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NTFS Support For OpenBSD

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the sacred-and-profane dept.

Security 65

Dan writes "Julien Bordet has ported code from NetBSD to support NTFS4 and NTFS5 in OpenBSD-current. He has heavily tested read accesses to his Windows 2000 partition, and that has worked fine. Julien says that there is an existing port, but his port is new and adds NTFS5 support."

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ho hum... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5951684)

I've had NTFS 4/5 read access in Linux for at least a year now. How is this news?

Re:ho hum... (3, Funny)

eht (8912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952034)

Well if you're going to say that, I've had NTFS 4/5 read/write support in Windows 2000 for about 3 years(NT4 sp6a has read/write support for NTFS 5 also), so I guess that makes Windows 2000 and NT4 at least 3 times better than Linux.

Re:ho hum... (-1, Flamebait)

Cold Drink (590369) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952189)

Perhaps if the quality of the compared operating systems was based on how well they read and write to/from NTFS partitions, your smart remark might actualy be true. However, since things such as security, stability, robustness and TCO are generaly included in any serious comparisin, Windows 2000 isn't "...3 times better than Linux." The real signifigance here (and why it is news) is that OpenBSD couldn't mount NTFS partitions in the past, and now it can. It makes migration easier.

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952624)

TCO is very similar to certain other numbers like 'processor speed' and 'benchmarks'.

Throw enough money around, and whatever report delivered you will tell you anything you want to hear.

Re:*yawn* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952679)

I live in a mid-sized state and I seriously doubt that more than a dozen or so folks use OpenBSD here. I see a lot of IT people at a lot of companies around here and I have never seen or heard of anyone using OpenBSD. It is really a niche item, and I can not imagine that NTFS on OpenBSD will mean a dime's worth of difference to anyone outside of the hobby world.

What *would* be signifcant news would be if OpenBSD used NTFS as their default file system. That might actually be of popular use, and actually get someone's attention.

Re:ho hum... (1)

eht (8912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5955364)

I was joking, and yes, migration hurts, I don't have any large scale backup solutions at home so moving 2 120 gig drives from Windows to FreeBSD (or anything else) is for most intents and purposes impossible, although it also stands that Windows 2000 is at least 3 times better for me than Linux (or my preferred FreeBSD) for what I use it for even if I made that comment in jest.

Re:ho hum... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952742)

I live in a mid-sized state, and I seriously doubt that more than a dozen or so folks use OpenBSD here. I see a lot of IT people at a lot of companies around here and I have never seen or heard of anyone using OpenBSD. It is really a niche item, and I can not imagine that NTFS on OpenBSD will mean a dime's worth of difference to anyone outside of the hobby world.

What *would* be signifcant news would be if OpenBSD used NTFS as their default file system. That might actually be of practical use, and actually get someone's attention.

Re:ho hum... (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961001)

Of course OpenBSd is a niche OS. Most people want the latest packages and features, and Linux or one of the other BSDs are available for that. OpenBSD caters only to those that need extreme security, even at the expense of usability and features.

I am definitely not one of those, but it doesn't take much imagination to think of someone who might want that.

NTFS support would help everyone. (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 11 years ago | (#5951930)

NTFS read-write support would be a VERY big deal. It would be one less way that Microsoft isolates its customers.

Re:NTFS support would help everyone. (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952945)

No, you've got that backwards. Having UFS support on Windows would be one less way for Microsoft to lock-in their customers. This way just means that more people are likely to use NTFS on their removable disks, rather than some better format, like UFS.

UFS, AFAIK, is supported by every-reasonably-popular-operating-system-on-the-p lanet, except Windows.

One good thing about our current point in time is that Windows users have to choose between the widely compatible FAT32, with it's maximum filesystem size of 32GB, or to use a Microsoft-only filesystem like NTFS. I had hoped this would lead some Windows programmer to write a UFS driver for Windows, but instead it looks like it'll be the same old thing... Microsoft creating utter crap, and everyone imitating them, just to be compatible.

Re:NTFS support would help everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5955067)

What makes you think NTFS is worse?

Hell even ext3 is better than ufs

NTFS is hardly crap. (2, Informative)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5956162)

NTFS is a modern, mature, stable, fully journalled [microsoft.com] file system. It's got POSIX compliance [microsoft.com] , and it's got room built in for improvement. It also handles sparse files very nicely. In fact, even Windows NT 4 can use NTFS 3.1 (aka NTFS5) when upgraded to SP4 (ntfs.sys is replaced).

Few people really know what they're talking about when they discuss NTFS. Did you know it supports hard linking [microsoft.com] ? Did you know it's got a change journal? Did you know it can encrypt and decrypt [microsoft.com] files on the fly for instant access? NTFS pushes security, and part of security is security through obscurity. No one can boot Knoppix and overwrite your SAM - they can format the drive, but they can't CHANGE your system (presuming then, that you could always restore your data).

Anyway, leave it to Slashdot to find some jerk who says NTFS is crap because it's a Microsoft product.

I'm not saying NTFS is the end all of file systems, but don't trash it. It's a very nice product, and, unlike reiser, ext3, and UFS2, it's proven and widely deployed.

More on NTFS [pcguide.com]

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

Daniel Boisvert (143499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5957369)

They may not be able to change your system by booting Knoppix, but they can by booting Windows XP from CD. There was a semi-recent NTBugtraq thread on the topic...

(please note that I'm not bashing NTFS, but it's not the panacea Microsoft would like you to think it is :)

Yep. (1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5958120)

You're right, but that's not a problem with NTFS. That's a problem with XP, of which there are MANY.

I agree, NTFS isn't by any stretch a panacea, but it is worthy of some praise - certainly as much as the current iterations of reiserfs and ext3.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960976)

NTFS is a modern, mature, stable, fully journalled file system.

All technically true, but that's the effect if you are so incredibly vague.

NTFS is slow... very slow when compared to other "modern" filesystems. It is a journaled fs, yet a chkdsk takes quite a long time.

Few people really know what they're talking about when they discuss NTFS.

Can't speak for those "few people", but I do know what I'm talking about.

Did you know it supports hard linking

Yes, it has a very nasty and clumsy method that allows it to create links.

Did you know it can encrypt and decrypt files on the fly for instant access?

Yes I did, but just about every filesystem on the planet is decent enough that encryption can be layered on-top of it without any problem.

No one can boot Knoppix and overwrite your SAM

Would you like to bet on that??? Up to about Windows 2000 SP2, I have booted up with a Linux disc, changed the Admin password, edited the registry, etc. Besides that, even if Microsoft had done their job adequately (which they haven't), the value of that feature is questionable. Also note that other OSes have better forms of that feature, that aren't problematic, and don't have the limitations.

Anyway, leave it to Slashdot to find some jerk who says NTFS is crap because it's a Microsoft product.

The wording of most of your post sounds like it was pulled directly from a press release ("NTFS is a modern, mature, stable, fully journalled file system. It's got POSIX compliance, and it's got room built in for improvement."), and you say I'm biased? Give me a break. It sounds like you are in support of NTFS just BECAUSE it is a Microsoft product.

I call shenagins on you.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5962514)

NTFS is slow... very slow when compared to other "modern" filesystems. It is a journaled fs, yet a chkdsk takes quite a long time.
You mix apple with orange, and journaling with fsck. A full fsck is slow on all filesystem. Moreover chkdsk (full fsck) was significantly improved on XP and Win2003.

The slowness of NTFS is because of the inefficient Windows implementation of the NTFS *driver*. Just look at how it allocates clusters if there are multiply write sessions. Insane. Regularly running the built-in defrag helps a lot.

Yes I did, but just about every filesystem on the planet is decent enough that encryption can be layered on-top of it without any problem.
Yes, can or could. But NTFS *does* this transparently. What main distro ships out of the box transparent per file, directory or volume level encryption? None.
The wording of most of your post sounds like it was pulled directly from a press release ("NTFS is a modern, mature, stable, fully journalled file system. It's got POSIX compliance, and it's got room built in for improvement."), and you say I'm biased? Give me a break. It sounds like you are in support of NTFS just BECAUSE it is a Microsoft product.
As I see sethadam knows what he's talking about. But you lack the same knowledge.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5962869)

You mix apple with orange, and journaling with fsck. A full fsck is slow on all filesystem.

Yes, an FSCK is slow on any filesystem... However, modern journaled filesystem don't require a fsck at all, unlike NTFS, which can often have minor filesystem corrpution if chkdsk isn't used... Which is why Windows automatically runs it everytime there has been sudden shutdown.

Hey, what's the point of journaling if you are just going to run chkdsk/fsck everytime, anyhow?

The slowness of NTFS [...] Regularly running the built-in defrag helps a lot.

Well, if you are forced to defrag it all the time, that *really* ruins your performance, which defeats the point.

Yes, can or could. But NTFS *does* this transparently. What main distro ships out of the box transparent per file, directory or volume level encryption? None.

Now you are mixing up the filesystem and the operating system... The filesystem doesn't do the encryption, the software on top of the filesystem does. Saying OSes other than Windows don't typically have reasonably transparent file encryption has nothing to do with the filesystem itself.

Besides, I would never talk about a distro "out of the box". It's a horrible baseline to use. There are many things that distros don't do "out of the box" that are very easy for an admin to do.

As I see sethadam knows what he's talking about. But you lack the same knowledge.

Yeah, great rebuttle...

"sethadam1" said very little about the filesystem... Mainly just that it was pretty good, and he listed a few of the features that could have been copied from any MS press release.

I gave much more detailed info in my reply to his vague assertions, so how does that make you think he knows what he's talking about, and I don't? The only obvious answer is that you promote NTFS yourself, and since he agrees with your opinions, that *must* mean he is knowledgable ...

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (2, Interesting)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5965478)

Hey, what's the point of journaling if you are just going to run chkdsk/fsck everytime, anyhow?
First good point. And apparently the only one.
Well, if you are forced to defrag it all the time, that *really* ruins your performance, which defeats the point.
I'm not forced because I don't use NTFS :P But I can't see what's the big deal running it once a day in the background automatically. People do it and they are happy with it. And others whining.
Now you are mixing up the filesystem and the operating system... The filesystem doesn't do the encryption, the software on top of the filesystem does.
Check the NTFS documentation [sourceforge.net] . Encryption is part of the filesystem.
Saying OSes other than Windows don't typically have reasonably transparent file encryption has nothing to do with the filesystem itself.
I never told this. Check out again what I wrote.
Besides, I would never talk about a distro "out of the box". It's a horrible baseline to use. There are many things that distros don't do "out of the box" that are very easy for an admin to do.
Majority of the computer users aren't admins.
I gave much more detailed info in my reply to his vague assertions, so how does that make you think he knows what he's talking about, and I don't? The only obvious answer is that you promote NTFS yourself, and since he agrees with your opinions, that *must* mean he is knowledgable ...
If I were to promote a filesystem [sgi.com] then that wouldn't be NTFS. But NTFS is better, much more feature rich then most of the Unix ones, you like it or or not (personally I don't care much). But let's see what sethadam1 wrote: "NTFS is a modern, mature, stable, fully journalled file system".

Modern: definitely, at least compared to most Unix filesystems. It support most or all of their features *plus* compression, encryption, all power of 2 block sizes between 512 and 64 KB, nanosec timestamps, undelete on filesystem level, file forks, ACL's, extended attributes, UTF-8, indexing, etc.

Mature: one should look through its evolution how much it improved over the last 10 years

Stable: how would it work otherwise for several hundred million users?

Fully journalled: that's not true. Only metadata is journaled.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5967082)

modern journaled filesystem don't require a fsck at all, unlike NTFS, which can often have minor filesystem corrpution if chkdsk isn't used

Troll, surely? NTFS5 never corrupts. I switch my W2K machine off regularly just by cutting power at the wall - because I can. NTFS5 is totally robust.

Which is why Windows automatically runs it everytime there has been sudden shutdown.

Windows only does this for FAT32 filesystems. On an NTFS5 machine it never does this. Troll.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5974568)

I've had my Win2000 boxes shut off on occasion. It doesn't run chkdsk when I turn it back on. Not even in the background, because the HD LED is right in front me.

Maybe you have set that way, but I know I haven't changed in default settings in that regard.

I can't stand you people that purposely lie and distort the truth in an attempt to bolster your argument.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5978642)

I've had my Win2000 boxes shut off on occasion. It doesn't run chkdsk when I turn it back on.

It certainly does run chkdsk after an "improper shutdown", and not in the background either.

I can't stand you people that purposely lie and distort the truth in an attempt to bolster your argument.

I can't stand you people that purposely distort the truth in an attempt to troll on veb forums.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 10 years ago | (#5979783)

I invite you over to prove otherwise. I'll even set you up a default install. For your reference, I'm running "Microsoft Windows 2000, 5.00.2195, Service Pack 3" obtained through MSDN.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5977503)

Hey, what's the point of journaling if you are just going to run chkdsk/fsck everytime, anyhow?

Every time *what*? Obviously not every time you start up the machine. Why are you complaining?

Well, if you are forced to defrag it all the time, that *really* ruins your performance, which defeats the point.

Hello? Reading comprehension?

The paragraph you replied to start: "The slowness of NTFS is because of the inefficient Windows implementation of the NTFS *driver*." Then it goes on to disparage that driver some more. It was not talking about NTFS in general, it was talking about that specific implementation.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

Black Copter Control (464012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6028116)

Hey, what's the point of journaling if you are just going to run chkdsk/fsck everytime, anyhow?

If it needs a chkdsk everytime the OS goes down, that leads me to to question whether it's proper to describe it as a journaling filesystem. At best, it sounds like it's the worst implementation of a journaling filesystem in the entire industry.

'nuff said.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5972059)

What main distro ships out of the box transparent per file, directory or volume level encryption? None.

What main distro ships with many out of the box remotely-exploitable holes? Or increadibly broken email clients? A strong sys admin is need for your Windows boxes just as much, if not more so, than UNIX-ish boxes. Of the three servers running in my office the Windows box needs to be rebooted about once a month; I use the uptime of the OpenBSD boxes to measure when the last power outage was.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5972485)

What main distro ships out of the box transparent per file, directory or volume level encryption? None.

What main distro ships with many out of the box remotely-exploitable holes? Or increadibly broken email clients? A strong sys admin is need for your Windows boxes just as much, if not more so, than UNIX-ish boxes. Of the three servers running in my office the Windows box needs to be rebooted about once a month; I use the uptime of the OpenBSD boxes to measure when the last power outage was.

The topic is about NTFS and filesystems. I'm afraid your comment is off-topic.

Let's try again, what main distro ships out of the box transparent per file, directory or volume level encryption? Or transparent per file, directory or volume level compression?

Does it hurt saying none and start working on it or do something other useful instead of flaming and trolling?

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961785)

> unlike reiser, ext3, and UFS2, it's proven and widely deployed...

--Oh, be quiet. I bet there are more systems out there running reiserfs and ext3 than ntfs. I can say for a fact that you are spreading FUD about reiserfs - SuSE has it as their default filesystem, I use it everywhere myself, and have never had a problem with it.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (2, Insightful)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5962562)

unlike reiser, ext3, and UFS2, it's proven and widely deployed...

--Oh, be quiet. I bet there are more systems out there running reiserfs and ext3 than ntfs. I can say for a fact that you are spreading FUD

Let's see, over 30% of OS's are XP. Most with NTFS. Forget now for W2k and older NT's that have also NTFS as default. That's about 200-300 million computers using minimum one NTFS.

There are couple of millions Linux user, lets say max 10 million that's an overestimate based on most reasonable surveys. They are using different filesystems (ext2, ext3, jfs, reiserfs, xfs).

What number is bigger 200+ million or 10- million? So after all who is spreading FUD? Please try to get your facts right and not to make Linux users look completely ignorants.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969369)

--Where did you get those numbers for XP? Oh that's right, you pulled them out of your ass.

--You SERIOUSLY underestimate the number of Linux users out there. And you have nothing to back up your claims. Go away, troll.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

Luminous Coward (445673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5971233)

Where did you get those numbers for XP?
FWIW, I follow the evolution of Mozilla's market share in Google Zeitgeist [google.com] and they also show a pie chart of the different operating systems used to access Google.
  • Windows 98 .... 34%
  • Windows XP .... 31%
  • Windows 2000 .. 21%
  • Windows NT .... 4%
  • Windows 95 .... 2%
  • Mac ........... 3%
  • Linux ......... 1%
  • Other ......... 4%

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5971288)

--Where did you get those numbers for XP? Oh that's right, you pulled them out of your ass.
No, I work in the computing industry so I follow the happenings even unvoluntarily. There are a bunch of sources of information, Microsoft press announced [microsoft.com] 67 million XP copies sold on 17 October 2002, after one year XP was released. I remember announcements on 90 millions some months ago, so today they should be around 100 million. These are the legal copies. BSA and other sources say 2-4 more times used with the illegal copies.

Google Zeitgeist [google.com] says 31% XP, 21% W2K, 4% NT, 3% Mac, 1% Linux. There are a bunch of other sources like IDC, market research companies, your or your friends' company if you/they're working for a huge company especially doing/selling cross-platform products/services.

I encourage you do your own research and share with us.

--You SERIOUSLY underestimate the number of Linux users out there. And you have nothing to back up your claims.
Linux Counter graph [li.org] shows 14 million. Based on several other source of information, I seriously doubt it's not an overestimate.

IDC says [macobserver.com] Linux may surpass Mac OS in 2005. Today there are less than 30 million Mac user and the Mac share is at least 3 times bigger than the Linux one.

Is my 10- million Linux user a SERIOUS underestimate as you claim? I doubt, you didn't write any smart or valuable information.

Go away, troll.
Why does it hurt so much? What does it matter? There was time when Linux was used only by Linus. The trends are matter. And your arrogant behavior doesn't help to improve Linux share and paints a pretty black picture on you and the Linux community.
== WolfriderV6 == I'm willing to admit that *I just might* be wrong... Are you??
Are you?

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

KewlPC (245768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6005602)

Many Linux users don't even register at Linux Counter.

I never did, until just now. If anything, the Linux Counter graph would be an underestimate because the only people it shows are those who both a)knew about it, and b)cared enough to register.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6009796)

Many Linux users don't even register at Linux Counter. I never did, until just now. If anything, the Linux Counter graph would be an underestimate because the only people it shows are those who both a)knew about it, and b)cared enough to register.
The 14 millions Linux users on the graph (or 18 millions on the home page) is an estimate. The number of registered users are under 120 thousands as of today.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

KewlPC (245768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6005628)

Oh, and according to Linux Counter, there are 18 million users estimated.

hardly. (2, Informative)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5963894)

I'll have to do some research. I don't believe for one second that there are more ext3 or resier deployments that NTFS. NTFS has been around since at least 1996 or earlier - virtually every Windows server runs it.

I bet most Linux servers still use ext2. FreeBSD uses UFS. Novell uses NWFS. AIX uses JFS and IRIX uses XFS. reiser and ext3 are still babies comparitively.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6004897)

No one can boot Knoppix and overwrite your SAM - they can format the drive, but they can't CHANGE your system (presuming then, that you could always restore your data).

Yeah, Whatever. Do a little research. S-b-O is for lamers.

chntpw [eunet.no] Yes, and it is crap.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 11 years ago | (#6006273)

Except that the security in NTFS can be bypassed by placing to the drive in a Win98 machine and installing a copy of NTFS for 98 (it's a commercial NTFS driver for 98). You can then read any directory or file, whatever its permissions.

Re:NTFS is hardly crap. (1)

irgu (673471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6009832)

Except that the security in NTFS can be bypassed by placing to the drive in a Win98 machine and installing a copy of NTFS for 98 (it's a commercial NTFS driver for 98). You can then read any directory or file, whatever its permissions.
The same true for all main Linux/Unix filesystems. E.g. there are ext2 drivers for Windows.

However if you use the built in encryption feature of NTFS then you can't read the files. You can't do the same with the main Linux/Unix filesystems because none of them supports encryption.

Re:NTFS support would help everyone. (1)

espo812 (261758) | more than 11 years ago | (#5970729)

One good thing about our current point in time is that Windows users have to choose between the widely compatible FAT32, with it's maximum filesystem size of 32GB, or to use a Microsoft-only filesystem like NTFS.
According to Microsoft, FAT32 drives can be up to ~8TB, however the provided formatting utility can only format up to 32GB (Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 184006 [microsoft.com] . I recall reading that the Win ME boot disk can format larger partitions (because I have about 40GB I want to format on here to be a partition to share between FreeBSD and Win2K).

grrr (1)

thanjee (263266) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952054)

I just recently formatted an NTFS partition to Fat32 because I was sick of not being able to write to it.

Re:grrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952326)

Be careful about writing to a FAT* partition from a nix OS, it **really** does not like symlinks, and will give you crap about corruption, but only from your MS OS, your nix OS will still read it fine...

Re:grrr (1)

tedu (647286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952585)

what OS do you have that creates symlinks on msdosfs?

read only? (3, Insightful)

Drakon (414580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952131)

I don't see any references to writing.

I don't tihnk anyone can write to these damn things...

*shrug* basically, I don't see any reason to run a secure OS (openbsd) on the same machine as -blech- windows, so this has very little use (ie, moving a drive to another machine when the original machine can't read it, etc)

Re:read only? (1)

maunleon (172815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952339)

From the FreeBSD version -- mount_ntfs(8):


WRITING
There is limited writing ability. Limitations: file must be nonresident
and must not contain any sparces (uninitialized areas); compressed files
are also not supported.

Re:read only? (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5952955)

I don't see any references to writing.

Then why don't you try reading the article? You'd learn much more that way.

Yes, it says there is limited write support, mainly without file creation or deletion support. Hey, it's better than nothing.

Personally, I would prefer not having NTFS support at all... It just encourages everyone to use Microsoft's filesystems.

Re:read only? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5954319)

Personally, I would prefer not having NTFS support at all... It just encourages everyone to use Microsoft's filesystems.

Do you really think so? How many people run Linux/*BSD on a FAT32 FS? On the other hand, how many people moved from Win9x to Linux/*BSD and kept their documents on a FAT32 partition while they were migrating so that they could move gradually?

People will use UFS instead of NTFS because it is a more logical choice (and because it's the default). People who run XP would be able to move to *BSD gradually, keeping documents in the same place until such a time as they are ditch XP.

Re:read only? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960897)

How many people run Linux/*BSD on a FAT32 FS?

You're looking at things from a very weird angle. Sure, nobody uses FAT filesystems for their main Unix filesystem, but they definately use them for any removable devices.

On the other hand, how many people moved from Win9x to Linux/*BSD and kept their documents on a FAT32 partition while they were migrating so that they could move gradually?

I would love to move my digital camera from Win9x to BSD, but since it only supports FAT, I'm out of luck there... I have no choice but to use FAT.

How about removable disks? Everyone uses FAT on them so they will work under Windows, but it's a very crappy filesystem, not supported on all OSes, and Windows is the only platform that has the tools to work with FAT filesystems properly (Defrag, Chkdsk, etc).

People will use UFS instead of NTFS because it is a more logical choice

When you see people walking around with a USB/Firewire hard drive, CompactFlash card, etc, you ask them what filesystem they use for it... Windows' propritary filesystems are used because Windows locks you in to using them.

Refusing to make your system compatible with the next propritary Microsoft filesystem would prevent it from being universal, and hence probably lead to more adoption of open filesystems. The ONLY reason UFS isn't everywhere, is because Windows doesn't support it at all. Even basic support, and watch UFS take over, just like TCP/IP did, just like DNS has, just like HTTP, FTP, and every other open standard.

Re:read only? (1)

Nothinman (22765) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961455)

Everyone uses FAT on them so they will work under Windows, but it's a very crappy filesystem, not supported on all OSes, and Windows is the only platform that has the tools to work with FAT filesystems properly (Defrag, Chkdsk, etc).

What OS doesn't support FAT? I'm pretty sure even IOS on some routers and SRM on Alphas reads FAT floppies for firmware updates.

dosfsck (8) - check and repair MS-DOS file systems

I don't see a defrag util, but that's not a show stopper IMO.

The ONLY reason UFS isn't everywhere, is because Windows doesn't support it at all.

So why don't someone write a Windows driver for UFS? Even a driver that can be installed after the main OS would be a decent, so Windows can run off of NTFS but data can be stored and shared on a UFS partition. Maybe it's because there's so many variants, the UFS driver for Linux supports 7 different types of UFS. I don't think UFS will become universal as long as it's a name that refers to multiple types of filesystems.

Re:read only? (1)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5970828)

So why don't someone write a Windows driver for UFS? ... Maybe it's because there's so many variants

I think the main reason is that writing a file system device driver for Windows is just so difficult. There are hundreds of potential applications for a file system driver besides the obvious. e.g. what about a Win32 equivalent of /proc, or a file system inside a regular file, etc?

If writing NT file system drivers was reasonably straightforward, there'd be a plethora of shareware examples knocking about, and a quick Google search would bring up various tutorials and example code.

I've spent some time researching this. If someone does know of a simple example driver with documentation I could use to develop a driver of my own, I'd love to hear about it.

Re:read only? (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 11 years ago | (#5973681)

Doesn't the file system development kit for NT cost $1000 anyway?

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952480)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Developer laments: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952748)

The End of FreeBSD

[ed. note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5952779)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a mere fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

just use netbsd already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953358)

Why does openbsd exist again? Oh yeah, because Theo couldn't get his sparc patches accepted by the port maintainer. It's really odd that Theo has those emails up on his web site; they're not particularly flattering.

Re:just use netbsd already (1)

GrImMo (212942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953445)

You're a troll, openbsd has a completely different user target than netbsd.

Re:just use netbsd already (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5954358)

Why does openbsd exist again? Oh yeah, because Theo couldn't get his sparc patches accepted by the port maintainer. It's really odd that Theo has those emails up on his web site; they're not particularly flattering.

No. That may have been why OpenBSD was created (hey, we've all got egos, right?) but if that were the only reason it would not have existed for very long. OpenBSD concentrates totally on security, at the expense of adding flashy features, resulting in a very secure OS.

To 90% of us, this is entirely pointless, since something like Linux (or even windows) is 'secure enough', but to those who actually have serious security needs OpenBSD is a godsend. By the same token NetBSD is pointless, since everyone uses x86, right? The 'One Size Fits All' OS is a myth.

Re:just use netbsd already (1)

mslinux (570958) | more than 10 years ago | (#5981768)

Why does openbsd exist again? Oh yeah, because Theo couldn't get his sparc patches accepted by the port maintainer. It's really odd that Theo has those emails up on his web site; they're not particularly flattering.

Here's why people attempt to knock Theo down: They desperately wish that they were like him.

Theo speaks his mind. He's true to himself. He doesn't say what others want to hear; he says what should be said. In short, he's honest and he doesn't play politics and that tends to offend people. So be it.

We only live life once. Anyone can be a yes man. People who have soul, who are naturally royal stand out and rise above all the bullshit in the world. Cloth them in rags and they still command respect, they still remain the subject of envy. Theo is one of these people. I am another one. You wish you were too. Get over it.

Theo speaks his mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5984170)

Well it's true that Theo speaks his mind, and that he's a great programmer.

But he's so abusive I would not work with or keep him as a friend for all the money in the world.

He frequently goes off half cocked if anyone has a slightly different viewpoint, or God forbid, has not read All he has written. This no doubt is the real reason behind ARPA cutting his funds. He pissed off the wrong person with usual four letter panache. Which is also the real reason he "left" and started OpenBSD.

This garbage about speaking his mind is nothing but yes men justifying for his horrid manners. Stop being so afraid whenever someone disagrees with him! He's obviously a big boy and can fend for himself.

If anything tell him to take a walk around the block before replying and creating yet another degrading impression of the man behind an otherwise fantastic OS. Talk about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

Displaying such bad manners is not something that should be defended. Attacking people with four letter words because they kindly DISAGREED is not akin to greatness. All you do is make it more right in his mind to be abusive. True greatness is the ability to love someone in spite of...

Elegy for *BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5956210)


Elegy For *BSD


I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but *BSD is dying.

Re:Elegy for *BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5956368)

Not only are you a troll, but you're a stupid troll.

Here's proof [reference.com] ...

NTFS. == FRUSTRAING AS HELL! (1)

the-dude-man (629634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5956604)

NTFS has been One of the most frustrating filesystems to get into read write mode....Linux kernels 2.4.21 has read write capability in it, however, in some circumstances its broken. Linux kernels 2.5.30 have working read write support in them. And the linux 2.6.x kernels promise stable, and fast read write support.

So it quite frustrating, but it is slowly coming along. And once it is out for linux...I'm sure it will be in the BSD kernel quickly...in fact some of the techniques for NTFS read support came from netBSD. So read/write support isnt far off

GREAT! Can we mount root on it? (1)

Neillparatzo (530968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960946)

It's about time OpenBSD supported a journaling filesystem. Any journaling filesystem. Even NTFS. Even though it's not read-write yet.

It's depressing when the only computer in the house that needs a fsck on power failure is the OpenBSD one.

Re:GREAT! Can we mount root on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5977303)

OpenBSD does NOT NEED a journaling fs. It already has the insanely stable UFS with soft-updates. Read up on soft-updates, compile it into your kernel, and then mount your disks with soft-updates enabled (read up on mount(8)).

Don't need this for interoperability (1)

Baki (72515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5971958)

Read/(write) access to none native filesystems such as NTFS is only relevant for dual boot systems, where it may be nice to access your NTFS partition while booted into *BSD or Linux.

But "real" systems are no dual boot systems. So you don't need it. Hardly find NTFS on floppies or CD-R or on tape. OK maybe for a hotswappable (scsi) harddisk it might have a use, but that is the only serious thing I can think of.

All other interoperability between filesystems goes via network filesystems, be it SMB, NFS, AFS, DFS or whatever. Those are the ones you need. A good and free implementation of NFS for NT might be nice, or Samba keeping up with ever changing Windows fileservers. For real use you need a directory service across platforms as well (NIS+ on windows, active directory on UNIX).

Anatomy of a failure: What Killed FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995225)

The End of FreeBSD

[N.B.: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt
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