Mauriat Miranda     mjmwired

Kernel 2.6.15 Released with NTFS Write

For the average user, a new kernel release usually makes no difference. If everything is already working fine, there there typically only 2 major reasons anyone should update their kernel. The first is for necessary or critical security problems (most people aren’t affected by every vulnerability). The second is the need for new features or hardware support, which is probably my primary reason to test a new kernel.

The release of 2.6.15 mentions a limited form of NTFS Write support.

NTFS write support: NTFS finally implements write support so “vim /ntfs/foo.txt” works. You can write(2) to a file even beyond the end of the existing file. Resident non-resident files and are supported. Sparse files can also be written and holes will be filed appropriately. truncate(2), ftruncate(2) and open(2) with O_TRUNC flag also works. There’re some limitations with heavily fragmented files which you won’t be allowed to change. Also, notice that creation/deletion of files and directories is still not supported and mmap(2) based writes is still not complete

Previously write support was incredibly “experimental” which means risky. I am still not willing to try this, but it seems very useful for me. However in the end, I am still not able to freely utilize the gigabytes of free NTFS disk space in Linux, which is what I require.

The standard kernel works perfectly with NTFS read. There is the Captive FS project which uses Windows XP files to read and write NTFS. I’ve used this with some success. Additionally there is the commercial Paragon NTFS which works somewhat better than Captive, but costs $70.

Posted in: Kernel, Linux,


  • Ed b on January 9, 2006 - 11:23 PM

    Hi there – this piqued my interest:
    “The standard kernel works perfectly with NTFS read”
    because I’ve been having some trouble sharing out an ntfs partition with Samba. I am using the kernel driver along with a totally stock Fedora Core 4 installation. I can access the ntfs (for reading) just fine locally. But when I try to connect to it with a windows box on my network I get “not accessible”.
    My other samba shares (these are either shares to ext3 or fat32 filesystems) work fine.

    I have share-level security, and allow access to “everyone”.

    It seems like is should work – any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • Ed b on January 9, 2006 - 11:23 PM

    oooops – regarding my previous comment: disregard!!!

    The problem was I hadn’t set the umask. (I still don’t know what that is, but I now know i need it!)

    Thanks for the guide.