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The Future of the NTFS Linux Driver as Part of the Kernel Is in Question

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

After Paragon’s NTFS3 driver was accepted to become part of the Linux kernel last year, it has not received a single line of code maintenance.

Let’s start with a brief background of events. The NTFS support in the Linux kernel has always been an important part. After all, a vast number of Linux users rely on it to be able to use the Windows file systems fully under Linux.

Unfortunately, the existing Linux NTFS driver, which implementation dated back to 2001, was unmaintained in the kernel and lacked proper write support and other features.

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The “new” Linux NTFS driver is in danger

  • The “new” Linux NTFS driver is in danger

    Linux 5.15 released a new NTFS driver developed by Paragon Software with which it tried to improve compatibility with Microsoft’s veteran file system, which two decades after the launch of Windows XP is still the standard. However, a few months later the driver has entered a state of apparent abandonment, a situation that has aroused the concern of kernel developers and maintainers.

    Paragon Software’s NTFS3 driver was initially proprietary and distributed as a commercial product, but last year the company decided to release its code for the purpose of introducing it into the Linux kernel. Although Linux is not capable of running, at least not officially, on an NTFS partition, support for the NTFS file system is important for people who dual boot or are in a mixed Linux and Windows environment.

    The state of the driver has recently started to cause concern, when it was found that it has received little attention since the release of Linux 5.15 last November. Kari Argillander, kernel developer and co-maintainer of the driver that raised the alarm, has commented through the mailing lists that she hasn’t been able to get any response from Konstantin Komarov, the maintainer of Paragon Software, so she proceeded to post the issue on the table.

Problems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent

  • Problems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent

    There are doubts about the future of the new read-write NTFS driver in the Linux kernel, because its author is not maintaining the code, or even answering his email, leaving the code orphaned, says a would-be helper.

    It took a long time and a lot of work to get Paragon Software's NTFS3 driver merged into the Linux kernel. It finally happened in kernel release 5.15 on the 31st October 2021. It has received no maintenance since.

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