Linux ext2 recovery, NTFS, and Ghost..

by Dustin Puryear

Ooh. Okay, so this is news to me. There is a freeware tool to recover ext2/ext3 filesystems from Windows. Wow, that’s a change. Is it just me or do most of the free and open source recovery tools seem to run under Linux these days? (Microsoft even has an article about how to recover NTFS with Linux.)

Well, hmm, on a second look it looks like DiskInternals Linux Recovery is free but not necessarily open source. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Thinking along these lines, I’m curious about the current state of accessing NTFS from Linux. I know that back in the day you could read an NTFS disk from Linux, but you could sometimes corrupt the NTFS volume. So, I did a quick Google and found the Linux-NTFS Wiki.

Okay, so here’s the deal apparently (pulled right from the Wiki):

• kernel driver: fast, reliable, read-only. Most people already have it.
• ntfsmount: fast, reliable, read/write, userspace.
• ntfsprogs: various tools for managing ntfs, like mkntfs, ntfsresize and ntfsclone.

So it looks like the status quo has been maintained to some extent. You can read NTFS right off the bat. To write to NTFS, you need to install ntfsmount.

Looking more into ntfsprogs, I see ntfsclone. Nifty! I was thinking this may be a free way to Ghost (say, if you could use ntfsclone, Knoppix, and an NFS filesystem somewhere), but apparently you have boot issues if you just move NTFS to another computer without doing a little legwork. OR. You can run GAG, a graphical boot manager. Check it out.


2008-03-19 11:14:02
Check out clonezilla which combines all the tools you just talked about. Great program that can clone like ghost. Even do network boots.
matthew sporleder
2008-03-19 11:58:50
Although it's not necessarily ntfs-specific, checkout g4u:

2008-03-19 15:32:15
Have you looked at ntfs-3g ( I have used it r/w for person use without any problems. Website has a whole page on quality/tests/testimonials.
2008-03-20 13:47:08
One of the linux-ntfs developers, who wrote the most useful NTFS tools (ntfsclone, ntfsresize) getting pissed off by the other developers left the project and released his stable read/write NTFS-3G driver which became the default NTFS driver in most Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Slackware, Mandriva, etc). The latest NTFS-3G driver works incredibly well!
2008-03-20 21:14:47
Yeah as Mark and Spi both said, ntfs-3g works perfectly, you just have to make sure to shut down windows properly rather then hibernate it so the filesystem is marked as clean.
2008-03-20 21:18:08
Oh and I don't think it says it on the web site, (but I used to read the mailing list and this is where I heard it) apparently the lead Linux-NTFS developer who works on the kernel read only driver has been working on a new kernel driver with full rw support and is being paid for the work by Apple. He promises that once its complete it will be released as open source (but I think there might have been a required 6 months delay).