Best file system for a shared partiion?

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Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby Dwood on Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:08 pm

I am about to add a 2nd hard drive to act as a shared partition between Linuxmint and windows for all my documents, music, photos etc.

What would be the best file system to format this disk with - fat32, NTFS or Ext3?

Pros and cons:
fat32 - both systems can write natively but can't handle file permissions or large files.
ntfs - mint has ntfs-3g and can easily work with this format
ext3 - windows has a tool to allow read and write access, but how reliable is this, has anyone had any problems with it corrupting the file system for example?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby deadguy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:30 pm

personally, I use ntfs partitions for sharing between Linux and Windows.
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby dodgefan on Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:34 pm

i think it would depend on which pc the drive is physically attached to. i have an external usb drive connected to my xp box and it could be fat32 but i'm pretty sure it is ntfs. i know i do not have ntfs-3g installed but i have shares from the usb drive mounted to directories in home and i have no problems reading and writing to it in mint.
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby curt_grymala on Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:08 pm

ext2 is much more stable than NTFS and FAT32, but will require a special program to be installed before Windows can read/write it.

Personally, I keep my shared partition formatted to ext2. I use ext2ifs (http://www.fs-driver.org/) to read/write that partition in Windows. I had a little trouble getting it installed in Windows Vista, as it told me it didn't install properly. However, after a reboot it began working fine.

NTFS (unless things have changed drastically in the last year or two) is not natively writable by Linux. I don't even think there is a driver you can install on Linux that will write to NTFS. However, FAT32 is natively readable/writable in both Linux and Windows. Therefore, if you want out-of-the-box compatibility on both systems, you have to go with FAT32.

Good luck.
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby merlwiz79 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:24 pm

Linux Mint has had the ability to read and write to ntfs for a good while now.(started with mintDisk)
Where have you been?
Also for Vista I use http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/projects ... tm#ext2fsd
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby curt_grymala on Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:34 pm

merlwiz79 wrote:Linux Mint has had the ability to read and write to ntfs for a good while now.(started with mintDisk)
Where have you been?
Also for Vista I use http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/projects ... tm#ext2fsd


That's good to know about Mint writing to NTFS. I am new to Mint, and never realized that there were drivers for any flavor of Linux that could do that. I stand corrected.

Regarding ext2fsd, I tried that when I got Vista a while back (it's been over a year, now), and it didn't work at all for me. Like I said, though, ext2ifs worked fine after a reboot. It also appears as though ext2ifs has a new version that's been updated to work with Vista.

[edit]One more caveat about using ext2 - I'm not sure if this is an issue with Mint or not, but I know it is a problem when booting into SuSE. Because Windows sets the hardware clock to local time, when you boot into Linux, fsck detects an error ("last write time is in the future") on your ext2 partition. fsck will then fix the problem, but it can take a while to do so, so booting can be considerably slower than it would otherwise be.[/edit]
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby merlwiz79 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:53 pm

I didn't have any problems with the ext2 driver in Vista.
Nor do I have any problems with the time getting changed.
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby Fred on Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:57 am

Dwood,

Since Mint supports NTFS quite nicely out-of-the-box, I would recommend using it instead of the other alternatives mentioned in this thread so far.

Sorry merlwiz79, but I think it is a very bad idea to use any program on Windows that gives access to your Linux partitions. Windows does not honor Linux file permissions, therefore an infected Windows system can tamper, at will, with your Linux install. It is tantamount to giving Windows root permissions on your Linux install. As venerable as Windows is to every illness that comes down the pike, you may as well post your root or sudo password on a cracker forum somewhere. Yes, you can set the program in Windows to read only, but if you have control of a Windows box, how hard is it to change the .ini file from "write=false" to "write=true"?

NTFS as a shared file system is your best and safest bet.

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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby Dwood on Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:05 pm

Thanks for all the advice.

I think i will go with ntfs. I have used this before in Mint and never had any problems, so will stick with what I know.

I am using the shared partition for data ie music, photos etc.
Now I have an extra hard drive I want to make back up copies of these and then keep them in sync with each other. Could any one recommend a suitable programme?

Cheers, thanks for all the help.
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby Fred on Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:59 pm

Dwood,

There is a GUI program called "conduit" I believe it is. I have never used it myself but have heard others say it worked for them. If you wanted something industrial strength and tailored to your exact needs you could write a small script using rsync.

Hope this helps.

Fred
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Re: Best file system for a shared partiion?

Postby dodgefan on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:57 pm

i checked and my shared drive is ntfs and i have shared folders on it mounted in mint using the fstab file. can read and write to it with no issues
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