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Old 11-15-2005, 06:28 PM   #1
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File system for both Windows and Linux

I'll be setting up a dual-boot system for Windows XP and Linux (haven't decided on Fedora or Debian yet) and aside from the NTFS and ReiserFS partitions for Windows and Linux respectively, I'll be storing most of the files I intend to keep permanently on an external hard drive. Aside from FAT32 (and the older FAT file systems) are there any file systems that are well-supported by both Windows and Linux for reading and writing?

If I have to, I can go with FAT32, but I'd perfer not to have the 4GB file size limit. Even if the file system isn't natively supported by Windows, if it will work with special software installed, I could have a small partition on the external drive that had the software needed by other Windows machines to read the large partition. I hope that made sense - if it didn't let me know and I can try to explain a little more clearly. Thanks in advance.
Old 11-15-2005, 06:34 PM   #2
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It is my understanding that you are pretty much stuck with fat32 for this type of use. Linux NTFS support is coming along nicely though so that may be an option soon. You should probably be looking for this answer in a windows forum as they are much more likely to know what windows can support. You can rest assured that Linux will probably support whatever you choose, unless it is needlessly proprietary like ntfs.

Last edited by uopjohnson; 11-15-2005 at 06:47 PM.
Old 11-15-2005, 06:39 PM   #3
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Sorry chum you are totally stuck with fat32. Theres no other fs that works 100% with both Window$ and Linux.
Old 11-15-2005, 06:47 PM   #4
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EDIT: And rereading I see you said file size and not parttition size....

Last edited by 2damncommon; 11-15-2005 at 06:48 PM.
Old 11-15-2005, 07:04 PM   #5
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Okay, well thanks anyway. As I understand it, it's easy to convert a FAT32 partition to NTFS without data loss, so maybe as soon as support for writing to NTFS is perfected in Linux I can change over from FAT32 to NTFS. Until then I'll just have to split up files larger than 4GB and reassemble temporary copies on my internal hard drive when I need to use them. Thanks again!
Old 11-15-2005, 11:48 PM   #6
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Have you looked at the Captive driver? its free and you can mount NTFS partitions under linux as read/write. I have not actually used it and have seen mixed reviews, but you may find it useful. Paragon software will sell you a similar driver.

Alterantively you could use explorefs to read from an extfs2 or extfs3 partition. Again Paragon has a driver which allows you to mount extfs2/3 partitions read/write under Windows.

If you don't want to part with cash then unfortunately you are stuck with FAT32 for read write and NTFS for read only
Old 11-16-2005, 11:33 AM   #7
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well, not so fast -- google for ext2fsd nifty little utility, allows windows to mount ext2 fs with full read/write support, and last i checked experimentally did ext3 as well (though I never had any problem using ext3, they called it experimental)

so, if you want to go with ext, this should help you out.... it's not the easiest thing to setup in winders, but then again, it's not terribly complicated either


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