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Inherited an old computer. I have formatted 10Gb master as fat32 to use without partitioning for ubuntu as o/s. Can i format slave hdd 160Gb as ntfs and expect Ubuntu 12.04 to read and write to it? Any ideas?

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Yes, Ubuntu will read from and write to NTFS just fine.

However, Ubuntu's ability to repair or recover data from a damaged NTFS partition is not as great. So you might want to use a filesystem like ext4, assuming you don't need to access it from other operating systems.

Another benefit of ext4 over NTFS is that Ubuntu will use CPU resources more efficiently to access ext4 (and most filesystems) than NTFS. But this is insignificant, in most use cases.

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Ubuntu (and Linux in general) does not install to fat32 or ntfs partitions. Also, you will need quit ea bit more than 10GB for the main OS partition, if it is not a server install. For example, my main partition is currently using 14 GB. You might want to just have the installer do the automatic partitioning.

As for reading and writing to NTFS, it is possible, but if you aren't using your system in a dual-boot fashion, and don't need to share data such as MP3s, Movies, etc… between Ubuntu and Windows both, then I'd recommend not bothering with NTFS as a partition for storing such data.

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Why such the big space partition? On the site i read somewhere about needing only about 4Gb when installing from usb to hdd. The 10Gb hdd only formatted to 9.29Gb. Is your extra space to allow for new program file, etc. I'm only learning so be gentle. I have limited knowledge thus far but eh.. gotta start somewhere. Thanks so far anyway. – Dave Perry Jul 2 '12 at 14:04
My root partition is actually 80GB. I am only using 14GB of it now. If you intend to install any games, or additional programs that need more space, they can add up fast. And I do have some large games installed. I have some fairly complex partitioning on my system, but the hard disk where I have Ubuntu installed is a 500GB disk. I also have a 1TB disk split between a Windows install, and a large shared partition with all my music/movies/etc… on it. – dobey Jul 2 '12 at 15:00
I'm only really looking to start with command prompts and such, looking to understanding [if it's possible ;) ] a linux operating system. I thought the set up I was planning would be enough. But do you think I should be booting from usb, leave the 160Gb alone and when I have a better understanding of things, such as partitioning, then go from there? – Dave Perry Jul 3 '12 at 3:02
I also intend in the future, to build up my own pc that will run both windows and ubuntu. But before that, I need to build up some programming skills – Dave Perry Jul 3 '12 at 9:06
You don't need to build up programming skills to have both Windows and Ubuntu, or build your own PC. You do need basic understanding of how computers fit together and work, and how to install an operating system and partition a drive, though. I don't know what you're trying to accomplish exactly with the drive you currently have, but if you just want to run Ubuntu on that computer, and the drive is already empty, I'd recommend just selecting "Use entire drive" for that disk, in the Ubuntu installer. – dobey Jul 3 '12 at 12:26

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