[RM: First, the 2001 answer.]

Q: Can files written by the Linux operating system can be accessed by programs running under NT? If I understood it correctly, one of your FAQs stated that Linux can read an NT/DOS filesystem, but does the reverse work as well? I want use software running under Linux to generate images, etc. that I would need to input into statistical and graphics programs running under NT. Can this be done in a reasonable way?

A: NT can't do anything but nuke native Linux filesystems (partitions). You can, however, make use of FAT/VFAT/FAT32 partitions.

You might want to try including a FAT32 partition, to serve as common ground between OSes. We could create a second FAT partition, which would appear as D: under NT, or you could use the NT partition itself.

Update: There now (March 2001) exists a beta-quality NTFS driver in the Linux kernel. It defaults to read-only mode, for data-integrity protection.

[RM: 2007 update: The NTFS-3G driver now pretty much fully fixes the NTFS-access situation. It's a stable, reliable read/write NTFS driver for Linux, implemented as a FUSE (userspace) driver, and is included by default in many current Linux distributions.]

From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
To: sf-lug@linuxmafia.com
Subject: Re: [sf-lug] recommendations on file system
In-Reply-To: <45F9B216.8010104@sfsu.edu>
X-Mas: Bah humbug.

Quoting Sameer Verma (sverma@sfsu.edu):

> Does anyone have suggestions for a filesystem that's writeable from XP
> and Linux and supports large (4GB+) files so that I can use this
> partition from both OSes?

Ext2 IFS for Windows

Notable points:

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 11:47:24 -0700
From: Sameer Verma (sverma@sfsu.edu)
To: sf-lug@linuxmafia.com
Subject: Re: [sf-lug] recommendations on file system

I came across another Ext2 FileSystem driver for Windows:

I've been using it for some time now. Seems to work well. Given the choice of NTFS and Ext2/3, I decided to go with Ext camp simply because we know how it works and its not going to be [potentially] held hostage by a third party. Cannot say the same for NTFS.

As I usually use Linux (I don't boot into Windows unless I *really* have to) if I can read from and write to Ext2/3 partitions from both sides, I am quite happy.

Thanks for all the pointers.


[RM comments: As this second alternative ext2 implementation, Ext2 File System Driver for Windows, is open source under the GNU General Public Licence, it's more likely to remain maintained over the long term than the proprietary Ext2 IFS for Windows implementation discussed earlier.]