Paragon To Send In The New NTFS Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 17 July 2021 at 12:06 PM EDT. 16 Comments
One year ago was the surprise of Paragon Software wanting to mainline their NTFS Linux kernel driver. The Paragon "NTFS3" kernel driver provides much better read/write support for Microsoft's NTFS file-system than what is available with other kernel or FUSE options for this file-system support on Linux. It looks like this driver might finally be mainlined soon.

Over the past year the new NTFS driver has gone through many rounds of review and got into quite good shape. Even early on the code fundamentally has been better than the existing NTFS kernel driver and following all of the upstream code review the quality is in a state where it should be able to be mainlined in the Linux kernel assuming Paragon Software is still willing to maintain the code.

Recent kernel cycles including the Linux 5.14 merge window that ended last week though hasn't seen this new driver submitted... It looks like the problem is just no one, or particularly the Paragon developers, not going straight to Linus Torvalds to submit a pull request for adding this new NTFS driver.

Stemming from the discussion with VirtualBox shared folder patches taking a half-year with no action by the Linux file-system mailing list until sending straight to Linus Torvalds, it looks like NTFS3 has been in a similar situation.

On Friday Torvalds commented that if the code has all the reviews/acknowledgements and will be maintained, the developers involved should issue a pull request to him.

Torvalds further added, "We simply don't have anybody to funnel new filesystems - the fsdevel mailing list is good for comments and get feedback, but at some point somebody just needs to actually submit it, and that's not what fsdevel ends up doing. The argument that "it's already in a much better state than the old ntfs driver" may not be a very strong technical argument (not because of any Paragon problems - just because the old ntfs driver is not great), but it _is_ a fairly strong argument for merging the new one from Paragon. And I don't think there has been any huge _complaints_ about the code, and I don't think there's been any sign that being outside the kernel helps."
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