[RFC] Remove NTFS kernel support

Robert Watson rwatson at FreeBSD.org
Thu Feb 7 09:20:53 PST 2008

On Thu, 7 Feb 2008, Attilio Rao wrote:

> 2008/2/7, Andre Oppermann <andre at freebsd.org>:
>> Eric Anderson wrote:
>>> I think Alfred's point is really interesting.  How many people that don't 
>>> use it that say 'axe it' does it take to override 1 person saying 'keep 
>>> it!'?
>> The real question is how many people does it take to say 'I'll maintain 
>> it'?  Just one.  Without it, it will only bitrot as evidenced by Attilios 
>> question.  NTFS is currently broken, just not as obvious because WITNESS 
>> didn't track and enforce lockmgr locks.
> Andre catched exactly my point. The big problem is that we have a list of 
> several unmaintained fs. NTFS is in this list. The support is not reliable, 
> it is only available in read mode and eventually bugged. I'm not sure I want 
> to keep this if nobody wants to maintain it.

If you axe write support, does the maintainability of the kernel ntfs get 
easier?  As I understand it, the write support is rather limited, and 
debugging and fixing read support is generally a lot easier for a variety of 
reasons.  There's also a lot less risk to data. :-)  I think it's reasonable 
to surmise that, given our rather limited write support currently, the kernel 
ntfs code is used for data migration and limited sharing to FreeBSD in various 
forms, but that msdofs remains the general data transport of choice...

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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