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Old 06-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
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Distribution: Fedora 20
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Fat32 vs NTFS for shared partition

I dual boot, in the process of installing Windows 7 & Fedora 13 on a new drive. Back in the day when it was risky for the newbie to read/write NTFS, I created a "shared" FAT32 partition. Even though the later Fedoras could read/write NTFS fresh out of the box, I have kept the "shared" partition for my important files (email, documents, digital camera pics).

Now that I'm installing Win7 and Fedora 13 on a new hard drive and I'm partitioning my disk, I'm scratching my head trying to decide how I should format this partition. I was considering the FAT32 again, but I'd like 50GB, not just 32. At the same time, I'm thinking of making the size sacrifice because, and maybe this is just carryover from the olden days and groundless, I have an irrational worry about using NTFS for my most important files.

Maybe someone could assuage my fears. Is it just as safe, at this point, for files to be on a NTFS partition and run under Fedora as they are under FAT32?

Thanks a ton!!!
Old 06-19-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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I think that new ntfs-3g driver read/write on ntfs safely but slowly.
However sharing ntfs partition with both OS-es may produce some minor problems.

I was considering the FAT32 again, but I'd like 50GB, not just 32
Fat32 has max filesize of 4 GB but disk size can be 1 TB!
Old 06-19-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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There is no longer any need to use FAT for anything. It is obsolete, insecure, and unsafe.

I don't know why you would worry about NTFS. That FS is vastly more secure and much, much safer than FAT.
Old 06-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2010
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One practical suggestion:

Buy an external hard drive, format it to FAT32 and store files to be shared/used with Windoze users. Partition your internal hard drive to ext4 and use only Linux. Encrypt your /home directory with LUKS (as Fedora allows)and put in a firewall for use when online.

Put external USB hard drive in a pocket and keep it with you at all times if it contains sensitive data.
Old 06-19-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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There is no difference between the two as a security issue. NFTS would be more secure under MS only.

As to a shared folder it does present a security issue to some degree. Since we can assume the OP will be on the web there is much more worry about the web than and cross platform virus or malware that could exist.

Back in the day must be WinMe or less.

NTFS would be my suggestion but I'd use W7 to format it. There are slight changes in that version of NTFS.
Old 06-19-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Manchester UK
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Fedora may read/write but I don't think NTFS knows much about permissions. Why not Ext3 and use Ext2Fsd on Windows?
Old 06-19-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
Registered: Feb 2004
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Thanks a ton for all the answers, I greatly appreciate it. I'd rather not do the external drive cause if/when I take my laptop with me, it's easier to have fewer peripherals. Also I have one of those hardware encrypted drives, and I think it's not possible to have the same hardware encryption turned on if the drive is not being booted into.

I had tried Ext2Fsd a while back, and just couldn't get it to work. I guess I figure this method I used is a bit easier rather than needing to rely on Windows to work.

So I will do NTFS then for formatting, under Windows.

As a corralary, I remembered when I installed F9, there was an encryption option (for lack of a better description...). Would this encrypt just the Fedora partition, or all partitions on the disk (i.e., the shared partition, making it inaccessible under Win7)?

Thanks a ton again for all the quick and helpful info, I greatly appreciate it.


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