ntfs-3g vs. ext2ifs

Lennart Sorensen lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at public.gmane.org
Wed Jul 29 15:19:13 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 07:40:42PM -0400, meng wrote:
> Yeah, I have some iso files bigger than 4GB.
> > I would't let windows write to ext2/3, and I don't trust ntfs writing
> > from linux, so for exchanging data I will stick to fat32.
> Hmm, you wouldn't and don't?


> I didn't think of that. Thanks for the input.
> Actually, since I use Linux mainly, I go with ext2/3.
> If I have to access(read) it from Windows, I'll use ext2ifs.
> If I have to write, I'll use Linux.

Well that's reasonable then.

> After all, I used ext2ifs only once[after installation, to confirm that it worked] :-)
> The data is mainly static so the access is mainly read.

Well if read only access is all you need from both OSs then you could
use either NTFS (which linux mounts readonly just fine) or ext2/ext3 if
you are willing to install software on windows to read it.  If you want
to write that is where I get concerned.

>   For the few
> > files over 4GB I can split them.  They don't happen often enough to be
> > a problem.
> > 
> > Anyhow, some people claim ntfs-3g works well.

Well I guess I just don't trust it yet.  NTFS has changed slightly with
every single windows release (as in mount an NTFS drive under win2k
and suddenly your NT4 box can't read it anymore until you install SP6.
That sucks.), so why would I trust the linux driver to write to it given
NTFS doesn't even have published specifications.

The ext2/3 driver for windows does have the advantage of a fully
documentated filesystem, but I don't trust windows to not screw up in
general (even on NTFS).  Also it requires extra software which makes it
less convinient for general purpose data transfers to random machines.

So for a read/write filesystem that I trust everybody to support and to
read/write correctly, FAT32 is the only choice.  Too bad about the 4GB
file size limit.  Chopping up files with whatever tool does the job
can work around that though.

Len Sorensen
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