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Old 05-02-2014, 03:48 PM   #1
jross
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Windows Files Viewable in Linux (Dual Boot)


Linux newbie here.

I recently installed Xubuntu 14.04 as a dual boot alongside Windows XP. I just let the xubuntu installer do the partition set up automatically, so I did not do anything to customize the installation. All seemed to go well.

There is an icon on my xubuntu desktop that the tooltip says "removable volume not mounted yet" I finally got around to checking that out and when I open it, to my surprise I can access all my files from XP. Then I realized the long number identifying the icon was the name of my Windows XP C drive partition. After opening, the tooltip identifies it as "removable volume mounted in "/media/my user name/name of c drive"

I am not very technical on the windows side of things either, so I did a lot of research and watching videos and tutorials about dual booting linux alongside windows before the installation. Not one of those said anything about being able to view the XP files from inside linux. So you can imagine my surprise!

To be clear: I think this is great! However, since that was never mentioned once, I am concerned that maybe this is not supposed to happen or that there could be a security risk in this situation.

So basically, I just want to know if this is "normal" for a dual boot linux set up and/or if it presents any security issues?
 
Old 05-02-2014, 04:32 PM   #2
joe_2000
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The behavior is completely normal. Linux supports the ntfs filesystem that is used by windows and detects the windows partition as a "removable" storage device.

Note this does not work the other way round. Windows is not able to read ext filesystems out of the box...
 
Old 05-02-2014, 04:33 PM   #3
jefro
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Linux has been able to read windows formats for decades. As windows improved (stole from IBM) their NTFS, linux developers took a bit longer to be able to read and write to ntfs. Similar to that is the exfat which was closed too for a while.

In a normal system, a common user should (in my opinion) not have read/write permission on windows drives. It is possible that you are not a standard user or have elevated permissions or some other issue that allows you access. It is not bad, just a risk to your data.

Best practices would suggest that you do not run as an elevated user and do not allow standard users to mount disks.
 
Old 05-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
yancek
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Read/write to windows VFAT and ntfs partitions has been available on almost all Linux distributions for years. I don't know what sites you went to, maybe they didn't direct themselves to the question or maybe they were old. It is normal although you may not have write ability to ntfs except as root/admin user. The page below indicates rw is default on Xubuntu. I don't use Xubuntu so don't know how accurate that is.


http://www.techques.com/question/24-...writes-allowed

Don't expect to do the reverse from windows. You would have to find and download and install third party software for xp, if you can find it.
 
Old 05-03-2014, 04:40 AM   #5
jross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
In a normal system, a common user should (in my opinion) not have read/write permission on windows drives. It is possible that you are not a standard user or have elevated permissions or some other issue that allows you access. It is not bad, just a risk to your data.
What do you mean by "a risk to your data"? Are you referring to someone else using my computer and accessing it, or something else?

I am the only person that uses this computer, so my concern regarding security would be more along the line of malware or hacker being able to get into one OS and then is actually is in both.

Again, I just did a normal install, so whatever permissions I have are "out of the box" (as far as I know). I do have to enter a password to install programs and some other things that I believe are considered "root", but I am a newbie so I am new to a lot of this.

Thanks for the responses.
 
Old 05-03-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
joe_2000
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I think when I first ran a Linux live system on my computer I was a little surprised to have access to the windows data as well. It had never occurred to me before that it would be so easy to bypass the windows logon without a password. Which by the way is exactly the same for Linux.
If you want to protect the data from unlegitimate access you have to use encryption. I don't think this is what you are looking for though.
Just be aware that the data you are seeing is the actual data from your windows partition. So if you change or delete it, these changes will also be effective when you boot into Windows...
 
Old 05-03-2014, 01:55 PM   #7
JeremyBoden
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In any OS, you should only login in as admin if you need special privileges.

At other times, a "normal" user is to be preferred.

BTW It is very easy to mount that Windows partition automatically (if wanted).
You can even make its files read-only, should you desire that.
 
Old 05-03-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
cesarbergara
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Hi. For windows partitions you can modify your /etc/fstab modifing:

/dev/hda1 "/media/my user name/name of c drive" auto rw,noauto,nouser,umask=077 0 0

With this line you can:
/dev/hda1 :windows partition
/media/my user name/name of c drive :mount point of partition
auto :select filesystem type automatic. You can type ntfs too.
rw :autorization to write,write
noauto :not mount automatically. You can type auto, and the partition will be mounted every time you boot.
nouser nly can mount or umount the superuser. You can type user, for users mount-umount.
umask=077 nly can read-write the user who mount the partition.

There a lot of options and combinations. Take a look at 'man mount'.

Have a nice day.
 
Old 05-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
JeremyBoden
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Possible correction - that /dev/hda1 is almost certainly going to be /dev/sda1
 
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