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When trying to complete my Ubuntu 12.04.1 install I recently received the error message: "The file system type fat32 cannot be mounted on /home, because it is not a fully-functional Unix file system. Please choose a different file system, such as ext2." Is it possible to select the ext4 file system for this /home mount, continue with the full Ubuntu install and then change the /home mount to the NTFS file system using the GParted application? The intent of this partition is to enable file sharing between Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Thanks in advance.

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There are other tools to share files with Windows (I speak of Samba), but I am not experienced in this matter so I cannot leave an educated answer. I just thought I would share this small nugget that I have picked up. – Josh Jan 10 '13 at 3:50

4 Answers 4

No, most of the system directories including /home must be on fully functioning unix filesystems, which neither fat32 nor ntfs are.

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I think NTFS (using ntfs-3g) does not support Unix permissions. Recording permissions is necessary in the home directory; several programs require correct permissions to function. For instance, for security reasons, OpenSSH requires ~/.ssh to have sufficiently restrictive permissions. If you try to store it on NTFS, it will lose the permissions, causing SSH to fail.

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I am using /home on a NTFS partition in order to share data with my Windows applications. I am working ubuntu 12.04 lts and up to date don't have any problem.

I did this:

I have a NTFS partition for Windows Data on /dev/sda6, but you must use your NTFS partition. Attention, this partition must not contain Windows OS and you must have installed ntfs-3g.

I mount this partition to /media (but you can use /mnt too):

sudo mkdir /media/whome
sudo mount /dev/sda6 /media/whome

Now I copied the directory /home to the directory /media/whome using cpio instead of cp

cd /home
sudo find . -depth -print0 | cpio --null --sparse -pvd /media/whome/

Now I dismount the partition:

sudo umount /media/whome

Now to backup the old home folder:

 sudo mv /home /respaldo

Now mount the new partition /home:

sudo mkdir /home
sudo mount /dev/sda6 /home

Now the most important step. To mount this partition every boot do

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bk
sudo gedit /etc/fstab

and add this line at the end:

/dev/sda6 /home ntfs nodev,nosuid 0 2
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What I would would and have done is exactly the other way around...

  • create EXT3 or EXT4 Linux partition for /home
  • install Linux EXT drivers on Windows aka (it's not perfect, but so isn't NTFS support in Linux)
  • Permanently mount EXT partition in Windows an assign it letter (via GUI which comes with software)

Linux have messed up my folders on NTFS partition few times (made them unaccessible), but I've never had this problem with EXT2FSD

Keep in mind that EXT4 is open source, but NTFS driver was created by reverse-engineering. Which of course isn't bad, but I personally trust source code more.

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