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digerati1338 06-08-2008 10:33 PM

Linux/Windows Shared Documents
 
I'm putting together a new computer build for myself next week and was thinking about partitioning options to share my "Documents" folder between Linux and Windows. Right now, on my old system, I've got symlinks in /home/mike pointing to folders on my windows partition (/home/mike/music points to C:\Documents and Settings\Mike\My Documents\My Music).

On my new system, I'll be running a dual boot with Vista and Linux. I use linux 90% of the time. Windows is mainly for gaming and stuff that doesn't work on linux. I also like ext3 better than NTFS because it is more stable and doesn't require defragging. So ideally I'd like to have a separate /home partition formatted as ext3 that both Linux and Windows use. Piece of cake on the Linux side, but I'm not sure if Vista will play nicely. I know there is an ext3 driver available for vista, but its the moving user folder part that will be tricky.

Two possible approaches are to move "C:\Documents and Settings\Mike" to point to "/home/mike", but this leads to linux and windows "system" files occupying the same space and possible causing problems. I could also individually point "My Documents" and "Desktop" to /home/mike/documents and /home/mike/Desktop, which sounds like the better solution right now. Either way, I'd have to deal with moving some registry keys in Vista I think.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

stress_junkie 06-08-2008 10:50 PM

I did something like this in Windows XP recently except that I didn't use the ext3 file system. I used NTFS. Nevertheless it was very easy.

While running Windows I formatted a partition with NTFS and configured it to appear as drive E. Then on my normal user account in Windows I deleted the user specific directories for My Music, My Videos, and My Pictures. I created E:\music, E:\pictures, and E:\videos. Then under the normal user account C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents I created a link for each directory naming them as Windows would name them; My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

I found that I had to tell the software that creates content, such as Media Player and Hauppauge PVR software, to place their material into the E:\whatever directories. It all works very well under Windows. No registry keys need to be changed.

Then of course under Linux I just mount the partition wherever I want. Easy.

jiml8 06-08-2008 11:52 PM

there won't be any trouble with Windows system files residing on a partition that Linux also uses, presuming of course that the partition is only mounted once. In other words, Windows mounts it OR Linux mounts it, but not both at the same time.

You could easily use c:\Documents and Settings as your Linux /home/ directory, if you wish. The downside is that the dot files in linux will all show in Windows. Also, if the NTFS filesystem gets corrupted, you can only fix it from Windows.

digerati1338 06-09-2008 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jiml8
You could easily use c:\Documents and Settings as your Linux /home/ directory, if you wish. The downside is that the dot files in linux will all show in Windows. Also, if the NTFS filesystem gets corrupted, you can only fix it from Windows.

This is essentially what I want, but I want to use an ext3 filesystem instead of NTFS. Obviously, I can't install windows to an ext3 partition, so I would have to move my "C:\Documents and Settings\" folder to point to my "E:\" drive, which would be formatted as ext3. AFAIK, this is possible with some registry editing - otherwise some applications try to save things in the old directory.

I was also contemplating whether it would be better to make linux "/home" and windows "E:\ (Documents and settings)" be the same, or if it would be smarter to go one more level down the directory tree so that "/home/mike/desktop" would go to "E:\Mike\Desktop" and "/home/mike/documents" would go to "E:\Mike\My Documents", but "/home/mike" would not point to "E:\Mike". This way OS-specific files and configuration files (and most hidden dot files) in the home directory don't get mixed up, but documents, music, desktop, etc are still the same.


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