After I partition the drive for Ubuntu and Windows, can I use the Windows defrag utility on the Ubuntu partition, or do I defrag each with their own utilities?

I am planning on installing version 12.04 LTS with Win7 Pro 64-bit.


2 Answers 2


In Linux you actually don't need to run "defrag" or anything like that due to the way that the ext2, ext3, ext4, and so on filesystems work.

Basically, what you'll find is that fragmentation is avoided by leaving larger amounts of space between files, and having various other built in safeguards and such.

For more information, you can read the article Why doesn't Linux need defragmenting?, this discusses the "smartness" of Linux filesystems and fragmentation.

  • While the article says that some filesystems suffer heavily from fragmentation while others do not, the title is unnecessarily patronizing. The cause of Windows users asking for defragmentation tools and such rather seems to be that some poor soul once told them: "This is a computer, we call it PC. It comes with Windows, which only knows a few filesystems that suffer from fragmentation, that's why we need to run defrag and we can't do anything about that, because this will never change." It did. Remembering Ubuntu Tweak, I'm sure that a useless but nice defrag GUI would be very successful.
    – LiveWireBT
    Jan 25, 2014 at 17:09

No, you can't use Windows Disk Defragmenter, because Windows doesn't know about Linux filesystems like EXT4 by default and you should leave it like that.

There is e4defrag, but what do you think you will achieve by running a defragmentation job? We are not in the 90s anymore (Microsoft tried to get defragmentation out of users heads during development of Windows Vista). EXT4 and other filesystems avoid fragmentation where possible. If you care about performance use SSDs... for which Windows Disk Defragmenter will refuse to defrag, because that's a stupid idea.

tl;dr: The filesystem already takes care of data consistency and performance. Stop wasting time and energy, buy better hardware.

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