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Old 08-28-2005, 05:12 PM   #1
metallicafan_316
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FAT or NTFS partition


I'm currently setting up a new computer to use around 5 different operating systems. I was wondering what the differences between fat and ntfs partitions are, and which I should use for windows XP home, and 4 other linux operating systems. If someone could tell me some basic things about these different partitions that would be great. thanks.
 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:18 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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well firstly they both bite ;-) NTFS is more capable than FAT, but FAT (or rather, FAT32) is better for interoperability with Linux on a dual boot system. if you are not planning on sharing data between XP and Linux on the SAME machine, then your choice of Windows filesystem is of no relevance to Linux.
 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:23 PM   #3
metallicafan_316
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ok, so... it doesnt matter what I use? so I should just use either one for all my partitions and it will be good enough to use?.. I think thats what you mean anyway. lol, thanks.
 
Old 08-28-2005, 05:42 PM   #4
spooon
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First of all, the NTFS/FAT question concerns only your Windows partitions. The Linux installations will use different filesystems than these.

So NTFS has the advantages that it supports keeping track of owners of files and permissions and access controls and stuff that FAT doesn't have. WinXP by default makes NTFS partitions.

But Linux currently only has read-only support for NTFS; which means if you want to be able to write to one of you "Windows partitions" from Linux, that partition has to be FAT. If that is not something you need, then NTFS partitions are fine.

If you need to transfer files from Linux to Windows, instead of writing to Windows partitions from Linux, alternatively, there are many third-party programs that let you access ext2/ext3 filesystems from Windows. Here's some of them:
* http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/explore2fs.htm
* http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html
* http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/proje...ts.htm#ext2fsd

Last edited by spooon; 08-28-2005 at 05:43 PM.
 
Old 08-28-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
sundialsvcs
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Think carefully about your configuration... and write down "which operating system needs to have access to what." Be explicit and detailed. Look for any conflicts. This will tell you which FS you may use.

As far as Windows filesystems go, NTFS is clearly-preferable to FAT32. Linux support for it is limited (as we write this... no doubt very soon to change), but that may not even be an issue for you.
 
Old 08-29-2005, 12:03 AM   #6
jharris1993
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Quote:
Originally posted by sundialsvcs
Think carefully about your configuration... and write down "which operating system needs to have access to what." Be explicit and detailed. Look for any conflicts. This will tell you which FS you may use.

As far as Windows filesystems go, NTFS is clearly-preferable to FAT32. Linux support for it is limited (as we write this... no doubt very soon to change), but that may not even be an issue for you.
You may want to do a web search for "linux ntfs" - you will find a link to the Linux NTFS project. AFAIK, the current NTFS drivers support R/W to NTFS.

Likewise (again AFAIK), the latest Knoppix distro's (3.9/4.0 as of this writing) support writing to NTFS.

Additionally, most current distro's support reading and writing to USB devices (like thumb-drives, etc.) so that's another way to do it.

As for me, I very very seldom have to move stuff from Linux to Windows, however I often move things the other way - setting up my wireless cards using driverloader, for example - so one of the very first things I install when I do a linux install is the NTFS support.

Since I often set up dual boot systems - currently I do W2k or WXP and Fedora-2 - it's convienant for me to be able to do things like this.

Jim
 
  


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