Re: Basic structure of Linux : File system, types of files with extentions, drive informations, and all the basics.



By means of FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) there are a few implementations
of R/W NTFS with Linux:

http://fuse.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/FileSystems


"ac" <"aec$news"@candt.waitrose.com> wrote in message
news:4jlg4nF8hd42U1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Corwin wrote:
Let me followup this thread with this new user question:

(I am nowhere near to being an expert...) :-)

From my dual boot XP/linux system I can (while running linux) read and
write to an external 250gb harddrive formatted from Windows as an ntfs
file system.

This sounds a bit strange. Linux is not generally expected to be able
to *write* to a ntfs partition, although there is no question that it
can read from ntfs well. I gather that the reason for the situation
about 'write to ntfs' is that ntfs is a ms proprietary format and
although it -can- be written to, there is a possibility that the
limited information available to the linux apps creators may be
outdated at any moment, or face undocumented features. This might
damage your ntfs system. I have avoided doing it. Having said this, I
believe recent versions of some linux distros include a ntfs write
facility. I have not heard that it is considered as very low risk though.

You are clear that the external drive is formatted ntfs, although I
had heard that many 'external HDs' are used as fat32, although I have
no experience of them yet (eg network storage box)

If and when I give up XP totally, is there a good (meaning efficient,
or otherwise) reason to reformat the external harddrive as a linux file
system, or should I just leave the external drive as ntfs?

Linux fs types include good journaling types, so they are able to
recover from various levels of disaster. The systems definitions are
open, and documentation is not secret. Linux has good file ownership
control, not at all sure if ntfs compares well technically, but you
will probably need (xp type) tools to manage it, less likely to be
available in linux because few 'penguinistas' are interested in
proprietary formats. Fat 32 does not have good file ownership
facilities, but has the advantage that both windoz and linux systems
can read and *write* to it. It may have a (file) size limitation too (?)
Fat32 does not have (any?) file ownership facilities to match linux,
so there may be security implications.

If I copy a file from an ntfs drive to a linux folder, does this
process automatically recode (?) the file as an ext2 file, or will the
file always be an ntfs file?

Nice one! as far as I know, it is restructured into the (ext2) current
file structure.
Copy paste of a .doc file or .mp3 file from say, 'doze to linux
native formal system automagically sorts this out. I guess this is
part of the function of a file system. The more I think about it the
more awesome it seems. I suppose it is vaguely like having an photo
and recording it in different ways, print on various papers or
materials. Same image, different materials. At the level of file
content, nothing is changed, the .mp3 file remains mp3.

Is the drive formatted as ntfs or ext2,
or is it the file that's formatted as ntfs or ext2, as the case may be?

Afaik it is the the 'partition' which is formatted, the partition is
garden fence boundary of the intended file system. The medium of the
drive is 'unpartitioned space' if it is not partitioned. The drive can
be divided into a number of partitions and each can be formatted with
its own fs, independent to other fs's on other partitions. Or a
partition can remain as unformatted, but is not much use then. Windoze
labels partitions as 'drives'.

What I'm thinking is that I should copy 100gb of data from my external
ntfs harddrive into a linux folder, format the external harddrive as
ext2 or ext3, and then copy all the data back onto the external drive.
Does this make sense?

It makes a lot of sense if you do not want to read the linux ext2 ext3
from any 'doze boxes. If you want to retain that facility, then fat32
is versatile, but has limitations. On one dual boot pc I have, thexp
is installed into fat32.

Btw, if you are copying a large amount of data around, it is not
impossible that you will initially come across unexpected problems. I
copy about 50 GB around and initially I found some filenames were a
problem (too long.....) and there were so much data that I did not
know how I could verify it was all ok. It is a lot of data to loose or
screwup and then try to sort out. My thoughts would be to proceed
with a little caution, and if unsure, consider and verify your backups
carefully.

hth
--
ac


.



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