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Re: FAT32 vs NTFS

On 02-03-2005 15:23, Alex Malinovich wrote:
On Wed, 2005-03-02 at 09:53 -0500, Andy Rowan wrote:

But then I came across something saying that writing to NTFS volumes from linux is unreliable, but I wasn't sure if that was current info. Is it still true? Should I go with FAT32 instead, is that safer? I'd prefer NTFS, but only if I can count on it.

While it is POSSIBLE to write to NTFS partitions in Linux, it is still
not recommended and rather dangerous. The only way you should use NTFS
in Linux is read-only. If you need to write, go with FAT32 instead.

Be aware that not all valid ext3 filenames are representable in NTFS or FAT. In particular, Maildir style filenames contain a : and so get renamed to something 8 characters long, losing any maildir status flags (which are after the : in the filename) in the process. If ZIP files can contain filenames with :s in them, you might try zipping while you're doing the backup, both to save space and to preserve the filenames. There are Windows programs that can handle tar files (WinZip) but I don't know what it would do with filenames with :s.

Hang on, I'll try it...

Hmmm. Created a file on my debian box named 'foo:bar' (containing 'hi') and zipped it into foo.zip. I haven't got WinZip installed on my XP box, but WinRAR doesn't handle it too well. It shows the file in the .zip file with the name right, but when I extract it it creates a file named 'foo' which is empty. (Explorer shows the file foo:zip itself as FOOBA~3#)

Tried again with a .tar file containing the same foo:bar, WinRar handled that much better, showing the filename correctly and extracting it as foo_bar with the correct contents.

So, my recommendation would be to tar up whatever you want to backup, and copy the tar file to the FAT32 drive.

Hope that helps...


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