On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:41 PM,  <za...@gmx.com> wrote:
> Does FreeDOS support any file system that has customizable metadata
> (also known as extended attributes)?

The kernel itself only directly supports FAT. Anything else (AFAIK,
and I'm no expert) has to come from a loadable driver using the
redirector interface, e.g. ISO9660 (CD) via UIDE.SYS (or VIDE,

> All modern file systems do.

That's great, but there aren't enough skilled volunteers (plus zero
funding) to do this for FreeDOS. It's not impossible, just unpopular
and thus unlikely.

> The only feature that I need is extended attributes, so I don't care about
> journaling or other features.

As mentioned, you'll probably have to do it manually, e.g. use
DESCRIPT.ION files from 4DOS or maybe something more detailed with
other tools.

P.S. Of course since it's unprotected (real) mode, you can also just
write an .EXE to do your direct sector reads / writes. This is also
how many DOS programs access lower-level file systems that aren't
directly supported by DOS. For instance, FreeDOS 1.0 (2006) had
several such programs: hfsutil, ihpfs, ltools, ntfs (though I don't
see TestDisk, but that's yet another one).

P.P.S. I vaguely recall (but never tried) that there used to be such a
(shareware?) DOS driver from Paragon Software [EDIT: IFSDRV?] that
could read ext2 and some others. A quick check doesn't find any
obvious links on their website except a mention of (presumably the
successor product) "Rescue Kit 11 Free Edition" (which doesn't mention
DOS explicitly, but it is a "bootable, platform independent recovery
CD"). If you wish to download that and check, you might find it
(possible but unlikely, dunno). Maybe someone else on this list knows
more about the old shareware driver, but I dunno beyond that.

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