Accessing partitions on dual-boot systems



Why reboot every time you need to access data on the other side of your dual boot system? We’ll introduce you to Captive NTFS – a free tool for reaching Windows NTFS partitions from Linux. We’ll also show you some handy tools for reading Linux partitions from Windows.

As the Windows NTFS filesystem becomes more popular, users of Windows/ Linux dual-boot computers are increasingly confronted with a major problem: Linux is incapable of writing to NTFS [1] partitions. The Linux kernel has a module for binding the NTFS partitions, however, even its developers advise users against attempting write operations using the kernel module. The antiquated FAT filesystem was once the only free way for sharing data between the Linux side and the Windows side of a dualboot PC. However, Jan “Lace” Kratochvil has introduced the free tool Captive NTFS [2], a utility that supports Linux write access to NTFS partitions. Jan Kratochvil is the author of several other useful applications for Linux, including Surprise, a tool for resizing partitions [3]. The latest version of Captive NTFS (version 1.1.5) was released at the beginning of this year and drew the attention of a larger audience due to its use with Knoppix version 3.4 and other Knoppix-based systems, such as LinuxDefender Live! By Bit-Defender.