For the average user, a new kernel release usually makes no difference. If everything is already working fine, there there typically only 2 major reasons anyone should update their kernel. The first is for necessary or critical security problems (most people aren’t affected by every vulnerability). The second is the need for new features or hardware support, which is probably my primary reason to test a new kernel.
The release of 2.6.15 mentions a limited form of NTFS Write support.
NTFS write support: NTFS finally implements write support so “vim /ntfs/foo.txt” works. You can write(2) to a file even beyond the end of the existing file. Resident non-resident files and are supported. Sparse files can also be written and holes will be filed appropriately. truncate(2), ftruncate(2) and open(2) with O_TRUNC flag also works. There’re some limitations with heavily fragmented files which you won’t be allowed to change. Also, notice that creation/deletion of files and directories is still not supported and mmap(2) based writes is still not complete
Previously write support was incredibly “experimental” which means risky. I am still not willing to try this, but it seems very useful for me. However in the end, I am still not able to freely utilize the gigabytes of free NTFS disk space in Linux, which is what I require.
The standard kernel works perfectly with NTFS read. There is the Captive FS project which uses Windows XP files to read and write NTFS. I’ve used this with some success. Additionally there is the commercial Paragon NTFS which works somewhat better than Captive, but costs $70.