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I've recently found myself much more comfortable using the console and other tools on my Mac than their counterparts with Windows. Specifically, these tools include LaTeX/xindy, emacs and its load files, dev, and various other things. I have decided to go ahead and install Fedora 17 on my desktop and I wish to be able to boot from either Windows or Fedora relatively seamlessly (and I recognize that this will likely mean a boot menu). I created a bootable USB (my tower lacks an optical bay at the moment, for financial reasons) and was all ready to install Fedora. I went into Disk Management to create a partition for Fedora when I noticed one crucial little piece of awful: both my boot drive and my data drive are formatted as NTFS.

Now, this would not be a problem if I were just creating a new partition for major separation in data for use with Windows. However, I need to be able to easily access (read/write) all of my data from both the Windows environment and with Fedora. (I know about third-party explorers, but I'd much prefer to stick with the defaults.)

It is my understanding that Windows is to NTFS as Fedora/Linux is to ext4. This raises the present questions:

  • Does Fedora have any problem with using a different file-system from ext4, such as exFAT?
  • It is my understanding that Windows cannot read/write ext4 through the Explorer. Has this fact changed through any recent plugins?
  • Will this affect Windows' or Fedora's ability to hibernate? (My guess is no, but it's a concern.)
  • A major use of my desktop is the use of Adobe software, specifically Premiere and After Effects. I'm assuming Adobe will be able to read whatever the Explorer can read, but I was wondering if there are any special concerns to note.

More as they come back to mind - but these are the important ones.

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As an aside, I'd ask if there is a better way to reformat a disk. Right now, I'm going with a shrink-format-copy approach until all the data is moved to the new partition, and then rejoin them. I don't think there are any concerns with this, but I certainly stand to be corrected. – Sean Allred Dec 29 '12 at 23:02
Fedora should be able to access NTFS using ntfs-3g. As for Windows, there are apps and even an FS driver to access Ext2/3/4 partitions. – Karan Dec 29 '12 at 23:25

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