Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

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ChrisRevocateur
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Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

Post by ChrisRevocateur » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:52 pm

Hello again everyone,

So I have a laptop that I have dual-booted (Windows 10 Anniversary Update/Linux Mint 18 Sarah Cinnamon Edition).

I am using an SSD for the OS drive, and in Windows I have moved all my user folders over to a traditional HDD that I installed after doing the initial OS installs (I was waiting for a HDD caddy to replace my CD drive).

In Linux right now, everything in my /home folder is still on my SSD. I don't really want to move the entire /home folder, as I want to keep the hidden settings files and the Desktop folder on the SSD for fast booting (as well as "installing" programs that I would run from the /home folder), but I want to move the data folders (Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Public, Templates, etc) off of the SSD and have them set as the same folders I use for my Windows user files (which I moved by going to properties and changing the actual location in the Location tab). Are there settings I need to change like in Windows to change the defaults for these folders, or am I just going to be setting the default save locations per application as I use them?

Also, these will obviously be getting moved to an NTFS partition, is that gonna be a problem (I don't really see why it would be, but I'm no Linux guru).

I also have a problem with mounting USB drives on the system (not hardware related, as the ports work fine in Windows, and devices that aren't storage usb devices like my mouse work just fine through these USB ports in both Windows and Linux). I assume I should probably post a separate question for that problem though.

Thanks again everyone,
Chris Revocateur

Mark Phelps
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Re: Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

Post by Mark Phelps » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:49 pm

YES -- that's going to cause problems.

While it's OK to use an NTFS partition as a general data storage device -- for multimedia files (for example) -- that filesystem has no way of understanding or utilizing Linux filesystem permissions, which you want to retain intact on your "home" folders.

Also, if something happens to any of the folders or files while in Linux, that could easily prevent Windows from booting, and that is going to make it really hard to repair Windows.

So NO, I would NOT share any of the "home" folders with the Windows OS.

Cosmo.
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Re: Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:15 pm

Some additional remarks:

I doubt, that you will notice in boot time, if the home directory is on a magnetic drive. Actually until you lock in the user settings in home are not of interest at all.

On the other side: Although NTFS is supported by Linux, this is not so perfectly as Linux fie systems. The simple reason: NTFS is properietary MS software, the sources are closed. Result: Loading (big) user data from a NTFS partition can take significantly more time. So this is counter productive for your wish.
Further more: If there should happen an error in the file system of a NTFS partition, you cannot correct them from Linux. You will ever be in need for a Windows system for this task.

millpond
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Re: Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

Post by millpond » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:30 pm

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=838937

Make sure the NTFS is mounted first, preferably in fstab.
ie.:
#Entry for /dev/sda1 :
UUID=xxxxxxxxxxxx /XP ntfs-3g defaults 0 0

And then create the links. Personally i would do it manually in mc.

As long as nothing there is needed during the boot process. (Which does not seem to like symlinks. ConsoleKit??? ).

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edwardr
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Re: Sharing data folders from /home with a Windows partition

Post by edwardr » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:01 pm

Chris, I don't think the first two replies realized that you only want to move your data partitions and keep your home folder with all of the configuration files on the ssd drive. I routinely create symlinks to to link my Linux data folders over to the corresponding folders on the Windows ntfs partition for sharing Documents, Pictures, etc folders between Windows and Linux. Millpond is on the right track. Here's how I do it:

When I set up a dual boot machine I create symlinks to link my Linux and Windows Music, Pictures, Video etc folders to the corresponding Windows folders so that, for example, the Mint "Music" directory points to the Windows "My Documents/My Music" directory.

The short description of what you need to do is:
- configure Mint to automount the Windows ntfs partition when Mint starts
- use symlinks so that your Mint data folders now point to the corresponding Windows folders.


First, you need to create a location for the Windows partition to mount to:

sudo mkdir /media/Windows

I usually call it Windows, as shown above, but you can call it whatever you like, the name is not visible to the user so it doesn't matter.


Next, edit then save fstab like millpond suggested so that the ntfs partition automounts when you start Linux.

Next I like to reboot the computer to make sure the Windows partition is mounted, and I use the file explorer to navigate to /media/Windows and drill down to the data directories so that I can get the file path for where I want my data folders to link to.

Then I delete the Downloads, Music, Pictures etc. folders from my Mint home directory and replace them with links to the appropriate Windows folders by doing the following:

*** Note that the following steps will delete your Mint Music, Documents, Pictures etc folders, including and all subfolders. MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO FILES IN THERE YOU WANT TO KEEP BECAUSE THEY WILL BE GONE FOREVER! If you already have data files in your Mint data folders, MOVE THEM TO THE NEW FOLDERS FIRST!!

OK, here's how to delete the Mint data folders and create symlinks to the data folders on the ntfs partition. Open a terminal and type:

cd /home

then type:

rm -r Music

{this deletes the Music folder from Mint, including and all subfolders. MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO FILES IN THERE YOU WANT TO KEEP BECAUSE THEY WILL BE GONE FOREVER!} If you already have data files in your Mint data folders, MOVE THEM TO THE NEW FOLDERS FIRST!!

then type:

ln -s "/media/Windows/location/of/windows/My Music" ~/Music

{Use your own directory path in the ln command above. Note the " " to handle spaces in the path name}

This creates a new folder icon in your home directory that is linked to the Windows music directory.

Repeat for Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Videos etc.

Please be careful you don't delete any files you want to keep.
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true

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