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. 30 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
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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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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