[SATLUG] One File System Reading Another (borrowed from Solaris Discussion)

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 15:06:46 CDT 2009

On Saturday 28 March 2009 13:00:54 ed wrote:
> Starting a different thread from what Henry originally wrote:
> > Henry Pugsley wrote:
> >> Actually Solaris on x86 can't read partitions that were created on
> >> Sparc because of endian issues.  I found a discussion on it, and the
> >> developers said it won't happen.  Luckily the Linux UFS driver does
> >> the byte-swapping.
> >>     
> Perhaps some of you can help me with what should have been among my 
> newbie questions a few years back:  why is it that Linux- based systems 
> seem natively able to read, or at least be aware of NTFS and FAT-32 
> partitions, among others, while in reverse it appears that NTFS or 
> FAT-32 cannot read or are unaware or EXT2/3 partitions?   Arrogance, 
> maybe...?  That one's always kinda puzzled me...
> Cheers;
> Ed

To take it one step further, some distributions, like Mandriva, can also write to NTFS. I use it all the time to delete pesky spyware, viruses and ultra-hidden files which XP can't show even with hidden and system files configured to be shown (like with recent versions of 'Antivirus XP 2009' and similar fraud programs).
Basically, 99.998% of users running a system with NTFS file system have no need to read EXT2/3, let alone even know what it is. Nor do the guys in Redmond want their users to be able to do that. On the flip side, many Linux users do have the need to read/write to an NTFS volume at some point in time. Whether to access files they also use on a Windows system, or repair a Windows system, etc.

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