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Old 11-03-2011, 01:57 PM   #1
jim.thornton
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Filesystems Compatibility with Linux/Windows


I'm setting up my desktop to use Linux. I have had a bugger of a time getting it to install. I tried installing Ubuntu 11.04 and 10.04. I kept getting BusyBox mounting error. I then tried Mint Linux and got some other error (gargabe all over the page but I'm guessing it was the same issue since it's based on Ubuntu).

Anyway... I was finally able to get a distro (Mandriva) to install. It's currently in the process of doing that, re-partitioning and formating.

My questions is that prior to Linux, I had Windows 7 installed. I had partitioned my drive in 2 separate partitions, one as the OS and the other the DATA.

I would like to make it so that my DATA partition is accessible under Linux but the current filesystem is NTFS. I ultimately want to mount it as /home.

Can someone please tell me how to go about this after Mandriva is installed? I've setup up the drive as follows:

500GB:
10GB: PQSERVICE - Acer's recover partition
227GB: EXT4 mounted at /
6GB: Linux SWAP
Remainder: NTFS/DATA
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
arizonagroovejet
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Don't try and put your home directory on an NTFS formatted directory. Even if it works to some extent it won't work well. Home directories should be a filesystem that supports Unix stuff like symbolic and hard links, which NTFS doesn't.

You can use the NTFS partition from Linux, just mount it as /data or something like that. Some distros will automatically detect and mount an NTFS parition, don't know if Mandriva will. It may depend what version of Mandriva you're using.
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
jim.thornton
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My understanding of the linux filesystem and directory structure is that the home directory is typically used for personal files (ie. My Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc). Is this not correct?
 
Old 11-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
arizonagroovejet
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It's correct. The home directory also contains per-user configuration.
 
Old 11-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
hal8000b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim.thornton View Post
Anyway... I was finally able to get a distro (Mandriva) to install. It's currently in the process of doing that, re-partitioning and formating.

My questions is that prior to Linux, I had Windows 7 installed. I had partitioned my drive in 2 separate partitions, one as the OS and the other the DATA.

I would like to make it so that my DATA partition is accessible under Linux but the current filesystem is NTFS. I ultimately want to mount it as /home.

Can someone please tell me how to go about this after Mandriva is installed? I've setup up the drive as follows:

500GB:
10GB: PQSERVICE - Acer's recover partition
227GB: EXT4 mounted at /
6GB: Linux SWAP
Remainder: NTFS/DATA
A distribution very much like Mandriva but easier to use is PCLinuxOS.
PCLinux will install easily with most of the codecs and uses Synaptic as a package manager
easier than Mandriva. However you can install any distro you like.

I'll second what has arizinagroovejet has said.

Never ever use weak file systems like NTFS. Not only is the file system vunerable and it is not journalled and will fragment.
By contrast most linux filesystems are journalled (fragmentation is obsolete) and they offer much better security, reliability and economy than MS systems.

You can read and write to your NTFS system from linux. Keep windows away from your linux system. If you want to share data then you could create an extra partition of type NTFS or VFAT but just for shared data.

Your / partition of 227G is far too large, a better system would be:

25G /
6G /swap
25G /share (type NTFS)
100G /home (or remainder of hard drive space)

The linux partioner can set this up, you just chose manual or expert. You keep
sda1 and sda2 which are your windows and backup partitions, then just setup the
other partitions in the free space.
 
Old 11-03-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
wpeckham
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you wanna do WHAT?

I second arizonagroovejet here. You WILL want to mount that NTFS volume, and you certainly can under Linux. You do NOT want NTFS for any of your Linux standard folder, because NTFS is NOT a Linux stadard filesystem! The standard Linux operations (including those for /home) are not supported on NTFS and you are ASKING for trouble!

Mount it as a volume that is not standard (/data, /u1, or /ntfs perhaps) and ACCESS the filesystem only as needed to prevent doing damage to the data.
 
Old 11-03-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
jim.thornton
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DATA is mainly used as a media storage centre right now. I'll tell you my end goal and maybe someone will have a better way to do this.

My wife uses our digital camera. She uses Windows 7 Home for her desktop. I've setup a batch file for her so that she can just slide the compact flash card into the reader and double click on the batch file icon and it will automatically copy over the folders/pictures to her computer.

I've got media on my DATA drive.

I would like to have one central place that we can have all the media to make it easier. So, I was thinking that I could setup a network drive on her computer and she can just copy the pictures over there. I thought that I could change the location of her Pictures (within her Users directory) so that it uses the network drive.

Can I change the file system without losing the data on DATA?

What's the best way to basically have the DATA available to all computers Windows or Linux.

I wanted to do the same thing for all USERS info (ie. Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc).
 
Old 11-04-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
wpeckham
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Now see, that is a whole different question .... !!

BEST is a fuzzy target, but let me throw some ideas at you and you can pick off the gems.

1. No matter the purpose, using a non-native file system is not a stable and reliable solution. There are LOTS of native file systems for Linux, and I would only trust a handful of the best for a network file server (and that is what you are talking about here). My preference: EXT4.

2. There is no way I know to convert an NTFS file system to anything else non-destructively. If that is a goal, you might back up all of the files on that partition (to an external USB drive perhaps), make that partition a Linux partition and EXT4, then copy all of the files back into the new file system.

3. For sharing files from a Linux box to WINDOWS clients, nothing beats SAMBA. That, after all, is what it was made to do.

4. if you want to WATCH or PLAY media files from that storage, you could easily set up streaming software on the LINUX box and use client software "players" on the other machines.

5. As long as your are making that Linux box a file server and will have other machines on the same network, you can configure it to server in other ways at the same time. (I use mine to collect and display my favorite web comics.)

NOTE: there is nothing about the solution in 3 that precludes the solution in 4 (or vice versa). They can both work at the same time.
 
Old 11-04-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
suicidaleggroll
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If I were in your shoes, I would leave the NTFS drive alone, completely. Buy a new drive to use for your Linux OS, /, /home/, everything, then just mount your NTFS drive, as it sits now, in a new location on the linux box ("/mnt/ntfs", or something like that). You can then set up SAMBA to share your NTFS drive and remote mount it on your Windows boxes.

Option 2, which is a little better, is to do the same thing, but rather than leaving the NTFS drive in-tact, once you get the Linux box set up just copy all of the media off of the NTFS drive to the linux drive, and then either reformat the ntfs as ext4 to use it as your shared drive, or wipe it and plop it back into a windows machine for a second drive.

Hard drives are so ridiculously cheap now that there's no reason not to dump $50 and skip all of the headache of trying to use an NTFS drive for your linux system drive (terrible idea), or try to reformat it without losing all of your data (which you will).

Personally, I have a small SSD ext4 drive for / in my linux box, and a 4TB RAID10 ext4 for /home (which includes all of the user directories, as well as all media, etc). I then just remote mount the media directory (a subdirectory of /home) on all of the windows boxes using SAMBA.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 11-04-2011 at 10:36 AM.
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #10
jim.thornton
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If I use SAMBA will that be accessible to the windows machines as a Drive? Or, will I need to setup an ftp client?

My wife will not understand how to use FileZilla or any other FTP client. I can't even get her to understand how to press the Windows Key + E to open up the file explorer to manually copy pictures over (hence the batch file).

I really don't care how I do it. I have a spare 1TB usb drive that I can copy everything over, I was just trying to avoid that because of the time involved in transferring everything.

That said... Is there a way (and is it smart) to consolidate drives? For example, every computer that I own comes with a ridiculously large hard drive (say 500G+) which is not needed for my work machines. Is there a way that I can consolidate them together across the network? So lets say I have the following:

3 computers:
Let's say each one has 500G (partition it to say 200G/300G) use the 300G as a community drive

Now, use the 900G (3x300G) and consolidate them to 1 network drive accessible to all computers totally 900G?

Obviously, I would not include laptops in this mix because when they are out of the network the data on those drives wouldn't be accessible.

If this is a bad idea or not doable, just say so. I'm not that great with hardware or networking related issues.
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #11
suicidaleggroll
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A SAMBA share will show up as a networked computer, which you can then map to a networked drive on the windows machine (X: for example). My Linux SAMBA share is mapped to the P: drive on all of my windows machines, so it just shows up in the control panel like another drive.

The "consolidating drives" idea sounds like a RAID with drives spread across multiple networked machines. Even if you could pull it off, it's not a good idea in my opinion, as it would be highly susceptible to network outages (and when any one of the machines went down, or any one of the drives went down, you would lose everything on the entire 900GB "drive". Look up RAID0 for more info). You could make the 300GB partition on each machine an individual shared drive though, so you would end up with three 300GB shared drives, rather than one 900GB "drive".
 
Old 11-04-2011, 01:07 PM   #12
jim.thornton
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Okay... I will look into this. Thanks for all the help!

Wow! I really like Mint 11. It's very smooth, but it was a really bugger to install. Both Ubuntu and Mint kept giving me a mounting error and wouldn't boot. I had to install Mandriva first and then Mint. I think installation is a little too simple for Ubuntu. I like the fact that Mandriva had the partition manager come up so that I could reformat my drive first.
 
Old 11-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #13
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Never tried Mint, but I'm not very happy with Ubuntu. It seems to do too much for the user and makes too many assumptions, gets a lot of it wrong, and configures itself into a corner. I have OpenSUSE on my home machine and Fedora on most of the work machines, and I like both. The few VMs and the one USB Live installation of Ubuntu I have have left me less than thrilled...

Good luck with your endeavour
 
  


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