Paragon Software's NTFS driver will be incorporated in Linux 5.15

A few days ago we shared here on the blog the news about what Linus Torvalds asked Paragon Software to submit the code to merge his new NTFS driver. At that time it was thought that the driver could be added in Linux 5.14-rc2, which did not happen, but it will be being integrated in the version of Linux 5.15

And is that during the discussion in issue number 27 from the patch set, the implementation was recently published from Paragon Software's NTFS file system and to which Linus Torvalds basically gave the green light to be implemented within Linux, as it said that it “sees no obstacles to receiving this set of patches in the next window to accept changes. Unless unforeseen issues are identified, Paragon Software's NTFS support will be included in kernel 5.15, expected to be released in November. "

During the time until patches are accepted in the kernel, Linus recommended re-verifying the accuracy of the signature on the patches confirming the authorship of the transferred code and the preparation of its distribution as part of the kernel under an open source code. It was also recommended that Paragon Software once again ensure that the legal department understands all the consequences of transferring code under the GPLv2 license and understands the essence of this copyleft license.

The code for the new NTFS driver was published by Paragon Software in August last year and differs from the one already in the driver kernel by the ability to work in write mode, as the previous driver has not been updated for many years and it is in a deplorable state.

We plan to support this version after the codebase once has been merged and add new ones
features and fix bugs. For example, full journaling support on JBD will be
added in later updates.

And is that above, to have full access to NTFS partitions from Linux, had to use the FUSE NTFS-3g driver, which runs in user space and does not provide the desired performance. This driver has not been updated since 2017, just like the read-only fs / ntfs driver. Both drivers were created by Tuxera, which, like Paragon Software, provides a commercially available proprietary NTFS driver.

As to new controller that you intend to implement in the Kernel, this stands out for supporting all the features of the current version of NTFS 3.1, including extended file attributes, data compression mode, efficient work with file gaps, and replay of registry changes to restore integrity after failure.

The controller builds on Paragon Software's existing commercial product code base and is well tested. The patches are designed in accordance with the requirements for preparing code for Linux and do not contain additional API links, allowing the new driver to be included in the main composition of the kernel. Once the patches are included in the main part of the Linux kernel, Paragon Software intends to provide maintenance, bug fixes, and functionality improvements.

In the patch 27 patch, Paragon Software adapted the driver for the changes in the API iov replacing the iov_iter_copy_from_user_atomic () call with copy_page_from_iter_atomic () and discontinuing the iov_iter_advance () function.

From the recommendations made in the discussion, only the translation of the code remains to use fs / iomap, but this is not a mandatory requirement, but only a recommendation that can be implemented after inclusion in the kernel. Furthermore, Paragon Software has confirmed that it is ready to accompany the proposed code in the kernel and plans to move the implementation of the journal to work on top of the existing JBD (journal block device) in the kernel, on the basis of which the journal in ext3, ext4, and OCFS2 are organized.

Finally, for those interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details In the following link.

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