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Thread: Linux and NTFS

  1. #1
    Member ookabooka's Avatar
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    Linux and NTFS

    Just a quick question. Can linux read NTFS partitions? I wanted to isntall my windows XP pro as a NTFS partition just for fun, but I want to be able to read the files under linux. One of my friends said it worked fine, and just ignored all the permissions. Anyone have experience with this?

    P.S. RH8

  2. #2
    Senior Member Titan386's Avatar
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    Yep, it reads NTFS fine. You've got to have support for it in your kernel.

    It can also write NTFS. But be warned: the driver is still under development, and is known to cause lots of problems, corruption, etc. From what I've heard, it appears to work fine until you boot in windows, and all sorts of trouble starts.

    The read-only driver works great though. I've been using it for a few months with 0 problems.

    To mount a ntfs partition, you do:
    mount -t ntfs /dev/hd** /mnt/your_mount_point_here

  3. #3
    Member ookabooka's Avatar
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    thanks. I think ill just go with fat32 then. Since I don't really have a genuine reason to go with NTFS other than to say I have it, I am more interested in having a seemless integration of OS's. Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Titan386's Avatar
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    Yeah, might as well just use FAT32. I've got both types right now, and I've never seen a difference (besides it being read-only in linux).

    Have fun.

  5. #5
    Fat32 is usually more prone to corrupting itself and things like that.

  6. #6
    Long of the short of it:
    Much less file corruption (NTFS journals, meaning it makes notes about files before it alters them so if you lose power during a write it can undo it or finish it when power gets back)
    More space (max HD size allocatable is in the petas with NTFS IIRC)
    More *cough* Secure (NTFS is supposedly more secure. I don't buy it though, journaling in of itself means you have a record of recent activity in the partition space. It's the same reason I use ext2 still instead of ext3.)
    Way I helped a friend setup their dual boot was to have partitions as follows:
    NTFS for software
    FAT32 for files between the two (i.e. Documents, music, whatnot)
    Then hit Ext3 stuff for Linux.
    It works well unless you run Wine(X) and have it want to write to the NTFS drive.

    Stolid

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by XWRed1
    Fat32 is usually more prone to corrupting itself and things like that.
    Amen to that... I mean, really, NTFS has been around longer than a lot of better-supported technologies.... the driver for writing to NTFS partitions really should be better at this point.
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  8. #8
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    When I dual boot I put windows on a fat32, but I could care less what happens to any windows os on my comps. What is a good idea is to put windows on an ntfs and then have a neurtal fat32 partition where you keep your mp3s, movies, porn, and anything you want to read/write from both sides

  9. #9
    Originally posted by SickBoy


    Amen to that... I mean, really, NTFS has been around longer than a lot of better-supported technologies.... the driver for writing to NTFS partitions really should be better at this point.
    Well they've reverse engineered most everything but the journal. From what I understand, writing to NTFS partitions is safe as long as you have the latest driver (not sure if this is in the stock kernel or not) and are sure to use the ntfsfix utility to clear the journal before you let Windows mount it.

  10. #10
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    NTFS support in Linux is read only. It won' t write to NTFS partitions from 2k or XP.
    And if you have an old NT4 NTFS partition, you better use ntfsfix before booting into windows again when you have written stuff.

    See /usr/src/linux/Documentation/filesystems/ntfs.txt

    Alex

  11. #11
    Is_907's Avatar
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    klingens: as Titan said in the first reply there IS NTFS write support compilable in 2.4.x kernels.

    i find it works wonders and when i dual boot i couldn't live without ntfs and smbfs =)

    i haven't seen much difference between FAT32 and NTFS but 2k doesn't give the option for fat32 and i'm not about to go back to XP.

    btw, since we are talking about linux and file systems be sure and use ReiserFS or ext3 instead of ext2 (Slackware 8.1 gives those 3 options when you install not sure about the other distros)

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  12. #12
    Win2k has always given me the option to install onto fat32 if I want, ditto for formatting a partition.

    The big differences between fat32 and ntfs are:
    1) Reliability
    2) File and disk sizes
    3) File permissions
    4) Alot of the more special things you can do in Win2k need or want ntfs.
    5) Built in filesystem encryption
    6) Built in filesystem compression

  13. #13
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    I still like NTFS better than FAT32 for w2k OS/system partition. MY screw up was putting it in the first partition as NTFS so now I can't dual boot with 98se/DOS.

    Speaking of Linux file systems, is there any clear advantage of RieserFS over Ext3?
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  14. #14
    Reiserfs has better small file performance and can be resized on the fly, but isn't quite as compatible as ext3 is.

    Reiserfs v4 is supposed to be pretty revolutionary and killer though, I hear.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by XWRed1
    Reiserfs has better small file performance and can be resized on the fly, but isn't quite as compatible as ext3 is.

    Reiserfs v4 is supposed to be pretty revolutionary and killer though, I hear.
    I couldn't get Knoppix to write to a RieserFS partition but I could to FAT32 all day long. It was read/write enabled. Supposedly it's able to use RFS. I'll try Ext3 next and see if it works. Knoppix found my Ext2 swap partition with no problem. Unlike windows, Linux doesn't seem to need to swap very much.
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  16. #16
    Member nil_esh's Avatar
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    I would NOT put WinXP on fat32. I've seen a good WinXP installation die a terrible death because of that. What I do for dual boot is make a 1GB fat32 partition. Your decision as to the size of this may vary.

  17. #17
    Originally posted by Audioaficionado


    I couldn't get Knoppix to write to a RieserFS partition but I could to FAT32 all day long. It was read/write enabled. Supposedly it's able to use RFS. I'll try Ext3 next and see if it works. Knoppix found my Ext2 swap partition with no problem. Unlike windows, Linux doesn't seem to need to swap very much.
    Linux swap partitions aren't formatted as ext2.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by XWRed1


    Linux swap partitions aren't formatted as ext2.
    Libranet 2.0 created the swap as Ext2. Maybe that was the first thing that went wrong with that abortive installation attempt LOL. Knoppix also states that in the absence of a dedicated linux swap, it will create an Ext2 file environment within the swap file it creates on a FAT32 partition.
    Last edited by Audioaficionado; 01-15-03 at 11:25 AM.
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  19. #19
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    ext3 is very decent... however RFS seems to feel faster on my machine *shrug*

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  20. #20
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    Once I sort out my M$ w2k/98 dual boot problem, I've got to put Linux on my HD. Knoppix is fun but I also want to expirence the performance benefits only a HD installation can give you.
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