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Thread: [SOLVED] Installing with /home on NTFS partition

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    I've looked around and I've seen a lot of advice to put the /home folder on a diffrent partition. I want to do this, but I like to get 2 flies in 1 stroke.

    Is it possible to put the /home folder on an NTFS partition? I know Ubuntu and Windows can both read and write to this type of partition. I prefer the NTFS over FAT32 that's been recommended all over the web because it's a bit friendlier with storing files.

    The reason I ask is because I got quite the collection of films I want to share with the rest of my dorm. And I want to keep them all in my /home/movies/ folder. But seeing as the rest uses Windows (either XP or Vista), I want to make sure they can read my films. Don't want to format a big part of my drive as a partition they can't read (ext3).

    Already thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    You could use Ext2 IFS for reading/writing to an ext3. Or you should be able to edit your fstab. Do you already have everything installed and configured?
    Anyway...
    Code:
     sudo nano /etc/fstab
    then add
    Code:
     /dev/sdXY   /home   ntfs  defaults  1 1
    You may have to use the UUID of the disk rather than /dev/sdXY so do
    Code:
     blkid
    and that'll list all discs and partitions and give you the UUID.

    Does the partition with the data already exist or are you making it?
    Out of date specs.
    Linux #448948 Ubuntu #15780
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  3. #3
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Nope, my new PC is comming in this week. Changing from Windows XP to Ubuntu.

    Thanks for the info, this means I can put the /home on an NTFS volume.

    Hmmm... I should really read up on file sharing in Ubuntu.
    Last edited by Armaron; August 26th, 2008 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Misread something in above post

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by armaron View Post
    is it possible to put the /home folder on an ntfs partition?
    Quote Originally Posted by armaron View Post
    this means i can put the /home on an ntfs volume.
    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

    Nope you cannot put "/home" on an NTFS partition because of permissions issues. NTFS does not have unix-like ownership and permission systems.

    However, you can put /home/movies on an NTFS partition and /home on a separate ext3 partition, there is no conflict. In this case, you will have to manually create the "/home/movies" directory after installation, and then add an fstab entry that will tell ubuntu which ntfs partition has to be mounted to "/home/movies"; be sure to include the umask (user mask) directive, otherwise only root (sudo) users will be able to access it.

    btw, how are your dorm mates going to access this? Via the network? In which case there's no need to worry about NTFS/ext3, since network access will work irrelevant of the underlying storage system.
    Last edited by prshah; August 26th, 2008 at 11:05 AM.
    Cheers,PRShah
    Make your own: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu All-in-One Live DVD
    "I never make mistakes; I thought I did, once.. but I was wrong."

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by prshah View Post
    btw, how are your dorm mates going to access this? Via the network? In which case there's no need to worry about NTFS/ext3, since network access will work irrelevant of the underlying storage system.
    I knew I had to read up on sharing stuff. Thanks for clearing that up. After three years of computer science I (sometimes) still feel like a dumbass.

    Well, that saves me a whole lot of hassle, thanks man.

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by Armaron View Post
    Well, that saves me a whole lot of hassle, thanks man.
    Heh, I wish you luck with samba (windows network configuration); I've personally had no problems with it at all, but the forums are crawling with messages related to samba not working!

    Cheers, post back if you need help with the networking part.

    In the meantime, you should mark this thread as solved; near the top right hand side of the page, click on "Thread tools"-"Mark thread as solved".
    Last edited by prshah; August 27th, 2008 at 04:51 AM.
    Cheers,PRShah
    Make your own: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu All-in-One Live DVD
    "I never make mistakes; I thought I did, once.. but I was wrong."

  7. #7
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    Re: Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by prshah View Post
    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

    Nope you cannot put "/home" on an NTFS partition because of permissions issues. NTFS does not have unix-like ownership and permission systems.

    However, you can put /home/movies on an NTFS partition and /home on a separate ext3 partition, there is no conflict. In this case, you will have to manually create the "/home/movies" directory after installation, and then add an fstab entry that will tell ubuntu which ntfs partition has to be mounted to "/home/movies"; be sure to include the umask (user mask) directive, otherwise only root (sudo) users will be able to access it.

    btw, how are your dorm mates going to access this? Via the network? In which case there's no need to worry about NTFS/ext3, since network access will work irrelevant of the underlying storage system.
    I have done this in another way. I wanted to share movies/music/data between windows and linux. So I mounted my data partition as /storage and deleted the folders in /home/<username> and made softlinks from within that folder to the data partition, this way I can quickly access them from within the file browser, like if they were in my home directory.

    You can do something like:
    ln -s Music /storage/Music
    ln -s Movies /storage/Movies

    But if the system is dedicated for running ubuntu only, I would suggest mounting a partition/hdd as /home instead.

  8. #8
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    Re: [SOLVED] Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    It is possible, but it means using a later version of the ntfs-3g drivers, and setting a compile-time option.

  9. #9
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    Re: [SOLVED] Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by unprinted View Post
    It is possible, but it means using a later version of the ntfs-3g drivers, and setting a compile-time option.
    Source? The only possible way is to use a loopback file device which can be placed on an NTFS drive; but the loopback device will be ext2/3 formatted (mkfs'd). Further, the loopback drive cannot be accessed in WinXP/Vista without third party software.

    ..but I'm open to corrections.
    Cheers,PRShah
    Make your own: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu All-in-One Live DVD
    "I never make mistakes; I thought I did, once.. but I was wrong."

  10. #10
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    Re: [SOLVED] Installing with /home on NTFS partition

    Aramaron:

    I would strongly advise to NOT use an NTFS partition to store a file system that is actively going to change on a daily basis. I tried doing that, even using NTFS-3G, and discovered that it is very easy to accidentally "break" the NTFS partition -- without any indication that it was happening.

    I would discover the breakage when, upon a subsequent reboot, my machine would hang on loading FSTAB because the NTFS partition would not mount. I would then have to boot into Windows, run chkdsk (sometimes more than once), and then reboot into Ubuntu. This happened often enough that I eventually created a FAT32 partition, moved the shared files there, and changes my FSTAB to NOT mount the NTFS partition on startup.

    If you use an NTFS partition to house a critical portion of your filesystem (like /home) you won't have the 'don't-mount-on-startup option and are asking for trouble.

    I have found that FAT32 can be mounted by either Windows or Ubuntu, and doesn't present anywhere near the breakage rate of NTFS.

    Also, if the NTFS partition houses Vista, especially if that is your "C" drive, then do NOT mount it automatically in Ubuntu. If you do that, and it "breaks", you will have to use a Vista DVD or Vista Recovery, boot into one of them, and run Startup Repair in order to get Vista working again.

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