Data partition sharing between Ubuntu & WinXP

James Gray james at
Mon May 28 16:27:46 UTC 2007

On 24/05/2007, at 3:59 AM, Dave Woyciesjes wrote:

> 	Then I though about using ext3 on the Data partitions, since there  
> is a
> utility for mounting ext3 drives in WinXP (as ext2). I'd be in Ubuntu
> most of the time. But what about WinXP screwing with the ext3  
> filesystem?

Here's my experience with a shared ext2 partition using the EXT2 IFS  
driver (
1. Neither Windows XP or Win2k3 Server "screwed" with the ext2 file  
system in any unexpected ways.
2. I even ran complete VMware hosts from the ext2 partition, paused  
them, rebooted, and restarted the VM in the other OS without loosing  
a single byte.
3. Speed was comparable in all OS'es (and in all cases correspended  
with expected results from the drive's specs).
4. The windows driver is mature and didn't cause any freaky BSOD's or  
other weirdness (can't say the same for some anti-virus vendors!).

Long story short: sharing and ext2/3 partition on a multi-boot system  
with Linux and Windows OS'es isn't a problem from a data integrity,  
speed or reliability perspective.  Keep in mind though, that the  
security models for Windows and Linux are different and you will need  
to think about how to work around that a little.  In any case, shared  
ext2/3 IMHO is far less effort or problem than sharing FAT32 or NTFS-3g.

Usual disclaimers apply - YYMV.


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