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Old 09-21-2004, 09:44 PM   #1
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Is such a configuration easy or even possible?

Hello everyone,

I am in the process of setting up Linux again on my laptop with the intentions of actually doing some useful work on it this time.

To this end , I was thinking of having a particular configuration (described below) setup so as to fit my needs best. I was wondering if the more knowledgable users could let me know if such setting are even possible.

Here goes:

1. Partitions

I have a 60GB internal hard disk and an new 160BG external disk. I want to have a setup in which I can edit the same files from both WinXP and Linux. I know ( I think !?) that currently NTFS does not allow Linux to write to files. So I was planning to have a small non NTFS partition under WinXP on both the drives so that I could edit files there directly from Linux. I suspect that I would have to make a FAT32 parittion to achieve this. Am I correct or is there a better way. From what I have read, FAT32 is not the most efficient of systems and could pose problems with WinXP. Is ReiserFS a vaiable option?

2. Email and Browser

I currently use Thunderbird and Opera on WinXP and very satisfied with both of them. I would like to be able to use them in Linux also and I know that Linux versions of both exist. My problem is this.
I would like to configure Opera under both the OSes so that any changes that I make to the Opera (like adding bookmarks, history etc) are visible under either OS. How do I go about installing Opera under Linux so as to achieve the desired results?

The same is the case with Thunderbird. I have two email accounts: one IMAP based and the other POP based. I would like to configure Thunderbird so that I can see the POP based email account from both OSes and have access to all downloaded emails in both. I think this won't be a problem with the IMAP account.

Is this whole think too ambitious for a relative newbie, if at all possible?

You comments, suggestions and criticisms would be most welcome.


Old 09-21-2004, 10:35 PM   #2
bruno buys
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
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1. It is possible. When installing, xp asks if you wanna format your drive with ntfs or fat32, so, i conclude it can be installed with fat32 entirely. Anyway, you can build a dedicated fat32 just for sharing files between OSes.

2. I'm not sure but i think that you can achieve, at least, a partial degree of success on this issue. I have debian and suse installed here, and I can save my entire .thunderbird dir from debian into suse. When I run thunderbird under suse, it reads this dir and works perfectly like in debian. But under win, maybe the dir structure is different, or something...
You can, however, set your servers with the "Leave message on server", so that when you switch os, it will download again. I do this here, depends on whether your server enables support for this.

Last edited by bruno buys; 09-21-2004 at 10:41 PM.
Old 09-21-2004, 11:04 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: Debian
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FAT32 will not cause any problems with XP - it's one of its native filesystems! It's not efficient in terms of storage, especially on larger partitions, as small files can take up quite a bit (relatively speaking) of extra space, but there is nothing overly slow or dodgy about it. There is another limitation to consider - FAT32 cannot handle huge files, as in over 4GB, so if you are planning to store whole DVDs on your large drive, you will need to look at which system needs write access for that sort of thing.

If you would like to try Reiser, you will need an add-on for XP, like this one I am not brave enough to try other filesystems under XP, so I can't make a recommendation for that software. FAT32 would be the safest and easiest way to go - there is little chance of data corruption from either system.

I don't use thunderbird, but bruno seems to have answered that for you.

As for Opera - this could be a little tricky, but I think it is doable. You need to keep separate copies of your opera6.ini file because they store whole paths, which aren't compatible between the systems, but you could store the other files from your profile directory on your FAT32 partition, and update the paths in both system's INI files to look there instead. I do this to share my bookmarks, but I haven't tested more than this.


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