[Techtalk] Dual-Boot Installation Order?

Andrew Clausen clausen at gnu.org
Sun Oct 14 07:56:30 EST 2001

BTW, hi sam... I'm sure we must have met... ;)  (You work with Scott?)

On Sat, Oct 13, 2001 at 12:28:12PM -0700, Nicole Zimmerman wrote:
> Some NTFS stuff, not sure how related to parted issues it would be, but
> maybe people would be interested in hearing it.
> There are really 2 versions of NTFS: NTFS from NT4, and NTFS from win2k
> (supported by NT4 SP5 and higher, IIRC). You might notice that in the
> kernel, NTFSv2 has read-only support. This is courtesy MS who will not
> release any info about their filesystem, thus it is all "discovered" from
> tech documents and hacking.

I didn't think that was a problem... only the journal hasn't been reverse
engineered.  Also, service-pack >=4 seems to have a similar NTFS to
win2k, although I still have neither... (I can't get NTFS4 to find my
network card, and I need access to the internet [via my LAN] to get the
service pack.  You have to download via their installer.  It's so strange
going back to the non-free world, isn't it?!  The smallest bureaucratic
decisions screw you up)

> There is also in win2k a thing called "dynamic disks"... I think this is
> only possible with win2k server, but I'm not sure. "Dynamic disks" are
> totally un-editable except with the stupid win2k "utilities" (and
> apparently some tools I find later in this message).

Right.  Dynamic disks are sort of like Linux LVM.  EVMS (IBM's GPL
"Enterprise Volume Management System") will probably end up supporting it.

> I checked out parted when I was trying to fix a problem with NTFS
> partitions (and later dynamic disks)... it didn't help me at all. I wish I
> could use just a plain tom's root boot or something with parted on it
> instead of partition magic. Free is good. Free would also encourage my
> company to continue our search for happy linux replacements for NT/2k
> tools.

Agreed, NTFS support would be *very* useful.
> As far as parted using NTFS goes, I suspect they would have to do some
> hacking to see the relevant information. I found 2 messages on the parted
> bug mailing list about it which refer back to the linux-ntfs project, who
> are the people above doing the "discovering" and hacking. So it sounds
> like it all hinges on that project.

I didn't think that was the issue.  Anyway, the libntfs needs a fair bit
of work, to get it up to the point of being a useful basis for a resizer.
Also, due to some idiosyncracities of NTFS design, there are a few
design dilemmas...

> http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net
> (And hey... they have dynamic disk tools! I swear that stuff wasn't there
> when I looked before.)

It's fairly new.  (3 months ago?)

> It looks like they have lots of NTFS tools, but they seem more for
> managing NTFS partitions (making partitions, fixing partitions, etc) than
> editing the partition table.

Right... Dynamic disks are a completely separate issue.

> If we are getting a response from @gnu.org, it would be interesting to
> know what the NTFS integration plan is -- what kind of things are needed
> from the NTFS project before we can see NTFS in parted, when we can
> expect NTFS attempts, which style of NTFS, etc.

Basically, the MFT manipulation is a bit strange, ATM.  (See the discussion
I had with them)  There is a *lot* more than 2 emails between me and
NTFS people.  (Try about 50)

I intend to do serious hacking on this over december -> february
(when I go on holiday to brazil ;)  I'm rather busy with uni work ATM.

I think it should be fairly easy to write a good NTFS resizer, once I've
got libntfs working nicely :)


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