NTFS3 driver is orphan already. What we do?

From: Kari Argillander
Date: Tue Apr 26 2022 - 05:59:53 EST

After ntfs3 got merged and 5.15 got released ntfs3 maintainer has kept total
radio silence. I have tried to contact him with personal mails with no luck. I
have chosen bunch of people to discuss what we should do this driver as this is
already orphan. Feel free to add more if you think it is necessary. There is
lot of bug reports which are ignored completely. Lot of patches which nobody

He did some work after 5.15, but has not send PR for those [1]. I did also ask
to use fix and next branches seperetly and tag stable fixes, but he did not do
that eater. I think Konstantin did not yet quite understand meaning of stable,
next and upstream and it is not ok to applied every patch to same tree for any

Personally I did my best try to help Konstantin with maintainer things, but I
have to say that it was quite difficult as he mostly ignored emails and do many
things like he wanted. He did not suggest anything to anyone if someone send
patch. He just applied those or ignored. Also sometimes he just applied own
patch without sending it to review process. Of course new maintainer needs time
to learn things but just wanted to say these so everyone knows how things went
so far.

I also did suggest that I could co maintain this driver to take burden from
Konstantin, but haven't got any replay. I have worker towards better CI system
for myself for ntfs3 which of course will be public in some point if we solve
current situations. If we keep this driver we really need very good fstests
support. But we also do not have very good open source utilyes for ntfs.
Konstantin said that he will open source those as well, but here we are waiting
and we will probably have to wait long time.

Now is time to think what we should do. Should ntfs3 just be removed? As I
really wanted to see that ntfs3 will be big thing I have to say that I vote for
removing unless someone comes to rescue this catastrophe. Yes we break
userspace, but we might break it silently if nobody is maintaining this. I also
do not believe that if someone is just accepting patches that it is enough.
Ntfs3 is not so ready that we do not need some ntfs specialist to maintain it
imo. Really public CI might save something if we keep this in and I will work
towards that if we choose to keep this in.

And if Konstantin read this please come and join this conversation.


[1]: https://github.com/Paragon-Software-Group/linux-ntfs3/commits/devel