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mod: ntfs-3g (beta package)

Discussion in 'HD/HDR-FOX T2 Customised Firmware' started by xyz321, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    There is a new package available - ntfs-3g which is a writeable version of the ntfs filesystem. Since it is command line only, I wouldn't recommend it for beginners yet. In order to test it you have to connect a USB drive, unmount the drive from the command line and then remount it using the new ntfs-3g driver.

    This is the open source version of the driver which has not been fully optimised. There is a commercially available version which would be faster. It has yet to be determined whether or not this will cause problems for the box. When mounting a drive you will see the following message:
    WARNING: Deficient Linux kernel detected. Some driver features are
            not available (swap file on NTFS, boot from NTFS by LILO), and
            unmount is not safe unless it's made sure the ntfs-3g process
            naturally terminates after calling 'umount'. If you wish this
            message to disappear then you should upgrade to at least kernel
            version 2.6.20, or request help from your distribution to fix
            the kernel problem. The below web page has more information:
    If there are no reported problems af123 may produce another version of the firmware which will use this driver instead of the current read-only driver and I will look into upgrading the kernel. I have no problems with compiling the kernel but I do not have any details on the boot process on these boxes. I am a bit wary of bricking my box if I attempt to update the kernel.

    Connect a NTFS formatted drive.
    From the command line:
    mount |grep ntfs​
    umount the the existing mount point​
    ntfs-3g /dev/sd[a-z][0-9] /media/drive[0-9]​

    When you have finished accessing the drive unmount using the usual umount command it before disconnecting the device.

    Thanks to af123 for packaging it.

    PS. There is a small bug in the existing package. It should create the directory /mod/dev when it is first installed but it can be created manually for now (hopefully this should be fixed soon)
  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    I know I gave a thumbs-up to the idea of mounting NTFS as writable, but I have been having second thoughts while playing for my hacking for dummies.

    • An external portable drive can be used to caddy large files (>4GB, less than an hour of HiDef) between the Humax and a PC without special drivers or OS in the PC.
    • The write speed at the Humax end is only 200MB/min.
    • Need to be running the modified firmware in the Humax.
    • Might not auto-mount/unmount like FAT32 or Ext3.
    • FTP: still need to do a manual copy (probably to virtual drive) first, which is added to the FTP transfer time at 120MB/min (on my network).
    • Ext3: can't read it at the PC end, but can by installing an Ext3 driver in Windows or by running Linux.

    If you have plenty of time and/or can leave things running overnight without compromising network bandwidth, virtual drive copy and FTP transfer are probably the most convenient way to go. On the other hand, the quickest way to get the job done (in total) is to do the decrypt copy straight to a portable drive and walk it to the PC, so it would be very handy to do that in NTFS, particularly if the auto-mount problem can be solved. However, running an Ext3 driver on the PC is equally viable.
  3. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    I think the most convenient way to copy a file to a network drive is by using cifs. Once the encryption flag has been removed, the decrypt & copy to the network becomes a single OPT+ operation from the Humax UI. The main problem with this at the moment is the initial configuration (hopefully that will become easier).

    The auto-mount problem with NTFS can easily be solved. The kernel umount problem will require some more information on the box configuration. The reason for releasing this as beta now was for some people to try testing it. If it looks as if the box can still perform well under stress testing then it may be worth fixing these prolems. If not we can then ditch it.
  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    That sounds a better idea, all done in one go.

    Please note I intend no sleight to any of your (collective) efforts in exploring this stuff, I wouldn't know where to start. If you can make NTFS work nicely that's great, it will be useful to have in the kit bag and become the preferred format for portable drives.
  5. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    The latest version of this (ntfs-3g - 2011.4.12-2) no longer shows the warning message since the fuse kernel driver has been updated.
  6. Geoff

    Geoff Member

    I have downloaded the latest version of ntf-3g using the web interface, does it still require any command line entry as I still don't seem to be able to write to the external usb drive from my pc?
    If so, perhaps you could guide me through the entry?

  7. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Are you using standard FTP or the mod version? Standard FTP can't access the external drive (I believe).
  8. Geoff

    Geoff Member

    I believe that I must be using the mod version because I can see the whole directory using FTP commander.
    I can read/write to the media folders but don't have permission for drive 1. Samba is installed and ntf-g3.
    Is ther anything else that I should be doing?

  9. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    At the moment it doesn't auto mount a drive using ntfs-3g. I am looking into this but in the meantime you would have to do it manually - see my original post.
  10. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    There is now an update available to the ntfs-3g package (2011.4.12-3) and to the mod firmware (v1.10). Together these mods enable an ntfs disk to be auto detected and mounted read/write. Once these mods have been installed it becomes a simple matter of plug and play.:)

    When an ntfs disk is plugged in it will appear under the Humax UI as usb-drive<n>.
    af123 and Drutt like this.
  11. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Oh that's nice! No more fuss with Ext3.

    Tell me: if the NTFS external drive is present when booted, will it still be mounted?
  12. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    Am I right in thinking that upgrading from 1.09 to 1.10 is via the usb stick? Do existing installed packages need to be reinstalled?
  13. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member


    In addition the firmware update fixes the bug when trying to manually install a package from an already present USB drive.
  14. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    Yes, you need to upgrade the firmware using the usb stick.

    Existing packages do not need to be reinstalled since they live on the hard disk (HDR) or external disk (HD). The firmware update is stored in flash memory.
  15. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    This would be pretty much useless for the HD-FOX unless the ntfs-3g package gets installed in flash.

    (typo in the topic title by the way, mods correct it?)
  16. Drutt

    Drutt Active Member

    Presumably though the driver loads into memory at boot up, so you can swap in different drive after boot. (or the HD can run multiple drives using a usb hub). Having said a networked drive is the easiest solution to just copying stuff to / from a computer.
    ps While I'm here. xyz321 - you seem to be good at this stuff - any chance of getting an update to cifs that supports smb2, and/or a nfs server? ;)
  17. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Unfortunately not. This is a user-space driver so a command needs to be run whenever a disk is attached and that command is installed on the hard disk. It would be possible to build a custom firmware for the HD though that included the r/w NTFS support as part of the image but you're probably better sticking to the standard ext3 for recordings.
  18. Brian

    Brian Administrator Staff Member

  19. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    Thanks af123 - that works fine. I can't help wondering why Humax didn't set it up for writeable NTFS in the first place.:confused:
  20. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to use a usb hub with more than one disk?