back to article Paragon 'optimistic' that its NTFS driver will be accepted into the Linux Kernel

Paragon has submitted code for a read-write NTFS driver in the Linux kernel, and told The Register that it also plans to provide its NTFS tools and utilities as open source. The decision to offer the NTFS code for Linux emerged last month when the company submitted a 27,000 line patch to the kernel mailing list, raising …

  1. oiseau Silver badge
    Stop

    Whatever for?

    Linux currently has two NTFS drivers, a FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) driver which is read/write, and a kernel driver which is read-only.

    In my opinion (as a Linux user, not coder, programmer or maintainer) I really don't think the Linux kernel needs to add another 27,000 lines of code to get ... nothing?

    I've managed quite well with the FUSE driver when I have needed to look at/write to the odd HDD with a NTFS filesystem and really cannot remember the last time I did.

    As far as I'm concerned, it is too little, too late, with a bad attitude and worthless.

    Nothing more than a recipe for trouble further on.

    --------------------------------------> Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes <--------------------------------------

    O.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      I have no idea if this new NTFS driver is better than the old ones, but it doesn't seem like "nothing" that someone is offering it gratis for people to make up their own minds. NTFS is a very advanced file system that has gone through many iterations and it is easy to see that a new driver might do things that an existing one doesn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @DrXym - Re: Whatever for?

        Many iterations for Windows implementation maybe but not for Linux. Why should Linux take that road ?

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

          Dual boot situations, working with NTFS partitions (either native to the PC or external drives and solid state media), using Linux repair disks to repair an NTFS partition on a Windows PC. There are lots of legitimate reasons for wanting NTFS support.

          There are plenty of solutions for scanning damaged NTFS partitions, but they are usually read-only, with "write support experimental", not something you want when trying to recover critical data. Having a fully featured and maintained read/write driver is a much preferred to either getting a report saying there is a boot virus, but it can't be removed or possibly damaging the NTFS partition.

          The existing driver, for example, doesn't work well with highly fragmented files and does not support the creation of sparse files. If the Paragon driver provides better support for the NTFS standard than the existing drivers, why look a gift horse in the mouth?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @big_D - Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

            I've been working in IT for more than 25 years and I can tell you I've never met this use case in any of the medium and large enterprises I have worked for. Dual boot stations ? I don't see the PC deployment group being interested enough to waste time on it. Repair Windows disks ? Scrap the hard disk, replace it and re-image the PC. Lost data ? Too bad, you were told not to store important things locally, you do remember the policies don't you ?

            I admit you may encounter these scenarios for home users, small businesses and maybe mom&pop shops because they're more resource constrained, however I don't believe Paragon is losing enough sleep worrying about these users.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @big_D - @DrXym - Whatever for?

              > Lost data ? Too bad, you were told not to store important things locally, you do remember the policies don't you ?

              And when you can't recover the data from the CFO's laptop this response is likely to result in your feet not touching the floor on your way out of the building.

              1. [VtS]Alf

                Re: @big_D - @DrXym - Whatever for?

                In an enterprise, even the CEO gets told that a reinstall is really a reinstall and if any files are left on places they shouldn’t be, they’re wiped.

                And why not?

                There are processes in place in an enterprise and the CEO should comply with it.

                Being a young PFY you get to salvage anything from the disk, but within our enterprise, the CEO gets the same treatment basically.

                It doesn’t work? Cool, when you are booting, press F12 and choose <image>. You’ll be fine.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @big_D - @DrXym - Whatever for?

                It 's only at Apple and Facebook where they wash the floors regularly enough and with enough vigour for the programmers to walk around in Bare Feet. All other Sofwtare companys , require socks and other footwear for both *Staff Morale* and Hygiene purposes.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: @big_D - @DrXym - Whatever for?

                  I used to go shoeless at HP and SLAC and DEC ... It's actually a Palo Alto thing. Something to do with nice weather most of the time. You probably wouldn't understand.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

            Dual boot situations

            Is ANYone still doing that in a SIGNIFICANT way?

            external drives

            FUSE driver works for that, doesn't it? you just want the files on/off of the external drive, so a reliable way of doing that is sufficient.

            using Linux repair disks to repair an NTFS partition

            Now, THAT is a legit reason. But wouldn't FUSE work for this as well???

            The open source tools that they're offering might help, though...

            (I still question putting it into the kernel to be maintained by the Linux kernel team)

            1. Dave2

              Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

              unfortunately the Linux write NTFS support can generate files and directories that are not properly managed in Windows and MacOS.

              Thus making NTFS a tricky option where an external drive is used on more than one OS.

            2. teknopaul Silver badge

              Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

              I don't think it comes with no support. It comes with no test suite, presumably because it's different to the ones currently used by Linus et al. If Paragon continues to sell its version, I don't think it is in their interest that the version most people see and use is sub standard.

            3. alcalde

              Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

              What people aren't mentioning is that no one has ever successfully reverse-engineered the NTFS journal. Hence no, the FUSE driver can't repair an NTFS partition. In fact, if the journal is marked as "unclean", the FUSE driver will decline to write to the partition at all. Now you've got to somehow get it read by a Windows OS to replay the journal and mark it as clean again before you can go back to using it.

              I used to have this happen a lot with a flash drive that was formatted with NTFS and older versions of Windows. They'd end up marking the journal as unclean before unmounting the drive and then I'd find I was locked out of using it on my Linux PC until I got another Windows OS to replay the journal again. PITA. This gift of a FULL NTFS driver is really nice.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. CommanderGalaxian

            Re: @DrXym - Whatever for?

            Why exactly would you be wanting to defrag a Windoze NTFS drive by booting into Linux (rather than Windoze) on your dual-boot machine?

            Now don't get me wrong, you might want to be booting up some Linux based password cracking utils and file manipulation tools to be deployed against a Windows system - but these aren't the sort of thing your average user or business is likely to be doing on a day-to-day basis.

            If your purpose is really wanting to run some heterogenous network, you'd already have some common platform command-interpreter tool installed on your systems that received a command and told the system to get on with defraging in its own native way (and tell me when you are finished).

      2. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        Is not, is worse than the one that comes with Windows and has more bugs and errors than the FUSE one.

        I don't want this junk on the kernel, is gonna be a buggy mess.

    2. stuartnz

      Re: Whatever for?

      Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes: "I fear Geeks when they come bearing Gits", perhaps? :) (In Sean Connery's voice, ofc)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        Intoned in Jackie Coogan's Uncle Fester voice, Shirley.

      2. SashaZ

        Re: Whatever for?

        bringing something to open source is a standard marketing trick.

        While 99.9% of Linux community will use it for free, the remaining 0.1% will generate a lot more business, comparing to a situation, when you are not going open source. Open source works on mass market. Linux is quite a mass market.

        There are a lot of cases where Linux is used by serious boys, including industrial, military, OEM, forensic and so on. They do think a bit different when it comes to their needs comparing to an average Linux enthusiast.

        Putting something as big and as good as proper NTFS support gives visibility and reputation.

        So - you got something and you loose nothing. Not the Danaos case at all :) - it’s just a modern marketing strategy to be open source friendly.

        1. ForthIsNotDead
          Linux

          Re: Whatever for?

          Good points. Also, from the driver vendor's viewpoint, they get more eyes on the code and therefore the possibility that someone else will fix their bugs for them. For free.

          Commercial companies have cottoned on to this.

          "Your code for nothing and your bugs fixed for free"!

    3. DS999

      Re: Whatever for?

      No one is forcing you to use this, and the FUSE driver wouldn't go away. It doesn't cost anything to add a driver built as a module as they pretty much all are in all major distributions, it doesn't make the kernel bigger or use additional memory.

      This would allow eventually removing the read only kernel driver currently included, and probably be better supported than the FUSE driver since there's a company with a commercial interest in NTFS standing behind it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @DS999 - Re: Whatever for?

        It is extremely reassuring to me that a company with commercial interest will take care of my needs.

        1. The Pi Man

          Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

          “ It is extremely reassuring to me that a company with commercial interest will take care of my needs.”

          I don’t think you understand who is contributing code to Linux. Clue. It isn’t bedroom hobbyists.

          1. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

            "I don’t think you understand who is contributing code to Linux."

            Indeed, I sometimes smirk at the Linux fanboys who start ranting about Apple and how much they hate them and that Apple don't contribute to the Open Source community. The same people using LLVM, Clang, Webkit, CUPS, and Apache Traffic Server.

            1. P. Lee Silver badge

              Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

              Apple seems a bit schizophrenic. I seem to think they were busy removing open-source code and replacing it with their own for samba and possibly other things.

            2. Santa from Exeter

              Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

              Downvoted for the mention of CUPS. Here's a clue, it's the Common *Unix* Printing System. Just because Apple bought it and hired the inventor (who subsequently left) when it was already GPL doesn't make them GPL fiendly.

              1. Lotaresco Silver badge

                Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

                "Here's a clue, it's the Common *Unix* Printing System."

                Here's one for you, Linux isn't UNIX and MacOS is BSD based. You may not like Apple being involved, that's your right. But it's nonsense to say they give nothing back when they clearly do. Purist ideologies are corrosive and ultimately self-defeating.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @Lotaresco - Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

                  Yeah, sure! Apple gives a lot in exchange for a 30% cut.

                2. boltar Silver badge

                  Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

                  "Linux isn't UNIX"

                  True, though to be fair its only a semantic difference these days and for want of Linus [or someone else with money to burn] coughing up for Open Group to certify it, which with the amount of traction Linux has in the server room now - not to mention embedded - would be a fairly pointless academic exercise. However if it did undergo the certification it would almost certainly pass as its not a high bar.

            3. Lotaresco Silver badge
              Gimp

              Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

              Awww bless look at the two little fanboys with their pouty trembling bottom lips. Diddums.

        2. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

          A large percentage of contributors to the kernel have commercial interests because they work for vendors, chip manufacturers, distributions etc. If you want a kernel with no commercial interests then maybe GNU Mach would be more to your liking.

        3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

          All companies have commercial interests. They're companies. Organizations that don't have commercial interests are called charities or governments.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: An addition to the list

            All companies have commercial interests. They're companies. Organizations that don't have commercial interests are called charities or governments. ..... Androgynous Cupboard

            Hmmm? All companies have commercial interests. They're companies. Organizations that don't have commercial interests are called charities and/or governments and/or ponzis.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: An addition to the list

              >or ponzis.

              I think you will find that those who operate ponzi schemes have 'commercial interests'....

              1. Lotaresco Silver badge

                Re: An addition to the list

                "I think you will find that those who operate ponzi schemes have 'commercial interests'...."

                I think you will find that the biggest operators of Ponzi schemes are governments. They refer to them as "pension schemes" but unlike real pension funds which have to invest the customer's payments then arrange to pay the customer their pension based on the investment governments just spend the money and pay current claimants money from current contributors. A genuine Ponzi scheme.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Whatever for?

        My main concern is dumping 17,000 more lines of code into the laps of the kernel maintainers, for something that only a handful of Linux users will even need (greatly stretching the definition of 'need').

        If Paragon improved the FUSE driver instead, wouldn't THAT be better?

        Or were they hoping that people would boot Linux from NTFS...

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Whatever for?

          My main concern is dumping 17,000 more lines of code into the laps of the kernel maintainers, for something that only a handful of Linux users will even need (greatly stretching the definition of 'need').

          The Curse of FOSS is developers who tell users what they need.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Ian Johnston - Re: Whatever for?

            If you would read and understand GPL you will find that FOSS developers are among the few who respect end-user digital freedoms. Yes, they tell users what they need but they can't lock them in and twist their arm. FOSS is indeed a curse for the developers who believe they can easily monetize their users.

            Don't take my word for it, just read the license terms and conditions.

        2. alcalde

          Re: Whatever for?

          NTFS is ubiquitous. Everyone needs this.

          No, it wouldn't be better for Paragon to improve the FUSE driver. FUSE is User Space. a User Space driver is slower than a kernel driver. Ironically for your argument, Linus Torvalds has taken the opposite stance in the past, questioning why anyone needs FUSE!

          "Userspace filesystem? The problem is right there. Always has been. People who think that userspace filesystems are realistic for anything but toys are just misguided."

          "....fuse works fine if the thing being exported is some random low-use interface to a fundamentally slow device. But for something like your root filesystem? Nope. Not going to happen. .... I think that arguing that something _can_ be done with fuse, and thus _should_ be done with fuse is just ridiculous. That's like saying you should do a microkernel - it may sound nice on paper, but it's a damn stupid idea for people who care more about some idea than they care about reality."

          Finally, booting from NTFS would be nice; it would make setting up a cross-platform flash drive with OS much easier.

    4. Norman Nescio

      Re: Whatever for?

      I really don't think the Linux kernel needs to add another 27,000 lines of code to get ... nothing?

      You are free to:

      a) not load the ntfs kernel module.

      b) compile your kernel leaving out any particular chosen filesystem support. Compile what you need from the choice available to you.

      So, with Linux, you are free to not use the Paragon-originated kernel driver. However, some people could well have good reasons for wanting a better performing driver than a FUSE driver, or one with more options (like encryption and sparse file support), so it is good that they could get a GPL-licenced option.

      I hope the quality is good enough for inclusion, and that long-term maintenance can be assured.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        "I hope the quality is good enough for inclusion"

        I've read it. It isn't. You are free to check my work.

        "and that long-term maintenance can be assured."

        Are you volunteering? Because I sure as hell am not.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Norman Nescio - Re: Whatever for?

        Still looks like nothing to me.

      3. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        And in addition chances are if the new driver were to prove its worth then the older drivers would get culled. It's not the first time it has happened.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Norman Nescio - Re: Whatever for?

        How about the other way around, you compile the kernel only if you need the driver ? If you are knowledgeable enough to need it, you will have no problem doing that.

        In your own words, compile what you need from the choice available to you.

    5. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      The FUSE ntfs-3g driver has worked for years certainly, but only for basic tasks. It doesn't include any file-system check/repair utilities, and it can't be used for boot-time use. It would be nice if we could put a Fedora ISO on an NTFS formatted USB thumb drive and boot-up and install from that, directly. There's also the question of performance of userland versus kernel-space.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        "It would be nice if we could put a Fedora ISO on an NTFS formatted USB thumb drive and boot-up and install from that, directly."

        What difference do you think the format of the install media would make?

        "There's also the question of performance of userland versus kernel-space."

        There are already higher performance file systems than NTFS in the kernel.

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Whatever for?

          What difference do you think the format of the install media would make?

          It's very useful to have cross-platform file-system compatibility. When Windows, Mac, and Linux systems can all universally boot/read/write USB thumb drives formatted with NTFS, life will be that much easier for everyone.

          There are already higher performance file systems than NTFS in the kernel.

          That doesn't help when you want to access NTFS formatted partitions. The only question here is FUSE versus Paragon.

          1. Maventi

            Re: Whatever for?

            > When Windows, Mac, and Linux systems can all universally boot/read/write USB thumb drives formatted with NTFS, life will be that much easier for everyone.

            That has worked for years already with UDF and recently ExFAT. NTFS support would be useful, sure, but adds little value for the situation described.

            1. rcxb Silver badge

              Re: Whatever for?

              That has worked for years already with UDF and recently ExFAT

              Have you actually seen the contortions it takes to create a UDF formatted drive which can be read and written by Windows, Mac and Linux? It's bad.

              ExFAT falls under Microsoft patents for several more years and so wasn't available in Linux until recently. ExFAT also still remains inferior to NTFS and most other modern file systems.

              NOTE: FWIW, I'm not one of your down-voters.

      2. Maventi

        Re: Whatever for?

        I can understand the interest in NTFS for working on Windows disks and images, but for booting an ISO why not just use FAT? It's not like a large amount of space is needed. Alternatively ExFAT is now in the mainline kernel that's already in far better shape than what Paragon has tossed over the fence.

        1. SashaZ

          Re: Whatever for?

          => in far better shape than what Paragon has tossed over the fence.

          I think a part of the Paragon’s reasoning in contributing NTFS to Linux Kernel was to show what professional implementation of File System looks like in terms of Paragon’s standards.

          The difference between current Linux kernel exFAT implementation and Paragon’s proprietary exFAT must be the same as the difference between NTFS-3G and what Paragon’s NTFS3. The question is whether those in a need of exFAT will be willing to pay for a commercial version from Paragon or not.

          1. Maventi

            Re: Whatever for?

            > ...to show what professional implementation of File System looks like...

            Eh? Much of the existing filesystem support in Linux was also professionally developed. As a recent example Samsung contributed the ExFAT module and user space tools.

            > The difference between current Linux kernel exFAT implementation and Paragon’s proprietary exFAT must be the same as the difference between NTFS-3G and what Paragon’s NTFS3.

            That's an interesting assumption to make with little to no evidence to back it up.

        2. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Whatever for?

          for booting an ISO why not just use FAT?

          FAT32 has a 4GB file size limitation. DVD ISO images are very often larger than that. NTFS is a much better file system.

      3. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        [. It would be nice if we could put a Fedora ISO on an NTFS formatted USB thumb drive and boot-up and install from that, directly.]

        NTFS IS FREAKING TERRIBLE FOR PORTABLE STORAGE DEVICES, yes even in Linux.

        All my external hard drives are in Fat32 or on Ext2 for a reason and that reason is that it works better that way.

        If even Windows 10 Enterprise, on a stable update, borks quite badly using NTFS on an external storage device, even if you threat it like crystal, imagine the borkage on Linux.

        I say that as personal experience, just DO NOT use NTFS for an external storage device, okay?

    6. VicMortimer
      Alert

      Re: Whatever for?

      Exactly.

      Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Whatever for?

        It's a SMARTR RAT Trap for capturing Extended Embracing Extinguishers. An Extremely Astute and Surprising Stealthy Remote Access Trojan for Microsoft Kernel Hunters/Dumpers/Humpers.

        And that's what it's primarily for ........ amongst many other leading things, of course?

        And that has one pondering on whether such is to blow up the core or defuse it to render it pwnd either way.

        1. YetAnotherJoeBlow
          Coat

          Re: Whatever for?

          While I pretty much agree with @jake, I have seen worse. Bugger me if I cannot find the door.

    7. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      "In my opinion (as a Linux user, not coder, programmer or maintainer) I really don't think the Linux kernel needs to add another 27,000 lines of code to get ... nothing?"

      And there are other users who would find a kernel driver with R/W useful. I think you've fallen into that trap of thinking that what you use is all that anyone else would ever need.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever for?

      "I've managed quite well with the FUSE driver when I have needed to look at/write to the odd HDD"

      Lucky you. Because in my case, it silently thrashed my data on my dual-boot PC, as Windows 10 had decided to hibernate without unmounting its volumes, and the current driver would not notice that.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Whatever for?

        ... silently thrashed my data on my dual-boot PC, as Windows 10 had decided to hibernate without unmounting its volumes ...

        So, let's see if I understand ...

        You use a bug ridden OS to dual boot and then want a driver in your Linux kernel so you can find out when said OS is wreaking havoc?

        Interesting.

        O.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatever for?

          Congratulations on most twatish response so far.

    9. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      My thoughts exactly. Why is a filing system in the kernel and not in the, errm... filing system layer or whatever?

  2. Lee D Silver badge

    Good luck.

    That's just the same mega-patch chopped into ten, crudely at obvious file boundaries.

    There's still no attempt to actually make it friendly.

    When one whole patch is "This adds NTFS journal", without barely a word of explanation in the code, it's just never going to get in.

    They're trying to code-dump and it's taken them four versions (after the initial junk they just lobbed at people) to get to this? I can't see it ever getting in in that instance.

    As I've said before, this is a maintenance burden that you're trying to pass off to 10-20 years worth of deep-level Linux kernel developers because once it's started to be used, it's their responsibility to keep it working, secure and - most importantly - reliable, within the context of the entire kernel.

    You're going to have to do a damn sight better than this.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Yes, but some people just don't get it.

      As I've said before ...

      Quite so, right here.

      Well written and thoroughly explained, @Lee D.

      All those who think that taking all this Paragon BS on board Linux is such a great and convenient idea should read it instead of pontificating on how generous an offer it is and how useful NTFS would be for the Linux ecosystem.

      Unbelievable ...

      O.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Are they really this unclear on the concept?

    “Note that OEMs (military, government, businesses etc) will never use GPL because rules require making public any modifications - OEMs will always look for proprietary solutions and we remain here to support them.”

    Such a seemingly clueless statement clearly designed to misinform and/or misdirect makes me wonder what the real intent behind this "gift" are.

    1. Sampler

      Re: Are they really this unclear on the concept?

      Paragon told us. “Microsoft made the decision to allow the use of exFAT in the Linux kernel, and we felt encouraged to give Linux what it has been waiting for over 20 years – quality NTFS supports at the kernel level.”

      Pretty sure that line sums it up, exFAT is stealing our customers and we need better integration to compete.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      My suspicion

      Is that it's become a maintenance nightmare for them, and the reason for the code dump is that they want "the community" to maintain it for them.

      And then they intend to pull the gnu/Linux GPL changes into their code and sell that frankenbeast under a commercial licence.

      I'm not a lawyer, but I'm reasonably sure that the GPL prohibits doing that.

      1. Tomato42

        Re: My suspicion

        they can't change the licence of the code, but GPL doesn't forbid they selling a derived product that uses GPLed code, as long as customers have access to the code and can further redistribute it

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: My suspicion

          I mean it defeats the entire claimed reason for the commercial version - they can't magically un-GPL any code coming from the gnu/Linux project, and thus commercial licensors will be bound by the GPL for that portion.

      2. alain williams Silver badge

        Re: My suspicion

        I'm not a lawyer, but I'm reasonably sure that the GPL prohibits doing that.

        They might not bring the fixed kernel code back, but they will be able to see where & why fixes were made and then fix the same bugs in their own code.

        Often the hardest problem in fixing bugs is finding that they exist in the first place and where they are in the code. Once you know that then, often, the fix is not hard.

        So: maybe they are using the Linux kernel as a free test system.

    3. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Are they really this unclear on the concept?

      "OEMs (military, government, businesses etc) will never use GPL... Such a seemingly clueless statement clearly designed to misinform and/or misdirect makes me wonder what the real intent behind this "gift" are."

      It's not clueless. I've seen government and military system development halted and then ripped down to start again because some clueless contractor has used GPL'd source code in an attempt to cut development costs. It should be a bit obvious that the military in particular do not want to publish the code they developed, much less give it away free to the competition.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Are they really this unclear on the concept?

        Where it gets interesting is if one considers the case where, for example, the military have developed the software themselves and are the sole users of it. It’s doubtful that that counts as “distribution”, and so they possibly can use GPL code without having to make the bits they write themselves public.

        1. InsaneGeek

          Re: Are they really this unclear on the concept?

          Possibly, but the military tend to buy it from the private sector rather than build it... like a fighter jet they buy it from lockheed-martin.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Lotaresco - Re: Are they really this unclear on the concept?

        Are you trying to imply here that if those gov&mil system development would have used some other restrictive license instead of GPL they could happily continue their work without the need to halt the development ?

  4. carl0s

    This is interesting.

    I wonder if the code will stand up to kernel maintainers scrutiny, both in terms of code quality and legality (let's not have another SCO incident please).

    Are Paragon the people who write the Mac hfs+ driver for windows? That has worked well and allowed me to salvage data from failing OS X drives before.

    1. LazLong

      Yes, they are the developers of the commercial HFS+ driver for Windows, as well as ext2+, Btrfs, and XFS.

      They also have an NTFS and ext2+ for MacOS, and a bunch of other file systems and file system-related tools for all the OSs.

    2. SashaZ

      Original NTFS support in Linux Kernel goes back to 2001 (or even earlier) - https://elixir.bootlin.com/linux/v2.5.8/source/fs/ntfs/fs.c

      Just like MacOS kernel NTFS support it has an option to enable certain write operations - no one is doing this since the implementation is not stable, but from a legal point of view Paragon’s kernel driver does nothing beyond what 2001 code is doing. It’s been almost two decades for any IP holder to attack any possible infringement.

      It didn’t happen for almost 20 years - what makes you thinking it will happen now ?

  5. cutterman

    I've been using the Paragon drivers for years without problems.

    Mac

  6. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Making Linux more like Windows is never a good move...

    ...Malware writers will love it. I'm seriously thinking of dumping Samba for just that reason.

    1. LazLong

      Re: Making Linux more like Windows is never a good move...

      A useless, bigoted comment. They aren't "trying to make Linux more like Windows" any more than adding XFS support made Linux more like IRIX, UFS support made it more like Solaris, etc. Likewise, the only way it'll benefit malware purveyors is if it's buggy, just like any other kernel code. It doesn't have any actual Windows code in it. It's merely another tool in Linux's toolbox. Grow up.

      1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

        Re: Making Linux more like Windows is never a good move...

        SFX Whoosh

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Making Linux more like Windows is never a good move...

          Something has to be funny or understandable by someone other than yourself for you to do the whole whoosh thing.

    2. SashaZ

      Re: Making Linux more like Windows is never a good move...

      this is yet another reason why proprietary implementations of NTFS and exFAT will live long life.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    systemd

    Just to get the penguin lovers all hot and bothered.

    (Sorry.)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: systemd

      PDNFTT

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: systemd

      The irony of systemd being outside the kernel and, really, having nothing to do with the kernel is that the kernel devs are probably forced to use it just as the rest of us are. Unless they’re cross compiling the kernel inside a sensible OS like Windows...

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: systemd

        "...forced to use it just as the rest of us are."

        You might be but some of us aren't. Don't forget this is Linux we are talking about and you do have choices. At work maybe you don't get to use the distro of your choice but there are a few without the dreaded systemd, Slackware and PCLinuxOS to name two.

        Wintel and the proprietary system has had a terrible effect on people's thought processes. There are alternatives to most thing IT these days and for professional IT people to not use or even investigate the possibilities and rewards of doing so seems to be a crying shame.

        1. nijam

          Re: systemd

          > ... for professional IT people to not use or even investigate the possibilities and rewards...

          Is unprofessional, actually.

  8. jetjet

    With this patch, Microsoft finally can move Windows to Linux kernel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @jetjet - If what you say it's true

      why doesn't Microsoft take matter in its own hands ? Why risk moving Windows to Linux kernel based on this third-party driver ? Surely Microsoft will do way better than Paragon.

  9. Missing Semicolon

    I wonder if they have the interop problem...

    .. of permission corruption you get with NTFS-3G.

    When you mount a drive RW, and access files, instead of honouring the permissions, or ignoring them, it simply changes the ownership of any accessed files or directories to a fake user defined by the NTFS-3G driver. So, if you were hoping to share a Windows boot drive with linux in a multi-boot scenario, you end up with the Windows partition being unbootable, as now any file you looked at is inaccessible to the Windows user.There are complex user-mapping files you can set up, but if you are just mounting some random NTFS partition RW, you will damage it in some way.

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: I wonder if they have the interop problem...

      I do hope this gets fixed for the reasons you've stated. Though it's not really your original point, I've always found the way Linux ignores NTFS permissions rather endearing, especially when I'm using it for data recovery from a thoroughly borked up Windows drive.

      1. FILE_ID.DIZ
        Boffin

        Re: I wonder if they have the interop problem...

        Well... NTFS is extremely fragile in at least two use-cases when dealing with a borked disk...

        One, foreign NTFS ACLs are meaningless. If my computer has no clue what your SID's subauthority value means, then game over.

        Two, by default, a member of the local Administrators group can take ownership of any NTFS object. Once ownership is taken, game over.

        So, your Linux tool is simply taking advantage of one or both of these issues with NTFS that you'd experience within Windows.

        1. 9Rune5 Silver badge

          Re: I wonder if they have the interop problem...

          Wait... Are you saying that if I steal your linux harddrive and mount it on my own computer, I will not be able to take ownership of your files..? (presumably a disk editor will also honor those permissions somehow..?)

          1. FILE_ID.DIZ

            Re: I wonder if they have the interop problem...

            No.

            I'm stating that you don't need to run Linux to walk over NTFS permissions. Windows already provides plenty of ways to do it. Why bother firing up another OS.

  10. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    The existing driver is fine-ish

    I've been using it to r/w NTFS drives with no problem for years. It would indeed be nice though if the ability to FSCK NTFS partitions was less of a PITA to do in LINUX, as well as adding other conveniences. 27,000 lines worth of code nice? Can't really say, though not if it slows anything down in the slightest.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why aren't Microsoft releasing a linux ntfs driver, if they love Linux so much?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Do you _really_ need an answer to that?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Wouldn't be surprised if MS have licenced Paragon's driver...

  12. arnt

    ..reject Paragon's code dump trap on their GPL FUD, Misrepresentations And Ommissions

    ..bull. "We asked whether the company will still offer a commercial NTFS driver for Linux. “We will continue developing it due to its complexity, and offering it also as a proprietary technology because OEMs require us to do so,” the company [Paragon] said. “Note that OEMs (military, government, businesses etc) will never use GPL because rules require making public any modifications [FUD Misrepresentation And Ommission] - OEMs will always look for proprietary solutions and we remain here to support them.”

    ..the FUD Misrepresentation And Ommission:

    1: OEMs are commonly e.g. computer manufacturers who make and sell computers, commonly loaded with licensed software, where they and their buyers need to comply with said software licenses such as the GPLs, MIT, BSDs etc, and contracts such as Microsoft et al EULAs.

    2: Small and large organisations such the military, government, businesses etc are free to combine and use GPL software with their own in-house software asthey hamned please, provided they comply to the GPL by NEVER distributing said combination outside their own in-house organisation.

    ..my recommendation: Reject Paragon's dumped NTFS driver, if it's any good, their dump-n-run 27k line code dump will be commercially viable under Paragon's own licenses, if not, it will remain THEIR problem and not become OUR maintenance nightmare.

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