Just wonder is it possible to install Windows and Linux on a ntfs partition and have both OSes share a root filesystem as either one is booted?

Then the partition will have /bin, /sbin, /home, /lib and "Program Files" ,"Windows" and "Document and Settings" in the same place!

Will Windows and Linux both be bootable in this file system layout?


It is apparently possible to install Linux on an NTFS partition. Since there are bootloaders that will boot both Linux and Windows, what you're proposing can probably be accomplished. It will be hideous. I strongly advise against it, not least because you'll run into problems with running Linux on NTFS that nobody can solve for you.

If your goal is to share disk space between the two systems, I would recommend running Linux and Windows at the same time with a hypervisor. Give the Linux system most of the disk space, and then make the Linux system into a fileserver.

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  • What will be the problems when running Linux on a NTFS partition? – user1508675 Feb 10 '13 at 4:32
  • You didn't say why you want to try this Frankenstein abomination, but finding out what problems it will cause is likely the only good justification for doing it. – ruief Feb 11 '13 at 10:29
  • I'd think filesystem permissions might be a problem. What tools are you going to use to set NTFS perms from linux? How will you map between GID/UID numbers and SIDs? Or don't you care about file security. NOte the link above is actually installing Linux on an ext 4 partition, that is stored as a file on NTFS. The kernel is not actually executing from NTFS. – Jason Tan Feb 11 '13 at 14:15
  • Also, how is a UNIX domain socket, a named pipe, or a device node represented in NTFS? I don't know, and I don't want to. :) – ruief Feb 14 '13 at 11:14

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