NTFS vs ext3 ext4

I am preparing to kick my XP install in to touch, so today I had some great fun pruning it with a large machete, deleting and uninstalling loads of old bloat. I started with 172Gb , now it is about 120Gb lol!

Of the 120Gb, about 60Gb is music, radio, TV, Films and images, which I want to keep… As I said in an earlier thread this is on a 300Gb drive which I want to become my main drive, either by cloning my current openSuse 11.1, or making a fresh install of 11.2. What I intend now to do is put all of this “media” on to it’s own partition. Is there any real disadvantage to keeping this as a NTFS, or any advantage to making it ext4? I will probably be accessing it from openSuse, but as far as I can see, openSuse copes perfectly well with read/writing to NTFS partitions, if I keep it NTFS, I can if needed access it from windows as well…?
Any thoughts welcome as usual fellow penguins… :slight_smile:

My only thought is, if you keep it ntfs and don’t have winders installed - will it need defraging and if so how?
In my case. Pure Linux means just that and I kick to touch and M$ stuff.

The only reason you’d want to keep it as NTFS is if you intend at some point to use it on a Windows machine. If not, then go with Ext4

And yes, NTFS will need defragging, no matter if you write to it from Linux or Windows. There are no defrag tools for NTFS on Linux, AFAIK

Hmmm, I don’t think defrag will be a major issue, as this will be largely static storage, mebbe stuff will get deleted over time leaving fraggy holes in the fs, but as I say, I do not expect major traffic to or from the drive. There is of course a chance that Win 7 (now with snappy windows!! yaheyy! nobody thought of that before did they?) might turn out to be a good OS and I might want this stuff stored NTFS. Also it would be easier for the moment to create the new partition from MSXP and move the files to it also from within XP…
(or not really, thinking about it…)

Then stick to NTFS :slight_smile:

If you never plan to put Windoze on this PC, then I would recommend changing it away from NTFS. The risk (IMHO) of keeping NTFS is the NTFS partition could become “dirty” and the only way to deal with that is to boot to Windoze. But since you don’t have Windoze you can’t do that, and hence NTFS will stay dirty, and eventually you may not be able to access it.

However if you make the file system EXT3 or EXT4, and install Windoze on this PC, you will not be able to access the EXT3 or EXT4 from Windoze (at least not without hunting down, and possibly paying for and installing some custom software to give Windoze the access capability - and I have no idea about such software).

IMHO to make a good choice, you need to sort your future plans.

I’m not trying to promote any particular software here, but just to point out that there are a few free (as in beers) software will allow you to read ext2/ext3 partition on windows.

Paragon ExtBrowser - Free Download

Ext2 IFS For Windows

TY Michael, I am aware of these, the one I used was to say the least a bit clunky, but it did work, Paragon make some very good SW’s, I love their partitioning sw, also free.

That wasn’t really the point. The point is that if he takes this disk to a friend and it’s in Ext4, if his friend uses Windows (most likely), he’ll first has to hunt down additional software before his friend can read the disk, which isn’t really very convenient, unless he always carries with him the software and each time installs it on friend’s PCs which still is an ugly solution … To my knowledge, if the uses “real” Ext4 (ie, not Ext4 in Ext3 compatibility mode without extents), there’s currently no Windows software that will be able to read it. The Ext3 drivers provided by above software will not be able to manage a “true” Ext4 FS with extents turned on. There are also drivers for XFS on Windows but it’s the same thing with Ext2/3/4, you need to install additional software (the drivers)

There could be such software that allows Win to read “true” Ext4, but I’m not aware of it as I don’t care or deal with Windows

Yes, what you said is true. But I think the point is for openSUSE install on internal HDD one should always format the partition as ext3/ext4. If there is a need of transferring the file to another PC which only has Windows on it, I always copies the file into my external HDD which is NTFS. FAT32 will works as well.

Somewhat correct but not entirely. Read his original post. He has a 300GB internal drive which he’ll install openSUSE on and was asking which FS he should choose for a separate partition for data storage (movies, music, books, etc). He didn’t state if he has an external drive he can take with him. He may just want to have Linux on this internal drive but leave a Win compatible FS on a specific partition if he may need to take the drive with him… that’s what I got from his post. If this is his intention and he has no external drive, then NTFS will be the slightly better option, though as already said by oldcpu, defragging will not be possible under Linux and if the driver somehow leaves the FS dirty, he’ll need a Windows system to fix that. It’s a trade off

I see… Now it’s clear to me. Well as he himself said, defragmentation should not be a big problem, and I agree with that as long as he has enough free space on his NTFS partition and little random write. As for the worries about getting a ‘dirty’ NTFS partition, the only times myself got that is when it was mounted by Windows and the partition was not properly unmounted. I dont have this problem if the partition is mounted by ntfs-3g driver and was forced to hard reset my machine (as long as the system isn’t writing anything into it, but I can’t be sure about that).