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Well I have a netbook, so I can't play games on windows either, no problem. But I'm getting a new desktop PC with better hadware and it will be able to run the most popular games and I want to have Windows on it to play games and software not compatible with ubuntu. I also want to have Ubuntu, as my primary OS, so I will set a dual boot.

In this computer I will have a small SSD with both OS and a second drive (a 500gb HDD) to store my files. I want to avoid copying files from one OS to another every time I, ie, download a file. My question is: Is there any way that I could make both OS use that HDD for home, like set it as NTFS and make ubuntu mount it on /home and also make windows to store user files, like My Documents, My Videos and Downloads, etc, on that partition?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Putting /home in an NTFS partition is not advisable as Linux cannot preserve ownership and permissions on NTFS partition.

I would recommend keeping /home in the default / partition in the SSD and creating sym links to the folders with most data (Documents, Music, Pictures, videos etc.) in a "Storage" partition formatted NTFS, that both Ubuntu and Windows can read and write to.

Since /home also stores all your config files, keeping /home in the / partition in the SSD helps keep things speedy.

A detailed How To is at:

After following the instructions in the "How To" create the sym links like this:

  1. Open Nautilus and delete the folders you will not use in /home/[user], such as Documents etc. You should already have Documents etc. in the Storage folder. (In linux a partition is a folder as well).
  2. Navigate to the Storage folder and you will see the Documents etc. folders there.
  3. Right click on Document folder and select make Link. This will create a folder Called "link to Documents".
  4. Similarly, create "Link to Music", "Link to Pictures" and all the other sub-folders in the Storage folder.
  5. Copy these "Link to..." folders to your Home folder /home/[user].
  6. Finally, right click on "Link to Documents" and rename it "Documents". Repeat for the remaining links.


Delete the folders in /home/[user] as before.

Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and enter

ln -s /media/storage/Documents /home/[user]/Documents
ln -s /media/storage/Downloads /home/[user]/Downloads
ln -s /media/storage/Public /home/[user]/Public
ln -s /media/storage/Pictures /home/[user]/Pictures
ln -s /media/storage/Music /home/[user]/Music
ln -s /media/storage/Videos /home/[user]/Videos

Hope this helps

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Thanks you very much, looking for help in the internet I found that solution and i like it, but I didn't know how to do that sym links thing so, thanks you very much. – Diego Nov 30 '12 at 3:11
I have added a mini how to make sym links in the answer. – user68186 Nov 30 '12 at 12:38
Hi :-) I'm looking for the best way to configure my own disk and I find your answer interesting. Though, I'm wondering, what about mounting a /storage/[user] folder (storage partition) to the /home/[user] folder (os partition) instead of creating symlinks? Is it even possible to mount a single folder or will I have to create a partition for each user? – procrastinator Jan 17 at 6:55
@procrastinator please ask a new question linking this one. – user68186 Jan 17 at 18:46

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