Writing to NTFS

Q I administrate a PC that dual boots Vista and Slackware. It has a shared partition, formatted NTFS. I can get read-only access under Linux, but I cannot create files. I don't need fancy permissions on the shared partition, as it will hold only one user's files.

A There are three separate approaches to using NTFS filesystems with Linux. You're currently using the driver included with the kernel, which reliably supports only reading - you can write to an existing file as long as the length is unchanged. Creating files or directories is not possible, nor is any file write that changes the length of the file. The second option is NTFS-3G (www.ntfs-3g.org), a Fuse filesystem. This runs in userspace, but is reliable, reasonably fast and available in most distros' repositories. The third option is Paragon NTFS for Linux, which we reviewed last year. This is a commercial product that comes with a number of utilities and is available from www.ntfs-linux.com. As always, the choice is yours, but the in- kernel driver is by far the most limited and I would recommend trying NTFS-3G next.

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