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I have a PC with dual-boot, and I have installed Xubuntu (always newest version) and Windows 7. I have a new HD and I would like to be able to access it from both OS. I suppose NTFS would work since Ubuntu supports it, but, I would like to know if there is another format that may be better.

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Well Ubuntu does supports other formats better than NTFS but windows only reads NTFS and FAT32 ... you don't actually have any other choices other than NTFS. FAT32 is a bad idea. You shouldn't be able to copy files larger than 4GB into the partition. The maximum file size on FAT32 partitions is (2^32)-1 bytes, or one byte less that 4GB.

So in short NTFS is an easy way to go :)

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    Fat32 does acceptfilesof 1Gb +, I think it can go up to 4Gb or something. – Wilf Jan 30 '14 at 13:38
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    well I'm not sure what exactly the sizes are but I'm struggling right now with a FAT32 partition that I need to copy a 10GB file into. You might be right – Mina Michael Jan 30 '14 at 14:28
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You can also use Ext2Fsd, which seamlessly enables Ext2/3/4 support in Windows. I used it for a few years and it worked like a charm.

  • Thanks for your answer, I've been checking the link you posted and it seems that I would have to install it on windows and also on xubuntu, right? – Rafa Jan 30 '14 at 14:01
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    @rafa ext2/3/4 are supported by default on Ubuntu. ext4 is actually the default for Ubuntu. So no, there is no need to install it on Xubuntu – Dan Jan 30 '14 at 14:24
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    @Rafa no, he means that you would install the "Ext2Fsd" program on windows so that windows can read ext2/3/4. :) – Mina Michael Jan 30 '14 at 16:15
  • Although Ext2fsd does work, it does not fully support ext4. Usually, this isn't a problem, but for this reason I would recommend a file system that both Linux and Windows fully support, specifically NTFS. – Paddy Landau Feb 4 '14 at 10:27
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    Well, technically NTFS isn't fully supported on Linux, although that doesn't really matter for normal use. But you're right, using NTFS would probably be the better option in this case. – Donarsson Feb 4 '14 at 22:38
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My experience says that it depends... Ubuntu (and most Linuxes out there) supports NTFS through ntfs-3g. I've seen that its performance is a bit lower than native ext2/3/4. If you plan to use Linux most of the time (or you will do most data writing in Linux) then I recommend to format your data partition in ext4 and install Ext2Fsd in Windows.

If you plan to use Windows most of the time, NTFS is the way to go.

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NTFS will be your best option for the Dual boot despite other options are better.

Ext2/3/4 is the default filsystem for Ubuntu, and is supported on Windows, but you may need a 3rd party tool to enable as explained previously.

FYI, do suggest to install Windows 1st, next install your Xubuntu/Linux distro, so this way the Grub Loader can manage the boot options upon powering on your system.

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