Concerns Raised Over The "New" NTFS Linux Driver That Merged Last Year
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 26 April 2022 at 06:25 AM EDT. 68 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
Back in 2020 file-system driver provider Paragon Software announced they wanted to upstream their NTFS driver into the Linux kernel. This driver was previously a proprietary, commercial offering from the company but given the state of NTFS these days they wanted to upstream this driver with full read/write support and other features not found within the existing NTFS driver. Finally last year after going through many rounds of review, the new driver was merged into Linux 5.15. Sadly, less than one year later, concerns have been raised that the driver is already effectively orphaned and not being maintained.

While Paragon Software pledged to maintain this driver as part of submitting it to upstream, since it landed in Linux 5.15 last year there hasn't been any major updates to it even with various fixes having queued up since that point. One of the developers that contributed a number of patches to the NTFS3 code during the review process, Kari Argillander, raised concerns today over the state of this driver. Kari also noted he's been unable to get any response from the Paragon maintainer and it has been virtual radio silence.


Much excitement was raised when the NTFS3 driver was announced with upstream intentions after being proprietary for years. But now concerns are being raised that the driver isn't being maintained.


Kari has now raised these concerns on the kernel mailing list and summed up the situation. Kari classifies this driver as already being effectively orphaned while making an offer to co-maintain this driver but receiving no response yet from the recognized maintainer. Thus questions if this driver should be removed from mainline or what action taken -- or hopes of getting the driver into a maintained state.


A quick Git search shows indeed no major code changes to the NTFS3 file-system driver since it was merged last year for Linux 5.15. Paragon's devel branch last saw commits in October and November of last year -- fixes that have since not yet been upstreamed. So right now things aren't looking up for this once promising NTFS driver for Linux but we'll see if things change or any immediate action taken.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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