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RE: sharing an ext3-partition with windows?

If you have enough power and memory resources on your PC (and enough time to experiment...) you can manage the situation in this way:

1) you have a dual boot system setup with native windows and native linux installed

2) you install vmware on both o.s.

3) on each o.s. you can boot the other o.s. installed on hd, using vmware with the native partition option setup

4) you set up your linux system to share the ext3 fs (or dir) via samba

5) depending on your needs you start linux or windows in native mode and the other o.s in vmware on the same pc and you should be done 

NOTE: it could be very tricky, but in the past I managed to have both Linux and windows able to boot on a native partition in vmware. And also you have to buy 2 licences for vmware...

For windows you have to create hw profiles and disable startup of particular applications for your native devices (such as mouse, keyboard, video adapter settings tools, network card monitoring tools) and other things, and I don't know the kind of support from vmware for this.
For Linux you have to manage your X configuration when in native mode and when inside vmware environment.

I used this successfully but with much pain with vmware 2.x, so I don't know the status of the art now that version 4 is out.

To have an overview about the process you can check these links.




-----Original Message-----
From: Helge Hielscher [mailto:hhielscher unternehmen com]
Sent: lunedì 18 agosto 2003 19.10
To: Ext3-users redhat com
Subject: RE: sharing an ext3-partition with windows?

Am Mon, 18 Aug 2003 09:35:50 -0400 schrieb Robert Adkins:
> 	In which way are you suggesting that it be shared? Are you
> suggesting that you would be having this EXT3FS partition on one hard
> drive inside of one computer and have it be a centrally shared directory
> between two operating systems on a Dual-boot system?

Yes, this is what I need.

> 	If that is the case, I believe quite completely that it is
> impossible, as Windows is only capable of reading/writing to the following
> types of formats; FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and I believe it had at one time
> Access to HPFS for OS/2 Compatibility, but that has since been removed.

But you can't (or shouldnt) write on a NTFS Partition from Linux.

> 	Anyway, if you want to share between dual-booting Windows and
> Linux, the "Share" partition needs to be running some form of FAT, either
> 16 or 32 will do nicely. Except that you will lose permissions and other
> special controls.

Well thats a problem. FAT is old, wastes a lot of space and has no

The NTFS driver FAQ lists four projects for reading ext2/3 for windows:
Taken from http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/info/ntfs.html#3.2
  # explore2fs - http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/explore2fs.htm
     * Home page: http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/explore2fs.htm
     * For Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
  # ext2fsd - http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd/
      * Home page: http://www.tuningsoft.com/projects/projects.htm
     * For Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
  # winext2fsd - http://sourceforge.net/projects/winext2fsd/
      * Home page: winext2fsd project page
      * Reportedly works on Windows NT and Windows XP, likely also on
        Windows 2000.
  # ext2forxp - http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2forxp/
      * Home page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2forxp/ 
      * In early stages, not ready for use yet (June 4th, 2003).

The question is: does anybody use any of this?


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