I'm dual-booting with Windows 10. Right now, my partition setup is like this:

  • 20GB /
  • 10GB /home
  • 70 GB "Linux stuff" (~/Downloads, ~/Documents, etc. all softlink to folders here)
  • 300GB Windows (NTFS)

The problem is, sometimes there's lots of space in "Linux Stuff" with not much space in Windows, and sometimes the opposite is true.

What I'd like to do is to just merge the Linux-stuff and Windows partitions. I'd create a "linux" folder in the Windows partition, and softlink ~/Downloads, ~/Documents, ~/Pictures, and such there.

Are there any "gotchas" to doing this, using NTFS for most of my Linux files? In particular:

  • Is the NTFS access stable?
  • Is the NTFS access considerably slower than EXT?
  • Are there any other hidden disadvantages to doing this? Does it interfere with indexing/searching of my files, open file dialogues, etc?
  • 2
    Well for one thing, AFAIK, not only does Linux not support NTFS permissions; it completely ignores them. Aug 19, 2016 at 19:50
  • @AndroidDev Would that still be concern on a single-user system, i.e. a laptop with only one account? Aug 19, 2016 at 20:11
  • 1
    Probably not... Aug 19, 2016 at 21:50
  • 1
    That's understandable since NTFS has ACLs rather than file permissions. They are somehow similar but not the same thing. Aug 20, 2016 at 0:35
  • Have you considered going the other way instead, and carving out a big partition for your data that's ext2, shrinking your Windows partition to just be what's required for the OS and programs itself, and installing an ext2 driver for Windows so it can also access it?
    – detly
    Aug 20, 2016 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


You could link in a windows file system like that and it would work. Linux wouldn't have an issue. The real issue you would run into is with windows if linux decided to rearrange the partition to accommodate incoming files. It's rare but linux can break windows like this. I learned the hard way.

Why don't you just get a flash drive and use that?

  • Yeah, a 300GB flash drive... I'm looking to store my files, not just transfer some things back and forth. Aug 20, 2016 at 1:04

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