Extending the accepted answer, you can install Linux on an NTFS partition, although it requires major re-work of the distro.
There are two major problems to solve:
The read-write NTFS support in Linux is going currently with the user-space NTFS-3G tool, thus you can't mount it easily as a root partition. You have to mount it from an initial ramdisk, and then use the pivot_root tool to switch the root partition into it. It requires a rework of the quasi-standard linux initial ramdisk.
Although NTFS-3G supports the most important unix filesystem features (hard link and soft links), many important features can't be made working. These require alternate solutions:
- On NTFS, there are no unix sockets. The solution is that most unix sockets are in
/var/run or in
/tmp on current Linuxes, so you can put these on a tmpfs, or symlink them into an already created tmpfs.
- Also there are no device files. Fortunately they are today only in
/dev, which is a tmpfs since udev became common. Although the initial boot scripts (before the udev mount) will still require workarounds.
- And, there are no fifos. These can be handled as the unix sockets.
You will also experience a major performance degradation, on these reasons: 1. NTFS is far lesser optimal as ext4 2. ntfs-3g is not tuned for performance, it is tuned for windows compatibility 3. ntfs-3g is a userspace tool, while windows can handle ntfs from kernel code.
There is also a problem, that some Linux tools create fifos/sockets in the user home directories (for example: gpg), these will require not major, but unavoidable ad-hoc patches or workaround scripts.
On my best knowledge, nobody did it until now, but yes, it is possible.
Another problem is that the NTFS formatter/checker tools on Linux aren't very well developed, but they could be emulated with wine.
Practically, an ubuntu fork could be created relative easily (roughly in 1 man-month), which uses NTFS as its root partition. Nobody did it until now, but it could be done.