How do I change the Linux Documents folder to Windows Documents?

Ok... So Zorin is installed on a ext4 journaling partition. But everything else is NTFS. So a couple questions...

Is there a format I can use for my partitions that Windows AND Linux will recognize? Windows 7 and Zorin 16 for now, Windows 10 and Zorin 16+ later. I know the install partitions have to be NTFS and Ext4 for the main OSes.

UEFI mobo, GPT, Secure Boot disabled.

If I point to the same Documents folder Windows uses, what issues do I need to be aware of?

How do I change the what the Linux folders (Documents, etc.) point to? I want to point them to my Windows Documents folder, etc, in the best, safest way. That's because I have limited hard drive space, and can't have 2 copies of everything, 1 for each OS. They need to share and play nicely together.

In general, it is not recommended to share partition between Linux and Windows. While you can access to Windows files from Linux (but not the other way around), touching Windows files from Linux could cause some problems.

The better solution is to create a shared drive:

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... or

Use the cloud for that purpose. You get 25GB free at Mega - https://mega.nz/sync
Fully Windows and Linux compatible

That is one solution, provided one has a stable internet connection.
Before we got fibre in our area, using Cloud as a daily storage was out of question even in France.

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Thank you for the suggestions. Neither solution will work for me. I do video editing and work with large files. So I can't spend the money or time on cloud services, and I don't have the space for a shared drive.

Neither OS will touch anything in the other OS's install partition. I store all the files I work with in another partition on another drive. I do need to figure out how to hide Zorin's partition from Windows.

So I just need to be aware of the pitfalls of pointing Linux to the same folders I use in Windows, for the content I edit for YouTube, which as I said is NOT located on the main OS partition.

Then I need to know how to point Zorin to those folders. I want programs like Kdenlive to be looking in those folders as well.

Provided you have an enough computer power, another option is Windows or Linux VM.

I have Windows as VM on Zorin host and my Windows Documents folder is shared between host and guest. VM Windows have no problem seeing ext4. It is virtually thinking that it is a regular Windows folder.

But since you are doing heavy video editing, you might not want to lose your computer power, because virtualization takes some of your computer power to run.

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I have been using a dual boot for some time now, over a year. I have been accessing windows files from Linux on an external storage (ntfs) partition without issue. I also do this within Android studio, IDEA and gedit. I have had no issues. I can manipulate the files in either os and they are accessible by both.

You will have to direct each program to look at the other partition, or drive if that is your setup. If there is a seperate drive, you can include it in your fstab file to mount on boot in zorin, windows mounts everything by default.

The gnome file explorer (nautilus) didn't seem to have an easy way to add bookmarks, but in cinnamon DE it was simple (which uses nero), making saving documents to one folder a sinch.

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I think I know how to add bookmarks. For what purpose would they be used?

In your file browser they open directly to where they point. So if you bookmark your documents, you can easily access that folder (wherever it is located) to see and modify them with ease. I need to lookup how to change it system wide. In Windows you edit the offered system bookmark. In Linux it will be different.

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So I don't point a program like Kdenlive to My Documents/YouTube, for example. I point it to a bookmark of that location, and it will work from there. Do I have that right? Will try it and report back.

Sounds like I don't change where Linux is pointing, just direct to a bookmark as needed.

Can you not create a separate fat32 drive that both Linux and Windows can see?

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I think file size restriction is a problem for fat32.
It cannot have a file size larger than 4GB.
For video files, it is not practical.

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exFat (16 exbibytes file size limit)

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That could be a good solution :slight_smile:

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I BELIEVE my Western Digital Black exterior hard drive I purchased uses exfat, and Windows sees it just fine. So maybe I should move to that instead of NTFS. I'm fairly certain Windows 10 will have no issues with it. Thank you for the answer. I need to type all this stuff into some notes...

I'll have to get another big drive I can move everything to from my old NTFS partitions then reformat. When I get to this step, is there a way to hide Zorin's partition from Windows? In Windows it wants to format if I am not thinking and clicking on the partion, so hiding the OS from Windows will be a good solution. I would be using Gparted of course.

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I think you cannot see Ext4 partition from Windows unless you install a reader software in Windows.

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It is not possible at this time to see a linux formatted partition in Windows (ext2, 3, or 4). It is even difficult to find writable access with third party software.

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ExFat is a Microsoft file system so there'll be no issues with Windoze.

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Weird, because the partition is showing in Windows 7. But Windows thinks it needs formatting - I can not access anything on it. But it is there.

If you are using Windows 7, that might point to a slightly different path to explore. Windows 7 frequently doesn't work well with secondary primary partitions. It has been close to a decade since I've dealt with Windows 7, but as I remember, it doesn't make any difference how the secondary primary partition is formatted (FAT, exFAT, NTFS) in that case. If I remember right, the issue is not presented by MBR partitioning because the second partition becomes a logical partition in an extended partition. I no longer have the skill-set to help with Windows 7 issues, but I'm wondering if Windows 7 isn't at the bottom of this issue.