FAT, NTFS, CIFS and DOS attributes

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Mon Jan 3 22:24:53 GMT 2005

Hello all,

I recently posted to LKML a patch to get or set DOS attribute flags for 
fatfs.  That patch used ioctl().  It was suggested that a better way 
would be using xattrs, although the xattr mechanism seems clumsy to me, 
and has namespace issues.

I also think it would be good to have a unified interface for FAT, NTFS 
and CIFS for these attributes.

I noticed that CIFS has a placeholder "user.DosAttrib" in cifs/xattr.c, 
although it doesn't seem to be implemented.


a) is xattr the right thing?  It seems to be a fairly complex and 
ill-thought-out mechanism all along, especially the whole namespace 
business (what is a system attribute to one filesystem is a user 
attribute to another, for example.)

b) if xattr is the right thing, shouldn't this be in the system 
namespace rather than the user namespace?

c) What should the representation be?  Binary byte?  String containing a 
subset of "rhsvda67" (barf)?


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