Ubuntu supports ext4 file system. While windows support NTFS and FAT32.

Now my problem is I have songs folder which is full of songs. I have unallocated space left too (if more partitions are needed). I have windows 7 as well as ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Now what I need is this: Able to share my songs folder (a single copy of the folder) in both ubuntu as well as windows.

How can I achieve this? I want an easy user friendly solution which doesn't involve mount this , unmount that, its very cumbersome and confusing. I just need direct access, like when I turn on windows, I double click on mp3 file by opening folder shortcut in my desktop, same thing I want in ubuntu, don't wanna type many commands everytime I switch my OS.

(I am very new to ubuntu and I have formatted my PC 5-6 times to install ubuntu and windows as a dual in last 7 days. Now finally I got them both working as dual OS, I don't wanna screw things up, so I thought to ask here before taking any action such as partition, etc. because I don't know what to do exactly)

Edit: From Where should I make the partition? So I should make FAT32 right? but where? From Windows Disk Utility or Gparted ? If I make from Gparted, will I be able to access it in windows as a local disk?

  • Have you considered, as an alternative, virtualisation? Then you can have both running at same time. – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 24 '14 at 12:47
  • Gnu/Linux can read and write many many file-systems, even NTFS. I Have Debian and it can read/write NTFS. There is an NTFS-3g driver, I thing it is sort new (few years). (Ubuntu should have it as Ubuntu is based on Debian.) – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 24 '14 at 12:51
  • yes i can read the windows folder already from linux, however my linux folder (ext4) can't be read in windows as local disk, which is why the partition of of my unallocated space is required, but my question is about the partitioning, please check my edit in the post. – user1735921 Jul 24 '14 at 20:13

If you maintain your music in Windows, you can easily access Windows folders from Linux. If you use a root folder they will easier to find in Ubuntu.

Alternatively, you can put them in a shared partition, which I suggest you format as FAT32: you could use NTFS, but its advantages for small files and compression are not relevant to music files (unless you have a lot of WAV files).

I regularly use both techniques for file sharing between Ubuntu and Windows.

  • please see the edit question, thanks for replying – user1735921 Jul 24 '14 at 20:15
  • It doesn't matter which you use: the format is the same, whatever tool you use to format it. Having said which, I find Linux more accommodating than Windows, so I would format with Windows. – AFH Jul 24 '14 at 20:35
  • did it, worked fine – user1735921 Jul 25 '14 at 10:37

Ubuntu is capable of reading and writing files stored on Windows formatted partitions. These partitions are normally formatted with NTFS, but are sometimes formatted with FAT32. You will also see FAT16 on other devices.

General Considerations

Ubuntu will show files and folders in NTFS/FAT32 filesystems which are hidden in Windows. Consequently, important hidden system files in the Windows C:\ partition will show up if this is mounted. Since it is all-too-easy to accidentally modify or delete files which are essential for Windows, it is advisable to mount your Windows C:\ partition as seldom as possible, preferably not at all, or read-only by configuring /etc/fstab (see below). If you have data which you want to access regularly from both Windows and Ubuntu, it is better to create a separate data partition for this, formatted NTFS.

Whether you write to your Windows C:\ partition or a shared NTFS data partition, be aware that if you are using Windows 7, and Windows 7 is in a hibernated state when you write to the NTFS partition from Ubuntu, you will lose all your changes. This is because when Windows 7 is hibernated it writes the system state to a file stored on disk and restores from that file when the system is re-awakened, thus restoring the whole fileystem to a state before any changes made from Ubuntu. In Windows 7 you must avoid using hibernation. With Windows 8, the situation is more complex in that, by default, it uses a hybrid hibernation/shutdown when you shut the system down. Any changes made by Ubuntu will be lost when you reboot into Ubuntu.

With both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (when installed to a legacy mbr partition table) there is usually a 100-200MB boot partition labelled "SYSTEM". Do not mount it - you do not need to. Similarly it is highly advisable to leave any recovery partitions unmounted.

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