Re: Status of NTFS support was Re: [PATCH] 2.4.7 More tiny NTFS fixes

From: Anton Altaparmakov (
Date: Wed Jul 25 2001 - 15:07:42 EST

At 00:26 24/07/2001, Gabriel Rocha wrote:
>,----[ On Tue, Jul 24, at 12:14AM, Anton Altaparmakov wrote:
>| Please apply below patch. It is against 2.4.7 and adds three more
>|return checks (it is orthogonal to the one sent on Sunday).
>`----[ End Quote ]---------------------------
>Not that I understand what this means, I have no idea. But, I know that
>NTFS used to be really poorly supported in the kernel. I have seen a few
>patches to it ove rthe past couple of weeks and makes me wonder what the
>status of it is now. Anyone care to comment? --gabe

I will comment as the current maintainer. (-:

If you by "poorly supported" mean that it was a more or less abandoned
project then that has changed a lot indeed. NTFS is now under active
development, both kernel and user space side. I am happy to receive patches
and forward them for inclusion if appropriate or integrate them in my local
development tree and submit as larger patch later (depends on the
triviality of the patches). And I try to respond asap to requests/bug
reports/etc. Currently my personal response times are between 5mins and a
week or so depending on how busy I am.

If by "poorly supported" you mean it doesn't work very well, then that has
improved as well. We have a fully functional mkntfs program already on the
userspace side and ntfsfix which repairs some of the damage done by the
ntfs driver making it a bit somewhat safer to use. The driver itself has
much improved in recent months, writing is now relatively ok as long as it
happens on a UP system, to simple files and directories. There is still a
lot not implemented so only the simple case works for now. Reading is
relatively stable and most things are implemented wrt to reading the normal
data attribute of both uncompressed and compressed files. We now can cope
with large files to the full potential of NTFS (i.e. we cope with 2^63 byte
sized files) for example to mention one of the improvements.

So to summarize: we are working on it but don't hold your breath. NTFS is
highly complex and extremely poorly documented. Most of our knowledge is
based on reverse engineering and looking at on-disk structures with
hex/disk editors and it will take considerable time to have a fully working
fully featured NTFS implementation...


   "Nothing succeeds like success." - Alexandre Dumas
Anton Altaparmakov <aia21 at> (replace at with @)
Linux NTFS Maintainer / WWW:
ICQ: 8561279 / WWW:

- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in the body of a message to More majordomo info at Please read the FAQ at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jul 31 2001 - 21:00:24 EST