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Linux & My Secondary NTFS Drive


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#1 joe_banana

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:05

Hello,

I'd like some help on my dilemna please. I've been wanting to install Linux specially Lubuntu with LXDE for its quick boot time and not to worry about viruses anymore.

BUT my secondary hard drive which is filled with precious datas is in NTFS and looking at it abandoning windows will mean abandoning NTFS which is how my backup and important datas are kept. Is there a way to change file system without moving my data or formatting? Or NTFS support on Linux this days are good?


#2 redvamp128

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:27

Hello,

I'd like some help on my dilemna please. I've been wanting to install Linux specially Lubuntu with LXDE for its quick boot time and not to worry about viruses anymore.

BUT my secondary hard drive which is filled with precious datas is in NTFS and looking at it abandoning windows will mean abandoning NTFS which is how my backup and important datas are kept. Is there a way to change file system without moving my data or formatting? Or NTFS support on Linux this days are good?


Why not just use WUBI -- that way Windows Install is not changed and your Linux is inside a compressed image on the NTFS drive.
That would be my suggestion...

http://www.ubuntu.co...ndows-installer

I think with 12.04 lubuntu is now an option from the drop-down.

Or if not -- then install the standard Wubi Ubuntu then go into the package manager and install the LUBUNTU desktop.

then choose it for your DE when you log in.

For mine I have also have the KDE and XFCE . On my laptop I also do have the LXDE ...

#3 OP joe_banana

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:43

Thanks for the suggestion, I guess that will be my last resort.

I really would want to get rid of windows though..

#4 +Karl L.

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 16:38

If the important data is on your secondary hard drive and Windows is on your primary, you could wipe the primary, install Ubuntu (or Lubuntu) on it, and mount your secondary (NTFS) hard drive as secondary. NTFS support in modern versions of Linux is fairly good, so you don't need to worry about it corrupting your data, but it doesn't support *nix file permissions and cannot be used as your root file system. If you still plan on doing regular backups to it, you should probably figure out some way to temporarily backup your data, reformat it as EXT4, and restore your data to it. Otherwise, if you are just using it for regular data and document storage, it is probably fine to leave it as is.

#5 spikey_richie

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 16:41

+0.9 for Wubi, used it a few times but last time I used it the console wouldn't load so I got rid and went back to Windows 7 exclusively.

#6 javagreen

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:08

NTFS support is excellent with current gen linux distros, except the *nix file permissions - as xorangekiller mentioned above. Reading data from, and writing data to NTFS works just fine so I'd recommend leaving it as-is.

Wipe your primary partition and go Lubuntu exclusively.

#7 The_Decryptor

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:56

There isn't a perfect mapping between *nix permissions and NTFS ACLs, *nix permissions are much too limited for starters. NTFS-3G does support mapping between NTFS ACLs and Linux ACLs, but those aren't supported with every distro (Failed to gain much traction, although there are new attempts)

You can still assign *nix permissions though, so in practice you shouldn't have any issue (Especially if it's a single user machine, etc.)

#8 +Karl L.

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 23:30

There isn't a perfect mapping between *nix permissions and NTFS ACLs, *nix permissions are much too limited for starters. NTFS-3G does support mapping between NTFS ACLs and Linux ACLs, but those aren't supported with every distro (Failed to gain much traction, although there are new attempts)

You can still assign *nix permissions though, so in practice you shouldn't have any issue (Especially if it's a single user machine, etc.)


I had never heard of this ACL mapping of which you speak before now. I managed to find an article on the NTFS-3G project site about the current (or what I'm assuming is current) ACL mapping system in their driver. However, I definitely agree that on a single user machine permissions on the drive are basically irrelevant anyway.

Would you mind explaining what you see as the limitations of the *nix permissions system as opposed to the Windows one? I'm sure this is a topic where people are very opinionated. I don't mean to start another holy war. More than likely I can already guess your bias and you mine, but I respect your opinion and am truly interested in hearing your perspective.

#9 The_Decryptor

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:12

Windows has an awesome permissions system, you can adjust permissions for multiple users/groups at a time (So you can say that a user that is in Group A can read and write to a folder, but everybody else in Group A can only write, while everybody in Group B can read the files in the folder and a user in Group B can read, execute and modify extended attributes of files in the folder, etc.)

*nix permissions on the other hand only has the concept of a Owner, Group and Everybody, and from that you can only assign Read/Write/Execute permissions. So while you can give one user permission to change everything in a folder and his group the ability to read only, you then can't give another group read permissions without giving every user on the system read permissions (A folder/file can only have one owner/group at a time, so you cant set permissions for 2 groups, or for 2 users without adding them to a custom group).

#10 +Karl L.

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 18:47

I see; so Windows more powerful per-user permissions while *nix relies more heavily on groups. I see how that could be useful. Thanks for taking the time to reply The_Decryptor. I appreciate it.

#11 The_Decryptor

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:08

Well, it's more like Linux considers groups to be something distinct, while Windows considers them to just be groups of users. Linux maintains different permissions for users and groups (And as I mentioned, only one set for each), while on Windows a group is just another user really, you can add multiple sets of permissions for different items, whether they be users or group.

#12 ichi

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:20

Linux also supports extended ACLs, they are just not widely used.

#13 The_Decryptor

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:34

Yeah, the POSIX ACLs have been around for a while, but I don't think they ever got merged into the kernel (And if they did, I don't think they're built by default, etc.), so they don't come with every distribution. The "newer" NFSv4 ACLs seem nicer, but even they've been around for a while with little to no uptake (And they require support from the file systems, so you can't just use them with any random configs.), although there is some activity in that area recently (Richacls adds support for the EXT4 Filesystem)

#14 ichi

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:14

ACLs were merged in the kernel at some point during the 2.6.x development. I don't know what distros have it enabled, IIRC Ubuntu does.

You'd still need to mount your filesystems with the "acl" flag though, which is what no distro I know of does by default.

#15 The_Decryptor

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:22

Yeah, I couldn't find much information about ACL support in Linux (Which surprised me honestly), I think I found a single reference to them being part of the kernel, and a bunch that mentioned patches.

And as you mentioned, you need to mount the FS with the right option, which no distro does, etc.