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NTFS stands for New Technology File System used in newer versions of the Windows operating system like Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Installation of NTFS write support

To prevent file system damage, any NTFS partition with errors will be mounted as read only. To correct this you have to boot Windows and run the file system repair program, like Scandisk or chkdsk, depends on version.

The NTFS driver ntfs-3g is installed by default and write support is enabled for root only. Modify /etc/fstab line where is mentioned windows, parameter dmask=002 and parameter fmask=113 to enable user writing. For example:

#Device    Mountpoint  Filesystem  Parameters
/dev/sda1  /windows/C  ntfs-3g     user,users,gid=users,fmask=113,dmask=002,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0

Mounting an NTFS partition

By adding an entry to the file /etc/fstab, the NTFS file system will be mounted automatically at boot. Make sure the mount point directory (in this example /Windows/C) exists beforehand. The most common case is that NTFS is on partition one of the first hard disk:

#Device    Mountpoint  Filesystem  Parameters
/dev/sda1  /windows/C  ntfs-3g     user,users,gid=users,umask=0002  0 0
Other options
#Device                 Mountpoint  Filesystem  Parameters
/dev/disk/by-label/win  /windows/C  ntfs-3g     user,users,gid=users,umask=0002  0 0

Make sure there is no “ro” command in the parameters before saving, otherwise the partition will be mounted read-only even though the driver has write support.

Alternatively, you can specify the source device using the disk’s ID (symlinks in /dev/disk/by-id/) or the filesystem’s UUID (/dev/disk/by-uuid/). by-label or by-id are preferred over /dev/sd* nodes because they will remain the same while the disk could show up under, say, /dev/sdc instead of /dev/sda (the latter of which depends on the order they were plugged in and/or recognized).

Manual mount

If you want to mount an NTFS partition manually, use the ntfs-3g command, specifying the disk partition as NTFS. For example this mounts an NTFS partition read-only which has the label “windows” onto the directory /mnt:

ntfs-3g -o ro,gid=users,umask=0002 /dev/disk/by-label/windows /mnt

This last part can also be done using:

su -c yast2 disk

Which is the same as YaST --> System --> Partitioner

For full details on using the ntfs-3g and umount commands to mount and unmount NTFS partition, read their manuals.

External links