On a system with GNU/Linux / Windows dualboot, I want to save disk space by sharing a partition with data. It is supposedly not a problem to use a cross-platform NTFS partition by assigning it a letter in Windows (e.g. D:\) and mounting it somewhere on GNU/Linux (e.g. /data). I wonder, however, if NTFS symbolic relative links would function correctly in such a setup.

To illustrate the potential problem, consider a directory MyDir in parent directory MyParent which is in the root directory of the partition. On Windows, I create a symbolic link named MyLink in the root directory of the partition that links to MyDir:

Partition structure:
- MyLink => "MyParent\MyDir"
- MyParent
  - MyDir

Since MyDir is represented as D:\MyParent\MyDir\ on Windows, the symbolic link works fine. However, on GNU/Linux, the path would be different, e.g. /data/MyParent/MyDir/ (note the different path separator /). Would the symlink function correctly?

As for the context, I'd like to symlink C:\Users\<username>\ to the shared partition on Windows and set the GNU/Linux's user home directory to the same place so only system-dependent files are kept apart; I would also like to make symlinks inside the partition for convenience (e.g. /data/<username>/.minecraft/ to /data/<username>/AppData/Roaming/.minecraft/ to reuse Minecraft installation).

Thank you.

  • 3
    "Would the symlink function correctly?" – What keeps you from just trying? You can write your own answer afterwards. Feb 5, 2018 at 21:41
  • 2
    Firstly, I'd like to know it in advance not to end up in a situation where I need to reinstall everything. Secondly, the symlinks may work some of the time but not reliably; I may only learn that they don't function correctly when it is crucial. I decided to post a question here because I inevitably need to wait before I could try to do it myself, and also because someone may have a good enough idea about NTFS to answer based not on experience but on knowledge (which I think is better). Of course, if I test it before the question get answered, I'll answer it myself.
    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


After trying for myself, it turns out the symlinks do work just fine; no tuning required.

  • What about the difference in paths e.g. /data/MyParent/MyDir/ - how is this solved? Jan 30, 2020 at 9:44
  • I am afraid I did not understand your question, @AngelosPikoulas
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:47

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