# Share home directory between Linux and Windows dual boot

This question is somewhat similar to How to use Windows Share has home directory, but in this case Windows is not running.

I have installed a dual-boot configuration with Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows. My Windows partition is mounted on /C. Now I want either Ubuntu to locate home directories in

/C/Users


Which is the location of windows accounts

or I want Windows to use

D:\home


for home directories. (D is the name of the Ubuntu root directory).

For the first approach, I have managed to create a test user account

test-user:x:1004:1001:Test:/C/Users/test-user:/bin/bash


The account works but test-user cannot run any X session. From .xsession-errors

chmod: Changing rights on ”/C/Users/test-user/.xsession-errors”: Operation not permitted


Would it help get rid of that chmod, which has no effect? How do I?

If I use the second approach, I need the Ext2fsd driver, which seems to work, but I am not sure if Windows maps the Ext2 system that early.

Here is my fstab

proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
UUID=e7cef061-ed8d-4a82-b708-0c8f4c6f297f /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1
UUID=2CDCEB43DCEB0644 /C              ntfs    defaults,umask=007,gid=46 0       0
UUID=b087b5c0-b4bd-47e7-8d34-48ad9b192328 none            swap    sw              0       0


Update: I found something here: http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-advanced/ Will work if i do a correct mapping between NT users and Linux users.

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Has test-user chowned /C/Users/test-user? And since the drive is shared with Windows, I guess it's NTFS-formatted, right? So have you mounted it with exec permission? otherwise no executable will run from there. –  Samik Jul 4 '12 at 9:57
The owner of the entire /C directory is root and ownership cannot be changed. Everyone in the plugdev group (test-user is member of this group) can read, write and execute files on this drive. –  user877329 Jul 4 '12 at 11:07
It's a bad idea to have the home directories on a NTFS partition. Windows won't use them as home directories either. If intended for data being exchangable from both systems, I'd rather recommend using a separate drive/partition for that data. For linux specific things better use a file system native to Linux. –  Izzy Jul 4 '12 at 11:45
@user877329 ownership cannot be changed because you have not mentioned permissions option in your /etc/fstab. Once you do that (and preferably change the filesystem type to ntfs-3g) the partition will be mounted using standard Linux permission and then you'll be able to chown and chmod each file/directory as normal. –  Samik Jul 4 '12 at 11:49
Keep in mint that Linux permissions do not work on non-Linux file systems, NTFS, for example, which means that chmoding and chowning wouldn't make sense. I agree with lzzy, putting home dirs on a non-Linux file system is a bad idea. –  mikewhatever Jul 4 '12 at 12:42

Better not to mix home directories.

Home directory in Windows holds activation data - if something goes wrong you have to reactivate Windows !

Software products are creating "hidden" subdirectories in home folder - in Linux and in Windows !

Separate folder for common data is another thing.

I am using ext2fsd but really don't know at what point ext2fsd is available - its implementation is - native driver activated over a service if you use permanent drive mappings.

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Better not to mix home directories: Mixing improves my workflow. Home directory in Windows holds activation data - if something goes wrong you have to reactivate Windows !: Then it is better to not map the windows drive at all Software products are creating "hidden" subdirectories in home folder - in Linux and in Windows !: Yes, and some Linux apps ported to Windows will use the same name and therefore the settings will be shared, which is what I want. –  user877329 Jul 4 '12 at 14:52

I think the easiest way is to just reroute in Windows (and use ext2fsd):

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/lsm_profile_homedirectory.mspx?mfr=true

Also, in any case I will need to reroute "My Documents" because of that ' ', which is not Linux-friendly.

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You can change Ubuntu's default documents directory to My Documents by editing ~/.config/user-dirs.dir and changing XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents" to XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/My Documents". Although space is troublesome in any system unless used within quote. –  Samik Jul 4 '12 at 19:43
But not all applications, including GDB and MinGW, can handle it. So on the Windows side, i do not like this whitespace. –  user877329 Jul 5 '12 at 6:53