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Can NTFS partitions be defragged within Linux? Does fsck work for this? (Here and there I've seen a recommendation to use fsck -t ntfs --kerneldefrag /dev/XXX. Would this work?)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is a universal tool that can do defragmentation on linux called shake. You can download the source, or for Ubuntu users there's a PPA (the shake package in the official repository is unrelated).

I've just tested it on an NTFS filesystem mounted using ntfs-3g and it seemed to work without problems (no errors, the verbose output looks typical). So probably is filesystem-independent... Almost, since it can make use of extended attributes. To work without making use of those, you should use the -X option. Try using

shake --old=0 -v -X /some/directory/

From my experience, it has to be run as root.

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there is no such tool for linux.
you have to boot windows for that.

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Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. – emacsomancer May 29 '11 at 16:54
Where does the recommendation about using fsck come from, I wonder. – emacsomancer May 29 '11 at 16:55
@BeSlayed an idiot or a jokester? – psusi May 30 '11 at 15:12
The answer is at least imprecise. True, there is probably no such tool that does this at low level, but defragmentation can be performed at higher level to a mounted filesystem (probably any). – rozcietrzewiacz Aug 5 '11 at 11:47
Mighty google says Ultra Defrag is being ported: b.andre.pagesperso-orange.fr/advanced-ntfs-3g.html – con-f-use Feb 3 '13 at 10:37

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