quick basic, maybe silly queston?

Chuck Hallenbeck chuckh at ftml.net
Wed Jan 16 05:35:53 EST 2008

Hash: SHA1


When I first used Linux, I also kept DOS as the primary OS, and
installed Linux on its own partitions on the same drive. DOS was a sort
of emergency system that I knew well, and would always work. But I
haven't had a DOS partition or drive on any of my computers for maybe
five or six years now.

What I would do if I were you would be to install your Linux OS with
its own native file system, except perhaps for a partition dedicated to
sharing files between Linux and DOS. You could even have that shared
partition be the very one your DOS was installed on. That's what I did.
There's no reason why your Linux distribution needs to use the same
file system for its several partitions, so let Linux be happy with what
it likes, but create a shared place where fat32 can bridge the gap for
you. Anything you write to that partition can be read by a DOS program,
assuming you get your end-of-line terminators right, and anything you
write there from DOS can be read when Linux is running. The only thing
you will not be able to do is read files on a native Linux partition
from your DOS environment. 

Be sure not to cripple your Linux environment from the outset by
confining it to the more primitive DOS conventions. You will end up
concluding that Linux sucks, and you will remain convinced that DOS is
the place for you. With a planned way to share files, you can let Linux
have its preferred environment, but still share files easily. Remember,
your applications will NOT be shared, only the data they access. i.e.,
no speakup in DOS, no nettamer in Linux. But mp3 files are mp3 files
wherever they are stored, and text files are text files too, assuming
you cope the the CR/LF requirement of DOS and the LF-only requirement
of Linux. The programs "fromdos" and "todos" in Linux will help you do

Good luck, hope you enjoy your new system.


On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 01:14:17AM -0500, Karen Lewellen wrote:
> Hi all,
> I would rather look silly, than make a mistake, especially since at least 
> the DOS  factor will be one before I get my new machine.
> Having one built that will run an edition of DOS as its main os with 
> Linux on a separate drive.
> Here is the silly question.
> Can distros like Fedora and ebian read fat 32 partitions?
> There are a few advantages to this in DOS, so I am wanting to use one 
> that supports fat 32 unless this will create a problem for the Linux  
> distribution.
> Answer off list if this is just too newby a question lol.
> Karen

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