[conspire] More on resizing NTFS

Edmund J. Biow biow at bigfoot.com
Tue Oct 29 11:51:24 PST 2002

Apparently Acronis OS will also be offered as part of SuSE Enterprise 
Desktop, which is being announced today & will ship in first quarter of 
next year:

The distro seems to be part of a SuSE effort to make inroads in the 
Windows desktop OS market & will come with Codeweavers Crossover Office, 
which will allow users to install and run MS Orifice and Lotus Notes, as 
well as other popular Windows apps.  

  Quoting from the article:
 Acronis OS Selector is one of those disk management products that 
pitches itself at the weak-willed and foolish by saying it "allows you 
to install up to 100 and even more operating systems (OSs) on one 
computer, boot an OS from any partition on any hard disk, have several 
operating system on the same partition." Trust us, this road leads to 
madness very quickly - we're sure it's very good, but stick to two, max. 
Looking frrom the point of view of SuSE Linux Desktop, it works with YasT2 
to get the installer past that tricky stage of getting Linux onto a Windows 
machine without destroying everything, and it's significant that SuSE is 
going for a commercial disk/boot manager here.

YaST itself is said by SuSE to be a be able to do the necessary 
re-arrangement of Win9x partitions, so presumably Acronis is there to 
handle XP and 2000. More properly though the differentiation should be 
between FAT32 and NTFS partitions, YaST being able to understand the 
former but not the latter. If you have a choice about it, we suggest 
you'll be a lot happier and more interoperable if you stick to FAT32 
rather than installing XP or 2k on NTFS. Some major manufacturers we've 
noticed actually ship machines configured like this, but don't tell 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Moen" <rick at linuxmafia.com>
To: <conspire at linuxmafia.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2002 2:00 AM
Subject: [conspire] More on resizing NTFS

 > Quoting from my summary:
 >   Proprietary / terms of redistribution unknown:
 >   o  ASPLinux distribution installer's ASPDiskManager utility:
 >      downloadable CD image, http://www.asp-linux.com/
 > I checked it out.  OK, folks, this is a weird one.
 > "ASPLinux" is an RPM-based distibution produced in Russia by a company
 > called SWsoft, which has Linux-related subsidiaries in the USA, South
 > Korea, China, and Singapore (ASPLinux Pte. Ltd.).   Looks like most of
 > the Linux business is in Singapore, but the coders are in Russia.  One
 > of the advantages claimed for it is the ability to resize NTFS during
 > installation, using an included "ASPDiskManager" utility.  
 > Which is, of course, what got my interest.
 > Where is it?
 > ------------
 > There are i386 and PPC[1] versions.  And there are lots of download sites
 > for the i386 ISOs:
 > ftp://ftp-linux.cc.gatech.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://fddisunsite.oit.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/asplinux
 > ftp://ftp.oit.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/asplinux
 > ftp://ftp.metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/asplinux
 > http://rpmfind.net/linux/ASPLinux/i386/7.3/
 > rsync://download.asplinux.ru::ASPLinux/i386/current/
 > ftp://fr.rpmfind.net/linux/ASPLinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.ese-metz.fr/pub/Linux/distributions/asp-linux/i386/current/
 > http://fr.rpmfind.net/linux/ASPLinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.duth.gr/pub/ASPLinux/
 > ftp://ftp.ntua.gr/pub/linux/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.fsn.hu/pub/CDROM-Images/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.kddlabs.co.jp/Linux/distributions/ASPLinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.kr.psi.net/pub/mirrors/asp-linux/
 > ftp://ftp.surfnet.nl/pub/os/Linux/distr/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/os/Linux/distr/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://ftp.clear.net.nz/mirror/ftp.asp-linux.com/i386/7.1/
 > ftp://ftp.man.poznan.pl/vols/vol1/sunsite/distributions/asplinux
 > ftp://ftp.gamma.ru/pub/asplinux/i386/7.3/
 > ftp://linux4u.jinr.ru/pub/ASPlinux/i386/7.3/
 > http://download.asplinux.ru/install/ftp/i386/7.3/
 > What is it?
 > -----------
 > The mystifying part was:  Were they really giving this stuff away for
 > free?  Was it one of those deals where only the Deluxe Edition boxed
 > set had the impressive goodies?
 > I also noticed a press release saying ASPLinux Pte. Ltd. had become an
 > authorised distributor for Acronis OS Selector, one of the retail,
 > you-may-not-redistribute packages that do NTFS resizing.  So, I e-mailed
 > ASPLinux Pte. Ltd. asking (1) What are ASPDiskManager's licence terms?
 > (2) Is source code available to the public?  (3) Is there any connection
 > between ASPDiskManager and Acronis OS Selector?
 > The next morning, I got a telephone call, not from ASPLinux/SWsoft, but
 > rather _Acronis_.  They wanted to know what I was digging into, so I
 > told them.  They said ASPDiskManager _is_ Acronis OS Selector, included
 > in ASPLinux under licence.
 > So, I downloaded an ISO of ASPLinux v. 7.3 disk 1 (of 3).  Burned it to
 > disk.  Booted it.  Very nice graphical installer.  Pick your language,
 > pick your mouse type, pick _custom_ installation (overriding the default
 > of quick installation), select installation source (CD), pick custom
 > partitioning (default).  You're now in ASPDiskManager.  Hot damn!
 > It seems quite impressive.  If you highlight an existing partition and
 > select the Edit button, you see an Edit Partition screen whose options
 > include Resize.  It will resize NTFS, FAT, ext2/ext3, XFS, and Reiser!
 > I didn't have any partitions I cared to sacrifice, let alone NTFS ones,
 > but likely you just exit the ASPDiskManager screen and then hard boot
 > and eject the CD (if you just needed the resizer, and don't want to
 > install ASPLinux).
 > How free is free?
 > -----------------
 > Time for a review of software types classified by licence.
 > o  Proprietary / non-redistributable.  E.g., most retail software.
 >    You open the box, and see a licence, which probably has a lot
 >    of nasty restrictions, including maybe it being allegedly
 >    non-transferrable (which courts have held to be bunk) and that
 >    you may not hand out copies.  Many people don't realise that, even
 >    if no explicit licence said so, it would still be unlawful to
 >    redistribute it, _by default_.  The Copyright Act reserves that
 >    right to the copyright holder.
 >    That's right:  Software is proprietary by default.  It takes an
 >    explicit licence to change this.
 > o  Proprietary / redistributable.  E.g., shareware.  If you read the
 >    README for a piece of shareware, it says you're welcome to
 >    re-upload it, even though you're allegedly prohibited from
 >    modifying it, reverse-engineering it, decompiling it, etc.
 >    A lot of people assume that anything you find downloadable for free
 >    from the Internet is therefore lawfully redistributable.  Not so.
 >    Again, that right is reserved, by default.  For example, after
 >    Microsoft save Corel from collapse with a huge investment, Corel
 >    discontinued downloads of WordPerfect 8.0 Download Personal Edition
 >    for Linux, _and_ apparently telephoned CNET and Tucows, saying
 >    "Pull those files."  Because WP 8.0 DPE for Linux never included
 >    a grant of permission to redistribute, CNET and Tucows were forced
 >    to comply.[2]
 >    A lot of such software does exist on the Net, some of it with source
 >    code.  Where the copyright owners aren't being zealous in going
 >    after people, often it circulates for decades.  In some cases, they
 >    intended this and just failed to include a licence statement -- or
 >    wrote that permission in a letter, or on a Web page, or in a
 >    telephone conversation.  Any of those might suffice:  A licence
 >    is whatever a judge agrees is one.
 >    But the point is that, if you _don't_ have any sort of licence,
 >    then at best you can convince the judge that you lawfully downloaded
 >    it:  You have no inherent right to redistribute.  If you do
 >    redistribute, you run the risk of the copyright owner coming
 >    screaming at you, telling you that you may not (and worse things,
 >    in these days of DMCA legal action).
 >    A more current example is Borland Kylix Open Edition.  You can
 >    download it directly from Borland for free -- but its terms very
 >    explicitly omit permission to redistribute.  (In fact, just in
 >    case you're unclear on that point, it's actually forbidden.)
 >    If they wished, Borland could also designate other authorised
 >    download sites -- like CNET's download.com and Tucows, for example.
 >    But all of those sites could be shut off without advance notice,
 >    and nobody would have the right to offer it elsewhere.
 > o  Open source.  This is software that _is_ explicitly redistributable,
 >    and whose further development anyone may take over ("fork").  As
 >    noted, this isn't possible without a licence, since the default
 >    licence (inherent in the Copyright Act) is proprietary.
 > But what the hell is this...?
 > -----------------------------
 > Which brings us back to ASPLinux, ASPDiskManager, and Acronis OS
 > Selector.  Acronis OS Selector is very much in the proprietary /
 > non-redistributable category.  But what about ASPLinux (which _includes_
 > Acronis OS Selector, under licence)?
 > I read the README.  It says you're explicitly allowed to redistribute.
 > It's obvious that the ASPLinux installer as a whole (including
 > ASPDiskManager) falls basically into the second category, above
 > (proprietary / redistributable).  There's no sign of source code for it,
 > so nobody's going to be able to maintain ASPDiskManager independently
 > of SWsoft.  And there's no obvious way to extract just ASPDiskManager
 > from the installer, and pass it around separately.  But it looks like
 > ASPLinux disk 1 can be distributed indefinitely.
 > Acronis may eventually become unhappy about this -- as it puts a bit
 > of a monkeywrench in their product sales model.  They might convey
 > that unhappiness to ASPLinux Pte Ltd. / SWsoft, who conceivably might
 > yank existing ISOs from ftp sites it controls and ask removal from
 > others.  But I _believe_ they could _not_ compel the files' removal.
 > (I'm not a lawyer.)
 > So...
 > -----
 > Linux users who're in the habit of helping people create MS-Windows
 > dual-boot setups might want to add ASPLinux disk1 to their kits.
 > It appears to be as redistributable as the open-source (but scarily
 > prerelease) ntfsresize utility, and even more than BootIt NG (which
 > may not be redistributed by companies or for money).  And by all means
 > put one or both of the rescue disks with the open-source Partimage
 > partition-imaging utility in your kits (http://mkcdrec.ota.be/ ,
 > http://rescuecd.sourceforge.net/).  Both are toolkits, but the latter
 > one has preconstructed images, too.
 > [1] There used to be a version of Windows NT for PowerPC, with NTFS
 > support.  So, it's quite possible that ASPLinux for PPC includes an
 > NTFS resizer, and that such a feature would not be entirely pointless.
 > However, it seems very unlikely that the Linux community would have to
 > deal with such computers, at this late date.
 > [2] One can still find WP 8.0 DPE elsewhere.  Presumably, Corel quit
 > after getting it removed from the two largest download sites.  The
 > point is that Corel _could_ enjoin all the others, too.
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