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Old 05-25-2008, 06:56 PM
Gene Czarcinski
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

What are the near term plans for ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs? I am specifically
thinking of the F10/F11 time frame (the next year).

I assume that the long term plan (goal) is to have a single package which does
everything "right" which is currently done by the combination of ntfs-3g and
ntfsprogs.

My understanding (it may be incorrect) is that ntfs-3g is a fork of ntfsprogs
and was forked because ntfsprogs was not moving quickly enough to supported
needed functionality (e.g., full, reliable read/write support). Well,
ntfsprogs has now been updated (version 2.0) to provide the functionality in
ntfs-3g and this is the version in F9 (F8 still has the old ntfsprogs).

Will ntfs-3g be dropped in F10 or F11? If ntfs-3g is dropped, will ntfsprogs
packaging do anything to provide easy compatibility (e.g., library symlinks).

If ntfsprogs now provides the needed functionality and reliability, then I
assume that all software under current maintenance/development which needs
ntfs support should be using ntfsprogs. Correct??

Gene

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Old 05-25-2008, 07:07 PM
drago01
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

well no .. you are wrong.
ntfs-3g is a filesystem driver while ntfsprogs are tools to
manage/create ntfs volumes.
you are confusing ntfsprogs with in kernel ntfs driver ... which was
never built in fedora/redhat kernels anyway.

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Old 05-25-2008, 08:10 PM
Gene Czarcinski
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

On Sunday 25 May 2008 15:07:52 drago01 wrote:
> well no .. you are wrong.
> ntfs-3g is a filesystem driver while ntfsprogs are tools to
> manage/create ntfs volumes.
> you are confusing ntfsprogs with in kernel ntfs driver ... which was
> never built in fedora/redhat kernels anyway.

I believe you are correct for distributions before Fedora 9. Fedora 9
includes ntfsprogs-2.0.0. If you do "rpm -ql" for ntfsprogs and
ntfsprogs-devel, you will see libraries and include files to support software
development. You might also look at the output of "rpm -q --provides"
and "rpm -q --whatrequires" for the ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs packages (or do
repoquery which may be better).

Yes, ntfsprogs has utilities which are not in ntfs-3g but (with 2.0.0), they
also claim to have functionality and reliability to equal or exceed that in
ntfs-3g. See the ntfsprogs website http://www.linux-ntfs.org/

Now granted, 2.0.0 of ntfsprogs was recently released may have some bugs or
undesirable "features", so it may be prudent to keep ntfs-3g around for a
while. But, Fedora is, in many ways, a "bleeding edge" distribution. Bugs
will not be found and fixed unless someone uses the software.

I assume (mmmm ... I need to check this) that the utilities in ntfsprogs such
as ntfsclone and ntfsresize use the libraries which are part of ntfsprogs
rather than those in ntfs-3g. [checked: rpm and repoquery show no dependency
between ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs]

I was a little surprised that there was no mention in the F9 Release Notes
(just that anaconda now supported ntfs partition resizing). But, on the
other hand, there is not much (except anaconda and qtparted) which really
requires the new ntfsprogs and developers (rightly) are more interested in
the linux packages.

BTW, I find it convenient to have ntfsclone and ntfsresize on the F9 RescueCD
(also called the network install cd). ntfsclone together with "nc" and "ssh"
provide a convenient way to backup an ntfs partition onto server storage
(what else is large enough these days).

Gene

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:51 PM
"Naheem Zaffar"
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

Did a small amount of digging and found this topic:

http://forum.linux-ntfs.org/viewtopic.php?t=741

Apparently ntfsprogs and ntfs-3g are fully competitive - ntfsprogs
gained read/write support, ntfs-3g got the extra utilities that were a
part of ntfsprogs.

>From that topic what I see the main differences is that ntfsprogs
claim to be faster. ntfs-3g claims ntfsprogs is buggy.

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Old 05-26-2008, 03:36 AM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

On Sun, 2008-05-25 at 14:56 -0400, Gene Czarcinski wrote:
> I assume that the long term plan (goal) is to have a single package
> which does everything "right" which is currently done by the
> combination of ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs.

ntfsprogs is not really maintained these days, but it provides utilities
that ntfs-3g does not intend to implement in the near term.

Long term, it is probable that ntfs-3g will enable the same set of
functionality that ntfsprogs does, but until then, we'll continue to
leverage the best of both worlds.

~spot, maintainer for both ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

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Old 05-26-2008, 03:39 AM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

Whoops, hit send too early, forgot to answer your questions.

On Sun, 2008-05-25 at 14:56 -0400, Gene Czarcinski wrote:
> Will ntfs-3g be dropped in F10 or F11?

No (at least for F-10, I have no plans to drop it in F-11).

> If ntfsprogs now provides the needed functionality and reliability,
> then I assume that all software under current maintenance/development
> which needs ntfs support should be using ntfsprogs. Correct??

Nope. ntfs-3g is primarily for mounting. Nothing is using its
library/headers at this time (to the best of my knowledge). Not that
there is anything wrong with them, they're just new.

These two apps are really more complimentary than it might seem, but if
anything, ntfs-3g is growing much faster and has a much more active
community.

~spot

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Old 05-26-2008, 08:07 PM
Szabolcs Szakacsits
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

Tom "spot" Callaway <tcallawa <at> redhat.com> writes:
>
> ntfsprogs is not really maintained these days, but it provides utilities
> that ntfs-3g does not intend to implement in the near term.

It only depends on users' and developers' interest. Ntfs-3g did
implement, improved and fixed many ntfsprogs utilities in the last
six years (ntfsresize, ntfsclone, mkntfs, ntfsfix, vista compatibility,
etc). And we do plan to include stable versions of at least the most
important ones in NTFS-3G in the next 2-4 months (mkfs, fsck, label,
resize, clone, image, restore, info, debug, cmp).

Currently we're using a stable, old CVS ntfsprogs version between
1.13.1 and 2.0.0 which is essential for the NTFS-3G quality assurance
and regression testing. Porting and validation of the tools and all
the tests on http://ntfs-3g.org/quality.html takes quite a lot of
time and close attention not to introduce reliability problems.

Regards, Szaka

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NTFS-3G: http://ntfs-3g.org


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Old 05-26-2008, 08:55 PM
Szabolcs Szakacsits
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

Tom "spot" Callaway <tcallawa <at> redhat.com> writes:

> Nope. ntfs-3g is primarily for mounting. Nothing is using its
> library/headers at this time (to the best of my knowledge).

ntfs-3g.probe. Though probably it's mostly used only on OS X
which requires it before mount.

> These two apps are really more complimentary than it might seem, but if
> anything, ntfs-3g is growing much faster and has a much more active
> community.

Yep. Ntfs-3g is the active ex-Linux-NTFS developers plus many
new ones. I'm still on all the Linux-NTFS lists and notification
systems and I can't see productive activity. Well, we were never
a big group, only a few of us.

Basically the project was killed when the maintainer got hired
by Apple in 2005 to work on their currently closed source,
work-in-progress driver by rewriting the Linux NTFS code
(we agreed and were promised to get the new code what we didn't).
This was one of the many reasons NTFS-3G had to partially
fork: to keep the open source NTFS development alive.

Regards, Szaka

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Old 05-26-2008, 09:13 PM
Gene Czarcinski
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

On Sunday 25 May 2008 23:36:49 Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-05-25 at 14:56 -0400, Gene Czarcinski wrote:
> > I assume that the long term plan (goal) is to have a single package
> > which does everything "right" which is currently done by the
> > combination of ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs.
>
> ntfsprogs is not really maintained these days, but it provides utilities
> that ntfs-3g does not intend to implement in the near term.
>
> Long term, it is probable that ntfs-3g will enable the same set of
> functionality that ntfsprogs does, but until then, we'll continue to
> leverage the best of both worlds.
>
> ~spot, maintainer for both ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

I am not trying to start any kind of "war" but just trying to provide some
food for thought ...

1. I grant you that 2.0.0 ntfsprogs is very "new" after about a year and a
half of no activity so the package should be treated with care ... there is a
very large amount of change between the 1.13.1 version in F8 and the 2.0.0
version now in F9. Continuing to use ntfs-3g as the default for mounting in
F10 makes sense.

[yes, I am aware of http://forum.linux-ntfs.org/viewtopic.php?t=741 and it
appears there is some animosity between the two developer groups ... I would
hope that gets settled and the two projects merge at some point]

2. With F9, anaconda includes ntfsprogs in the rescuecd and uses ntfsresize
to support resizing of ntfs partitions during Fedora install. Note: I find
it interesting that I have never seen documentation which defines just what
packages/software anaconda sucks in for the installer/rescue bootable systems
except in anaconda-runtime's upd-instroot shell script.

3. I have taken a quick look at the ntfs-3g src.rpm, their website, and their
mailing list archives. I see nothing which implies plans to incorporate
functionality of the utilities in ntfsprogs into ntfs-3g. So, if you use
ntfs-3g for mounting ntfs partitions, then, yes, you also need ntfsprogs to
cover the functionality of its utilities.

4. On the other hand, version 2.0.0 of ntfsprogs does now include a mount
command for mounting ntfs partitions. However, as packaged for Fedora, this
mount command is not provided. IF [and this is a big if] (a) ntfsprogs
continues to provide active maintenance/development that it recently
demonstrated and if (b) ntfsprogs (specifically the mount command and
read/write I/O) demonstrates to have good reliability, then I believe that
ntfs-3g could be removed (at some time in the future) and only ntfsprogs
provided in Fedora.

My suggestion: Provide an additional binary package for the ntfsprogs mount
command (e.g., ntfsprogs-mount) which would have the mount command and
man-page. Installation of this "new" package should be made to conflict with
ntfs-3g so that both could not be installed at the same time. For F10 (an
probably F11) continue with the current default installs ... that is, both
ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs but not ntfsprogs-mount.

My reasoning is that unless software is readily available, nobody will test
it. Few, if any, individuals will go to the effort of building their own
ntfsprogs package to include the mount command.

The risk to you (spot as the current Maintainer/stuckee and perhaps others at
Red Hat) is that you may get additional BZ reports on problems with
partitions mounted with ntfsprogs' mount command. However, if there are bugs
in ntfsprogs-2.0.0, then I claim you will get additional BZ reports from
users using the other ntfsprogs utilities.

Anyway ... some food for thought. Does anyone else in the developer community
have any thoughts on this?

Gene

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Old 05-26-2008, 09:49 PM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs

On Mon, 2008-05-26 at 17:13 -0400, Gene Czarcinski wrote:
> My suggestion: Provide an additional binary package for the ntfsprogs
> mount command (e.g., ntfsprogs-mount) which would have the mount
> command and man-page. Installation of this "new" package should be
> made to conflict with ntfs-3g so that both could not be installed at
> the same time. For F10 (an probably F11) continue with the current
> default installs ... that is, both ntfs-3g and ntfsprogs but not
> ntfsprogs-mount.

I disagree. Having two methods for ntfs mount seems like a recipe for
failure. I looked at both of them, and determined that the ntfs-3g mount
mechanism was far more robust and better maintained. I don't really
think we benefit at all from enabling the ntfsprogs mount functionality.

Or, to put it more succinctly, when we've had any problems with ntfs-3g
mount, Szaka has been extremely helpful in working with us to resolve
the issues. We've also had issues with the ntfsprogs suite, and received
zero help or feedback on our patches. "Supporting" the ntfsprogs mount
will simply lead to more bugs, and I've got enough of those as is.

I'm hopeful that in time, the conflict/competition between ntfs-3g and
ntfsprogs will all balance itself out. If we need to enable the
ntfsprogs mount, it is only a minor amount of work, and could be done
quickly.

~spot

p.s. I'm hedging my bets on ntfs-3g. They show community and growth,
where ntfsprogs doesn't.

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