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Old 08-04-2016, 09:15 AM   #1
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Question A question about multi-boot with Linux

I have a Windows 7 Pro Installation, which works great. I have tried Linux many times before, so I understand how to do an installation as long as it's not too advanced in configuration.

I'm interested in running Linux in multi-boot with Windows, but I would like to make sure, that there is no access between OS's.

If you ever multibooted Windows with a previous version, you will know, that NTFS directories are open in the other os and vice versa. This is unsecure in my opinion.

Now I know Linux uses ext4 or some other filesystem similar to it, but I understand there are facilities for FAT and NTFS.

How can I be completely sure, that I don't have access to Windows from Linux partitions and from Linux to Windows partitions.

As you know, all or most OS's run maintenance tasks. Sometimes this involves placing logs in the filesystems accessed. Or windows indexing might index files or drives and etc. I also want to make sure nothing like that happens.

I'm pretty good with configurations but no expert.

What additional steps do I take after an installation to make sure I have properly isolated the OS's from themselves, for security and best practices.

Last edited by Rob0Tix; 08-04-2016 at 09:17 AM.
Old 08-04-2016, 12:12 PM   #2
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Linux can read ntfs partitions provided that this is activated in the kernel. It cannot write to them without the ntfs-3g package. So if you don't install this, your ntfs disks can't be corrupted by Linux. If you blacklist the ntfs module so that your kernel can't load it, your Windows partitions can't be read either.

Windows used to be incapable of reading any native Linux filesystem, but I don't know if this is the case for recent versions.
Old 08-04-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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In addition to the suggestion above, you can create a mount point for you windows partition and use the noauto,ro options similar to the entry below using your UUID.

UUID=519CB82E5888AD0F  /mnt/Data  ntfs  noauto,ro,umask=222  0 0
I'm not aware of any windows version which is capable by default of reading a Linux partition much less writing to it. There is or was third party software that was supposed to be able to do this. Have you tried booting your windows and accessing Linux partition from it?

If you decide to upgrade to windows 10, it will rewrite your partition table and will probably not include the Linux partition.
Old 08-04-2016, 03:59 PM   #4
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I have to use 3rd party software to access my Linux partitions from Windows 7/8/8.1/10
FWIW, my fave is Ext2Mgr
Old 08-05-2016, 02:32 AM   #5
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Personally I just wouldn't bother mounting it in the first place, but yancek's suggestion is another option.
Old 08-05-2016, 08:45 AM   #6
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I'd use VirtualBox ... a free virtual-machine monitor backed by Oracle Corporation.

Run a VM on the Windows host, and run Linux in the VM.
Old 08-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #7
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You could consider full drive encryption on both sides (although it would be less important for the Linux side since, as others have commented, Windows doesn't readily read ext filesystems anyway). That way, both sides will be able to recognise the other as existing as partitions, but be unable to access any of the partition data without the encryption password.


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