I dual-boot Ubuntu Quantal and Windows 7 and even though I rarely use Windows, when I do, I want to be able to have access to my home folder.

I tried setting the /home mount point on a separate NTFS partition while installing but it seems that that requires an ext file system.

My current solution is to replace the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music and Downloads folders in /home/username with symlinks to their equivalents on the Data partition.

Is there a better, smoother way of having access to home from both operating systems?

  • No. You can use ext viewer in windows but those aren't reliable
    – Web-E
    Dec 6, 2012 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Have a look at ~/.config/user-dirs.dir.


So you can also change this file to make it point elsewhere instead of using symlinks (This is user verion and the system wide (default) version of these directories is located at /etc/xdg/user-dirs.conf).

You can even do this command line like so ...

xdg-user-dirs-update --set PICTURES /home/user/Documents/MyPictures

It takes 1 post install script with a couple of lines equal to this one to set this up after you do a re-install.

  • This looks promising. So if I set my Pictures folder in this config file to /mnt/Data/Pictures, would links to /home/username/Pictures still work? If not should/could I use a hard link to link the two?
    – To Do
    Dec 6, 2012 at 10:32
  • Yes, but that seems to me like doing the same thing in a more difficult manner (1. link from $HOME elsewhere or 2. change config file and link from elsewhere to $HOME). I would then stick to what you do now (I symlink my folders to my 2nd harddisc so I can format /home without the need to think if there are any private files in /home).
    – Rinzwind
    Dec 6, 2012 at 10:38
  • Actually having symlinks has it's disadvantages like double entries in Dash searches (quite annoying). I'll consider getting rid of symlinks.
    – To Do
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:00

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