Using Quibble, an open source reimplementation of the Windows boot loader, a btrfs driver for Windows, and guest starring ntfs2btrfs, an in-place conversion tool, you can make Windows boot and run on btrfs, as Lily discovered and detailed. She took it a step further though, and decided to see if you could really redefine “cursed”.
I decided to make a new btrfs partition and just copy over all the files and see if that would boot. I was shocked to see that it did and now that I had a clean and uncorrupted filesystem it was time for the incredibly dumb idea I had.
There are no directories in the Windows and Linux roots that share the same name so you should be able to boot them both from the same partition without any file conflicts. After a reboot into Linux, installing Arch with pacstrap, and fucking with grub.
This kinda just works. The btrfs driver for Windows is incredibly solid so once you get past the bootloader there really isn’t anything weird. It just does its thing.
Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. Good lord.
Actually, this is a nice idea, at least when it becomes more stable.
Windows had dropped ReFS support, and only recently decided to bring it back… in the future (https://www.windowslatest.com/2023/01/24/windows-11-is-getting-a-new-file-system-refs-but-microsoft-wont-ditch-ntfs/).
ReFS is their answer to ZFS/btrfs and similar self healing file systems. Without that, even on a RAID setup, bit rot will slowly kill your data. (Remember “half puple” jpegs? or home videos randomly skipping? those are caused by bit flips, which can be detected if the filesystem has checksums, and automatically repaired if there is a replica).
Anyway, I am not sure which one will come first: stable btrfs on Windows, or ReFS returning. But, still this is a good progress.
(And those who say this could be pointless: this is also used in the ReactOS system).
While this is less useful for me these days simply on account of my having migrated off windows, this would have been quite useful when I was dual booting more regularly. It was quite annoying to have separate partitions for windows and linux.
Another problem I regularly faced when dual booting was the lack of cross platform logical volume management. The industry has refused to standardize on cross vendor/platform logical volumes, which is such a shame because logical volumes are infinitely better than partitions. Every single time I reinstalled windows or wanted to try a new linux distro or other os I faced the partitioning conundrum. It was so easy to paint oneself into a corner by failing to anticipate future requirements. There was a high likelihood of running out of space in one partition even with unused space left on the drive and you basically had to start over. Logical volumes are the obvious solution, if only they were portable. It wasn’t to be, but how useful it would have been to have industry collaboration on logical volumes between vendors in the 90s.