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Thread: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    I am trying to set up a system with Win 7 and a Ubuntu 12.04 based distro.

    As regards using a storage/documents partition for both systems:
    ext3 not an option - drivers for reading that system in Windows do not work in Windows 7. Tried several combinations for hours.

    decided to use fat32:
    1) only possible mount point of fat32 in ubuntu is: /windows
    2) changing permissions for /windows - not possible.
    (gksu nautilus, sudo chown, etc give the same result - cannot change permissions for this folder).

    I am not able to build the system at all this way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    FAT32 is not really suitable for data storage. It has way too many shortcomings.

    Is there a module that you can add to Windows to get it to read EXT2? If so, that would be the way to go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    Windows natively recognizes that there is a linux partition but you cannot access it.

    You can persist with fat32 (or ntfs) but you have to sort the read write permissions to the drive from windows first. Right click and go into security settings. You want everyone as full control (may have to use advanced button cannot remember). You can use a guest account.

    I am making the assumption that the windows partition is not encrypted by windows.

    You can then make sure you fstab entry is correct with the read write options turned on.

    I don't tend to auto mount my drives in fstab but just click and mount from dolphin automatically and read write data across to a 500gb ntfs disk. This method allows me to access the windows drive and system reserved as well.

    Edit - You can do this from nautilus as well I just prefer kde

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    My "communal" data partition is NTFS. In fact, it was already on the Vista install when I got the laptop, but that is beside the point. I don't know about windows drivers for Linux file systems. There probably are some, but I don't know about them, I get along alright with the NTFS partition.

    Bear in mind that no Windows file system supports Linux permissions. I gather it is possible for a mount point to belong to root and not to the user who is logged on. That seemed to be the cause of a problem in a thread I read here. As far as the directories and files on the partition with a windows file system goes, they will not take any linux permissions.
    Michael

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,219

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    NTFS offers good compatibility. The Linux driver (ntfs-3g) is mature and reliable.

    Generally, when I install a dual boot system, I reserve a separate (large) partition for data and format it with NTFS. Then I move /home/<myusername>/Documents folder to this partition and replace it with a symlink. In Windows I move My Documents folder (easily doable via folder properties). I also move Downloads, Pictures, Music, etc.

    This way I see the same data folders in both OS which I find quite handy.
    Last edited by prodigy_; January 30th, 2013 at 03:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Planet earth, for now.
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    Xubuntu

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    Don't bother with any dodgy patches or tweaks for getting Windows to read EXT* anything. Just use an NTFS partition. Create it and it should be seen when you open a file manager in Ubuntu. Click to mount, I wouldn't bother about adding it to fstab.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    5,351

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    I'm confused by your original post:
    Quote Originally Posted by 1002285 View Post
    1) only possible mount point of fat32 in ubuntu is: /windows
    I assume you mean when you did your original install. There was a bug way back when where it limited all windows filesystem types to /windows but I though that was fixed well before 12.04.
    2) changing permissions for /windows - not possible.
    (gksu nautilus, sudo chown, etc give the same result - cannot change permissions for this folder).
    That is not a bug it's a statement of fact. You can't change linux permissions on a windows filesystem because there aren't any linux permissions bit's to change. You can create a "view" to make it appear that they do however and that is done via fstab.

    If you still want a fat32 partition and you want to change permissions on it please post the output of the following commands and we can assist:
    Code:
    cat /etc/fstab
    And tell us what ownership and permissions you want to apply to the mounted fat32 partition.

    If it's currently not mounted or not in fstab post the output of this command as well:
    Code:
    sudo blkid -c /dev/null

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    12,423

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    Would avoid using Fat32. Win7 is designed to use NTFS and I have used that filesystem for sharing data with Linux distros for years now -- ever since the day when you had to go out of your way to install NTFS-3G!

    I read about folks having problems with this approach is when they tried to have /home on an NTFS volume -- which clearly will not work because NTFS can't mirror Linux filesystem permissions.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    269

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    OK, thank you for the help.

    I could still rather easily format the partition - into ntfs, for example.
    But when it was so difficult to get permissions for a fat32 partition - because it is a windows FS - won't there be the same problems with ntfs?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    269

    Re: Using FAT32 for Win and Ubuntu seems inpossible

    I logged on to my Ubuntu again and now seem to be able to write and delete on in the /windows folder, where I also see folders and files that I created while in Windows 7 system. I surely could not do that there the last time.
    Here's the output of fstab.

    cat /etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
    # device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
    # that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
    proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
    # / was on /dev/sda6 during installation
    UUID=9fbc258d-1f6d-4daf-a934-7f9a7803365f / ext3 errors=remount-ro 0 1
    # /home was on /dev/sda8 during installation
    UUID=4761f45f-8a8e-4c13-80e6-856fd6981a9c /home ext3 defaults 0 2
    # /windows was on /dev/sda7 during installation
    UUID=3CF1-FA23 /windows vfat utf8,umask=007,gid=46 0 1
    # swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
    UUID=a43efe04-3209-49b4-977c-ee5fcbbc4f13 none swap sw 0 0

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