Linux users need a file system driver for Windows storage

June 13, 2017 Katia Shabanova, Paragon Software Group

The open-source community has been addressing storage interoperability issues for more than a decade, creating drivers for various unsupported file systems. That can cause an issue, for example, when switching from Windows to Linux or working on Linux with Windows partitions. Linux users working with Windows Resilient File System (ReFS) formatted storages on Linux systems can’t easily work with these partitions due to the operating systems’ incompatibility unless they run side by side both operating systems (OSs).

Tools are available to solve this incompatibility problem by granting full read and write access to ReFS volumes under Linux and without the need to install the other OS. One such tool is Paragon’s ReFS for Linux, which provides full read and write access to ReFS (1.x) volumes and supports Linux Kernel versions up to 4.10.x.

ReFS, introduced by Microsoft with the release of Windows Server 2012, has been integrated into Windows 8.1 and 10, and Windows Server 2016. Open-source users can’t access ReFS volumes on Linux systems due lack of appropriate file system driver. ReFS for Linux solves this issue, allowing full read and write access to ReFS (1.x) volumes on Linux.

The software supports SMP kernels and ReFS (1.x) volumes mounted by the “urefs” driver can be shared over local networks, such as SAMBA/FTP. The Linux driver (urefs.ko module) can be installed alongside an existing NTFS&HFS+ for Linux driver (ufsd.ko module) on the same platform.

ReFS for Linux is based on proprietary Universal File System Driver (UFSD) technology, which lets any device communicate and share files, regardless of the OS employed. Note that Paragon’s portal for dual-boot users hosts a comprehensive line of tools for users of multiple devices on Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux to resolve incompatibility issues.

Katia Shabanova is a director at Paragon Software Group where she manages programs for the company’s mobility and disk utilities divisions within the US and European regions.

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