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SubjectRe: [PATCH] get/set FAT filesystem attribute bits
On Tue, 2005-01-04 at 10:09 +0000, Anton Altaparmakov wrote:
> > Nicholas Miell wrote:
> > > On another note, NTFS-style xattrs (aka named streams) are unrelated to
> > > Linux xattrs. A named stream is a separate file with a funny name, while
> > > a Linux xattr is a named extension to struct stat.
> This is incorrect. NTFS has two different beasts:
[ why this is incorrect omitted for brevity ]
> One interesting bit of trivia is that Windows uses named streams very
> extensively while it _never_ uses EAs. In fact I have never seen a
> Windows OS or application that uses EAs. They were added to be
> compatible with OS/2 EAs when it came out but since OS/2 died they now
> just seem like old baggage/backwards compatibility in Windows that is no
> longer used. (If anyone knows of a Windows application that uses EAs
> please let me know. I would be most interested in knowing about it!)

This would probably explain why I've never heard of them. In my brief
perusal of the MSDN Library in search of more information about these
beasts, the only hint I could find related to their existence is in
parameters to ZwCreateFile/NtCreateFile (which are themselves mostly
undocumented). The high level file API certainly doesn't support their
use, AFAICT.

I think it's reasonably safe to assume that hpa's worry that FAT might
get EAs in the future is unfounded. (Named streams is still a
possibility, but I don't think Microsoft is all that interested in
making improvements to a filesystem that people use so that they don't
have to license NTFS.)

> Hope this clears things up a bit as far as NTFS is concerned...
> I don't know what API would be best for accessing named streams on NTFS
> but an xattrs like interface is not suitable IMO. You really want to be
> able to open them and access them like normal files. An interface
> similar to the Solaris openat() system call (see
> that has
> been discussed on LKML before seems like a good way to deal with this
> but I am more interested in getting normal write support into NTFS at
> present than I am in fancy features like EAs and named streams...

Good luck with that.

> Best regards,
> Anton
Nicholas Miell <>

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