I have recently reached a fork in the road where I need to dual-boot my computer because I need linux for some projects and I cannot run it in a virtual machine for what I need. My other OS is windows 10.

I know from the past that there have been times when writing to an NTFS partition was not a good idea. My problem is this: I am using Dropbox which currently resides on a windows partition. If I install linux and dropbox, can I still keep it on that NTFS partition and use it normally? Or do I have to make a copy on an ext4 partition?

I was hoping that modern linux versions (and why not, modern windows) have solved whatever problems there were in the past.


The issues you're referring too, are probably from the old ntfs, not the (now) more common ntfs-3g. You should be able to access your windows partition just fine, and write to it as well.

Im not sure on this, but i don't think you can install Dropbox on Linux and let it use the Dropbox folder from the Windows installation. The config Dropbox uses (the .dropbox folder) differs per OS as far as i know, i'd expect stuff to break there.

But why not install it twice, and just let it sync?

If you install Dropbox on Linux it will just sync into your home folder, that way you get syncing in both Windows and Linux, with the downside that it takes the space twice, on both partitions.

If that's a problem, what you could do is, not install Dropbox on Linux but use your Dropbox folder on the Windows partition. It won't be running, so it will not sync, but as soon as you reboot into Windows it will see the new files and start syncing.

  • thank you for your answer! it is really helpful. As for Dropbox, I was thinking I could install it in linux and then choose the Dropbox folder from the windows partition since it is possible to do this with Dropbox (choose where the dropbox folder resides). I will double check this on the dropbox forum as well! Worst come to worst I will get from dropbox only the files I need to work on in linux and let them sync automatically to the cloud and save space this way! – lucian Apr 6 '17 at 10:23
  • it was confirmed that what I intend to do with Dropbox is possible and safe. The only problem could appear if selective sync is enabled in linux. The issue is well described here: link – lucian Apr 10 '17 at 8:00

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