2017.3.23 / March 23, 2017
2017.3.23AR.6 / February 1, 2021
|Operating system||Unix-like, Haiku|
|Type||File system driver|
|License||Dual-licensed GNU GPL|
NTFS-3G is an open-source cross-platform implementation of the Microsoft Windows NTFS file system with read/write support. NTFS-3G often uses the FUSE file system interface, so it can run unmodified on many different operating systems. It is runnable on Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, illumos, BeOS, QNX, WinCE, Nucleus, VxWorks, Haiku,MorphOS, Minix, macOS and OpenBSD. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. It is a partial fork of ntfsprogs and is under active maintenance and development.
NTFS-3G was introduced by one of the senior Linux NTFS developers, Szabolcs Szakacsits, in July 2006. The first stable version was released on February 21, 2007, as version 1.0. The developers of NTFS-3G later formed a company, Tuxera Inc., to further develop the code. NTFS-3G is now the free "community edition",[failed verification] while Tuxera NTFS is the proprietary version.
NTFS-3G supports all operations for writing files: files of any size can be created, modified, renamed, moved, or deleted on NTFS partitions. Transparent compression is supported, as well as system-level encryption. Support to modify access control lists and permissions is available. NTFS partitions are mounted using the Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) interface. NTFS-3G supports hard links, symbolic links, and junctions. With the help of NTFS reparse point plugins, it can be made to read chunk-deduplicated files, system-compressed files, and OneDrive files. NTFS-3G provides complete support and translation of NTFS access control list (ACL) to POSIX ACL permissions. A "usermap" utility is included to record the mapping from UIDs to Windows NT SIDs.
NTFS-3G supports partial NTFS journaling, so if an unexpected computer failure leaves the file system in an inconsistent state, the volume can be repaired. As of 2009, a volume having an unclean journal file is recovered and mounted by default. The ‘norecover’ mount option can be used to disable this behavior.
Benchmarks show that the driver's performance via FUSE is comparable to that of other filesystems' drivers in-kernel, provided that the CPU is powerful enough. On embedded or old systems, the high processor usage can severely limit performance. Tuxera sells optimized versions of the driver that claims to have improved CPU utilization for embedded systems and MacOS.
The slowness of NTFS-3G (and FUSE in general) on embedded systems is attributed to the frequent context switching associated with FUSE calls. Some open-source methods provided to reduce this overhead include:
big_writesto use larger blocks when writing. Using a larger block means fewer context switches. This is in fact a solution recommended by Tuxera. A patch is available to use an even larger block.
lazytimeto reduce the writes on file access.
CACHE_NIDATA_SIZEwith a different mechanism with unsure benefit. (It also includes an alternative Security Identifier translation for the NAS.)
While Tuxera Ltd. rarely releases updates to the NTFS-3G software, the software's main maintainer Jean-Pierre André has kept the development active on SourceForge, providing bug fixes and new features. He runs a parallel release system on his website as the NTFS-3G Advanced Version (NTFS-3G AR). Each version is run through a test suite and is considered stable.
Workaround: using the mount option “big_writes” generally reduces the CPU usage, provided the software requesting the writes supports big blocks.
Edited: 2021-06-18 18:48:37