Today we are announcing the release of Tuxera NTFS for Mac 2010.7.

This new version brings some important features for Tuxera’s commercial NTFS software for Mac OS X. Most importantly, extended attributes are now fully enabled and mapped to Alternate Data Streams if you are running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

Extended attributes is a way of appending more than one data stream to a file, and this mechanism is used in Mac OS X for various things such as Finder information, the legacy “resource forks”, quarantine flags and much more.

In previous versions of Tuxera NTFS for Mac, extended attributes were supported but only using a compatibility mechanism storing them inside files starting with ‘._’ (called AppleDouble files), just like it is done with FAT32 file systems. This means that all files that had extended attributes applied to them also had a supplementary file created in the same directory holding those attributes. This does not happen any more. Instead, extended attributes are stored as Alternate Data Streams in NTFS, and can be accessed from within Windows using standard methods. The extended attributes are fully compatible with Mac OS X’s own NTFS driver and Windows Server’s “Services for Macintosh” extension (now discontinued).

Along with these changes there have been numerous other fixes, for instance:

  • Fix for a rare issue where Tuxera NTFS for Mac could ‘hijack’ the mounting of certain unformatted media.
  • Storing the Mac OS X backup timestamp is now supported.
  • Preference pane is partly rewritten to be more robust and to leave no zombie processes behind.

Also, Tuxera NTFS for Mac has been synchronized with NTFS-3G so that all features and fixes as of NTFS-3G 2010.5.22 are included in the new release of Tuxera NTFS for Mac (see release history).

Tip: To convert your existing extended attributes, stored in ‘._’ files, to the newer storage method there is a command line utility called ‘dot_clean‘ that is relatively easy to use. It is present in Mac OS X 10.5 and later. This is an example of how to use it:

dot_clean /Volumes/NTFSVolume

You must replace ‘/Volumes/NTFSVolume’ with the path to your NTFS volume. This command will scan through an entire hierarchy of directories for ‘._’ files and merge their content into proper extended attributes. For more information about dot_clean, please read the manpage (‘man dot_clean‘).