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I'm new to Ubuntu and I'm on a WUBI installation currently with (obviously) NTFS system. I got really sick and tired of Windows 7 and the new Windows 8 isn't something I really look out to and Ubuntu is really awesome so far.

But! Since I'm really dependent on Photoshop and Autocad and I cannot really replace them, I need Windows.

So, my question is:

If I format my drives (do I have to format all of them to ext partitions?)
Will I still have an option to share them with my Windows XP on VirtualBox?

I will need this to work. No, qCAD and Gimp isn't enough, unfortunately. I need those expensive programs.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes. In Virtual Box you can share any directory on your Linux native system; it will be seen by the Windows guest as a network share.

No need for NTFS, then. I use this setup to run MS Office.

However, before you dump Windows in favor of a Windows guest within an Ubuntu host, first make sure that the experience is as good as in native Windows. I have a very good experience with MS Office (in my view, it runs smoother and quicker in Windows guest in Ubuntu than the native Ubuntu LibreOffice), but YMMV. Also, it needs enough RAM (1 GB was definitely not sufficient).

I strongly advise to first install Ubuntu on a second partition, side by side with Windows, install Virtualbox, Windows and your programs, and try to work with that for a while. Then you will see whether this setup works. If not, you will be able to go back to Windows.

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Hey, thanks for a fast answer. Currently I'm running win xp in a virtualbox and Acutocad is running just fine. Well, mayb a bit slower but it's only a matter of RAM memmory which I'm about to expand from 2x2GB DDR3 to 2x4GB DDR3. Can you tell me if i should format all of my partiotions to ext format when converting to ubuntu as primary system? Cheers! – Mateusz Kowalewski Aug 23 '12 at 23:07
Depends whether you intend to run Windows on the side (not as a guest in Virtualbox), or not. I keep NTFS only on external hard disks that I want to be able to mount in someone elses Windows. If you want to run Ubuntu and Windows only as a guest, then you don't really need NTFS. – January Aug 23 '12 at 23:10
I only need windows to run photoshop and autocad. So in this case i don't need ntfs partitions. Thanks for help!. Ps. Aren't you polish? I've seen your website. Siema ;) – Mateusz Kowalewski Aug 23 '12 at 23:38

GParted can shrink and increase partitions. While there's some risk with this, I've not had any issues on the two-three times I have done so.

If you're going to be reformatting your entire drive, I'd try keeping your NTFS partition, mount, copy over everything. If you want to remove the NTFS partition after this, delete the partition, and resize your Linux partition.

VirtualBox allows only 128MB of video memory allocation, while I believe VMware allows whatever. If you go with VMware, be sure to use 4.0.2 for now.

I can't for sure verify if VMware (and thus, most likely, VirtualBox) can share from host Linux > Virtual XP > NTFS partition, but as a guesstimate, it should work as long as the partition is mounted.

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