My pc is dual boot. I have Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 along with Windows 7 Ultimate installed. There are some common files which are required by me in both the os. Right now I access and manipulate these files via a secondary storage device(USB or DVD RW) attached to my system.

Is it possible to create a common folder/directory which is accessible to both the Linux as well as Windows os. Can the files, within such kind of folders/directories, be manipulated via both the os. How?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of How to share files between Linux and Windows?
    – DanMan
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 17:28
  • 12
    @DanMan No! That question is about sharing between two different computers that are running at the same time. Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 22:05
  • 2
    you didn't create a common partition that both can access?
    – phuclv
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 6:19
  • 3
    Be carefull when you use hibernation or a similar feature in one of the OS as it will cause data corruption (in Windows 10 shutdown includes hibernation by default for faster shutdown/boot up)
    – H. Idden
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 17:42

4 Answers 4


Of course, and it's very easy. The simplest way is to have a shared partition that uses a filesystem both OSs can understand. I usually have an NTFS-formatted partition which I mount at /data on Linux. This will be recognized as a regular partition on Windows and be assigned a letter (D: for example) just like any other.

You can then use it from both systems and the files will be available to both your OSs.

  • 1
    For external devices, UDF is also a nice, modern file system that can also be used with HDDs, that is cross-platform (even Mac).
    – DanMan
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 17:26
  • 1
    exFAT is also a good format for this, and is supported natively by Windows now - you may have to install the utils for it in linux, but you will for NTFS in most distros as well
    – cutrightjm
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 2:14
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    @cutrightjm NTFS driver is included in most distros by default for years
    – phuclv
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 6:18
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    @cutrightjm if you're talking about Linux, the ntfs driver has been part of the kernel for years.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 7:53
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    @LưuVĩnhPhúc Yes, NTFS support is enablend on the majority of linux distro , but the kenel version of RHEL5 is the 2.6, and RHEL5's users need to download or enable the epel repo to install fuse and ntfs-3g
    – GAD3R
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 11:43

As mentioned @Terdon, it's easy to access an NTFS partition from linux by mounting the needed partition . Also you can access an ext2 ,ext3 and ext4 partition from windows using the ext2explore tool.

  • Drives are often displayed by default and opening it will mount the partition automatically. No need to mount manually
    – phuclv
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 9:37
  • 1
    @LưuVĩnhPhúc On RHEL5 NTFS support is disabled there is the content of /proc/filesystems : access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/…
    – GAD3R
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 13:18
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    but if NTFS is not supported, exFAT support would be even worse, because it was still not as stable as ntfs-3g. There's no reason using such unsupported ancient kernel and distro
    – phuclv
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 13:39

Note that you don't even have to create a partition for the file exchange. Your RHEL5 can natively access your Windows partition and read and write arbitrary files from there. If RHEL is configured correctly, your Windows partitions should show up in RHEL file manager's left navigation bar.


In case you can not or do not want to create a partition accessible from both operating systems, you can use file syncing applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.com, etc.

Note that some of these software may not available for your Linux distribution and their bandwidth would be limited by your internet speed.

  • 2
    Or you install an OwnCloud in your local network...
    – MauganRa
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 9:24
  • 8
    Sending data locally by two OSes ran locally through the "cloud" seems quite… weird to me.
    – glglgl
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 12:03

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