I have some scenario in which I have to use windows (because of the applications), but some of the operations it is much easier to perform on Linux. Therefore, I'd like to install some machine which has one HD and split it to following:

  • partition for Windows
  • partitions for Linux
  • NTFS partition which will store files which should be accessible for both windows and Linux - for both read and write should be available.

Do you see some problem with this? Any comments before I start the installation?

  • 2
    No problem :) I had the same thing on my PC...back in winXP times :P you can also have both C and D drives shared with Linux. Just install ntfs-3g and add the required lines in fstab...you can read more about this on Arch Wiki
    – Alko
    Dec 4, 2014 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


You can share a partition (NTFS, FAT formatted is the easiest) and share that between reboots. Much easier, and not requiring reboots of the machine is to install a VM (VirtualBox, VMware) on the windows machine, run Linux as a guest VM and share the directories on the Windows drive.

You do need more memory for this setup (as Windows and Linux run at the same time), but it is much more powerful. You can also set this up the other way around by replacing Windows with Linux and running Windows as a client. That is a good way to work if you still have to use Windows every once in a while (but probably not appropriate for your setup).

  • My personal experience (heavy Linux user, sometime Windows mainly for MSoffice) with the second option: you need 8G RAM to have it smoothly. But if you have, it's very powerful. On my home machine with 16G ram and 4G given to the Virtualbox Windows 7 VM, the latter runs almost as if it were native.
    – Rmano
    Dec 4, 2014 at 10:04
  • @Rmano I don't know what you call smooth, but I have done this on a 256Mb Pentium 3 (Sony VAIO PCG505, total memory) running Win98 under Linux. If you don't need graphical applications Linux should not take more than 256Mb even nowadays, and work well in 1024Mb graphically. I run WinXP under Linux on a 2Gb machine (P4) without problems. Of course what Windows not globbers up in memory I don't know, could be that you need 7Gb for Windows.
    – Anthon
    Dec 4, 2014 at 10:26
  • the files with which I'm working are text files with 1-2G. therefore it is better not to use VM. Dec 4, 2014 at 11:07
  • @user1977050 not necessarily true. It depends on what you want to do with those files, and or whether you have enough memory to allocate for the VM to do that. Do you really need to get those files completely in memory in the first place?
    – Anthon
    Dec 4, 2014 at 11:13
  • i need to combine 3 1-2G files into one file and perform search on the combined one. Dec 4, 2014 at 11:16

if you already have installed your linux (on a ext-filesystem) or you don't want to store your home-files within a ntfs-filesystem (restricted management of user rights; no filesystem-checks at start;...) you can use a filesystem-driver like Ext2Fsd for your windows-instance.

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