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Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows

Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows

Most Linux users did not abandon Microsoft Windows immediately. They instead evolved gradually while alternating between the two operating systems. While learning to use Linux, you can share many of its files with Windows. For example, while running Linux, you can use LIbreOffice Writer to edit files that you had created through Microsoft Word running under Windows.

You can either install LInux and Windows on separate PCs, or dual-boot them on a single PC.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files on Separate PCs – You can share files either through your home network or through the cloud (Internet). Sharing files through your home network requires setting up Samba shares, which can be tricky. Sharing files through the cloud requires only an online-storage service, such as Google Drive or Ubuntu One.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files in a Dual-Boot PC – In a dual-boot LInux and Windows PC, Linux lets you access the files and folders in the Windows partition. Therefore, while running Linux, you can:

  • Copy files and folders in the Windows partition, and then paste them into the LInux partion. 
  • Copy files and folders in the Linux partition, and then paste them into the Windows partition. 


  • Although Windows does not let you access files and folders in the Linux partition, Linux lets you share files and folders to and from both partitions. 
  • This document applies to dual-booting Linux only with Windows 7 (or earlier) because Windows 8 Will Block Dual-Booting Linux. 
  • The examples below specifically apply to the Ubuntu distribution of the Linux operating system, and generally apply to all distributions of the Linux operating system. 

Setting Up Sample Folders and Files – To experiment with sharing files and folders between Ubuntu and Windows in a dual boot PC, you can set up sample folders and files. For example, you might do the following:

  1. Boot Windows, and then create a Windows_Humor folder on your Windows desktop. 
  2. Create a Stooges folder within your Windows_Humor folder. 
  3. Use Microsoft word to create a file for each of the Three Stooges, and then place those files in your Stooges folder. 
  4. Boot Ubuntu, and then create an Ubuntu_Humor folder on your Ubuntu desktop. 
  5. Create a Brothers folder within your Ubuntu_Humor folder. 
  6. Use LibreOffice Writer to create a file for each of the Marx Brothers, and then place those files in your Brothers folder. 

Dual-Boot File Sharing Example – To experiment with sharing files between Linux and Windows in a dual-boot PC, do the following:

  1. Create sample folders and files similar to those in the section above. 
  2. As shown in the first image above, boot Ubuntu, open your Home folder, find the Filesystem partition that contains your windows operating system, and then double-click “Documents and Settings.” 
  3. Double click the folder with your name, such as “dave,” double-click “Desktop,” double-click “Windows_Humor” and then double-click “Stooges” to display its contents as shown in the second image above. 
  4. Select all three Word files, press “Ctrl + C” to copy them, select your Ubuntu desktop, and then press “Ctrl + V” to paste the Word files onto your Ubuntu desktop. 
  5. Double-click “Ubuntu_Humor” on your Ubuntu desktop and double click “Brothers” to display its contents as shown in the third image above. 
  6. As shown in the fourth image above, drag the Word files from your Ubuntu desktop into the Brothers folder. 
  7. As shown in the fifth image above, you can use LibreOffice Writer to open the Word files. 

You have copied sample files from your Windows partition into your Ubuntu partition. You can continue your experimentation by copying your LibreOffice Writer sample files (Groucho, Chico and Harpo) from your Ubuntu partition into your Windows partition. Also, you can copy the sample folders to share them between your Ubuntu and Windows in your dual-boot PC.