Edit 2: Guide to hibernation dual boot I made: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2334278&p=13532592#post13532592

I'm aware that similar questions have been asked here, but there seems to be mixed consensus on whether it is dangerous or not (for a shared partition), so I would like some insights in my current situation.

I mostly use Windows 7 as my primary system, but everything programming related I prefer Ubuntu (16.04 currently). Since I have many windows open for my programming related tasks, it is a bother to always open everything again, hence my interest in hibernating. My primary concern is about "Hibernating Ubuntu 16.04 --> Start up W7 --> Shutdown W7 --> resume Ubuntu".


  • BIOS (not UEFI)
  • SSD NTFS with Windows 7 (primary disk to boot)
  • SSD ext4 with Ubuntu 16.04 (have to start Ubuntu through "boot options" in BIOS)
  • HDD NTFS for file storage (access for both W7 and Ubuntu)

I didn't create a SWAP file for Ubuntu on install, so I followed this guide to make one: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-add-swap-space-on-ubuntu-16-04 I have 16GB of RAM and I only want to use this swap partition for Hibernation, so I created an 18 GB SWAP file in the root of my SSD ext4 and I put vm.swappiness=0.

EDIT 1: Swap file seems to not work for hibernation, so you'll need a swap partition: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq

I made a swap partition, see edit 2 at the top


  • Is my HDD NTFS a shared partition? and my SSD NTFS? (since both can be accessed from Ubuntu)
  • Do I risk any data corruption for "Hibernating Ubuntu 16.04 --> Start up W7 --> Shutdown W7 --> resume Ubuntu"?
  • Do I risk any data corruption / boot problems if I hibernate W7 and Ubuntu in any combination? (W7 can't read the ext4 file system, so it should be safe right?)

1 Answer 1

  1. yes. Ubuntu will happily mount any NTFS partitions for you. That includes what would be your system (C:).

  2. No.

  3. No.

Regarding the last 2: Ubuntu will refuse to mount any unsafe NTFS partition. So when you shutdown Windows using hibernate you can NOT use that NTFS partition unless you clean it up. The proper method would be to boot into Windows, not use hibernate to stop the system and then boot into Ubuntu.

Yes, there are methods around this but those will result in loss of data. All methods from inside Ubuntu to clean up a NTFS partition will result in the loss of the hibernate file. And if that contains not-saved data it is gone, forever.

I would opt to not use hibernate, and forgo usage of a swap. The SSD I have lets me boot in under 10 seconds so I have absolutely no need for hibernate and/or suspend. I suggest you go the same path: install the operating systems on the SSD, and use the HDD for your personal data. If at any time the SSD dies you get a new one, install the operating systems and mount your hdd into your system. Safe and efficient.

Since I have many windows open for my programming related tasks, it is a bother to always open everything again

There are ways around this. Aptana studio opens the html and js I had open the previous day. And lots of editors can be set up that way. And if not you are 1 small script away from opening those files. I have several clients that I have set up in Aptana and whenever I open 1 of those remote sites in Aptana I can open a specific group of programs.

  • You say Ubuntu is safe with handling NTFS partitions that are in use, but what about the reverse? Will Windows also not mount the NTFS when Ubuntu is in hibernation? My primary concern is that nothing goes wrong with my data when Ubuntu is in hibernation. I'm not planning to clean a NTFS partation from Ubuntu. It is not just 1 IDE I have to restart, it also the positioning of browser windows on multiple desktops, so I still wish to go for the hibernation function. Aug 17, 2016 at 12:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .