I'm setting up a laptop for a friend and I'm going to put linux on it in a virtual machine and I want to make it as seamless as possible. I've mounted the \Users\Username directory in a VM before and that's not the hard part. What the issue is though is that Windows uses NTFS links from say My Documents to \Documents which linux can't see (or at least doesn't display).

My question is what would be the best way to share a user's /home directory with their \Users directory? Is there an easy way to remove all those links and force windows to not use links to their \Users\whatever directories?

Or my second thought would be to just mount it as a samba share and let the samba file system take care of all that stuff. Is that a better solution?

The goal here is that I want to make using the linux machine as seamless and painless as possible.


You need to use an NTFS driver for Linux that actually supports symlinks, such as the Advanced NTFS 3G driver.


A NTFS driver will not help in your situation as you will not be mounting the raw file system in linux. Likewise mounting a windows share using samba will still present you with a link file rather than a shortcut that works.

Perhaps rather than have the linux machine able to access the windows filesystem, it may be easier to have the linux filesystem accessable from windows by running samba on the linux VM.

The observation I would make is however, for your friend, what parts of windows would they miss if you gave them a linux only laptop? If they only do email, web and chat then they will probably not miss windows.

  • Nah she needs to use office and illustrator and stuff. And the problem is this particular laptop doesn't run linux very nicely. It has one of those dual graphics card things, and I run linux myself on the same laptop, but it's almost not even worth the trouble for me.
    – Falmarri
    Nov 4 '10 at 1:44
  • this does not seem to be a "will she miss windows?" situation but more of "will she miss the laptop?" :)
    – Stefan
    Nov 4 '10 at 5:29
  • I'd run samba on the linux VM and allow for file transfers between the OS's that way. I hope the Windows OS is not Vista, but even with XPsp3 or Windows 7, you will need substantial ammounts of memory to run the VM machines fairly. I'm hoping its a 64bit version of Windows 7, and you have upped the memory above 4GB - then everything runs quite nicely with VMWare. Windows Vista 32bit with 3.25GB is just about bearable, but 2GB of memory and VM are just painful. Nov 4 '10 at 12:59
  • It's win7, and it's the same laptop that I have and it's a really nice laptop. It's just it has an Intel/Nvidia dual card setup that linux hates, even with vga_switcheroo. It's running win7 host, 8gb ram
    – Falmarri
    Nov 4 '10 at 18:56

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