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NTFS-3G is an open source implementation of Microsoft's NTFS file system that includes read and write support. Because it is considered to be easier to configure and developed write support earlier, users generally prefer NTFS-3G over Template:Package Official ntfsmount. NTFS-3G developers use the FUSE file system to facilitate development and to help with portability. This document will describe how to setup NTFS-3G to work on your computer.


The Template:Package Official package is available in Extra and can be installed by:

# pacman -S ntfs-3g

Manual mounting

Two options exist for manually mounting NTFS partitions. The traditional:

# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/<your-NTFS-partition> /{mnt,...}/<folder>

Template:Codeline will utilize the provided Template:Codeline utility, which can instead be called directly:

# ntfs-3g /dev/<your-NTFS-partition> /<mount-location>


Your NTFS partition(s) can be setup to mount automatically, or pre-configured to be able to mount in a certain way when you would like them to be mounted. This configuration can be done in the static filesystem configuration (fstab) or by the use of HAL.

Default settings

Using the default settings will mount the NTFS partition(s) at boot. With this method, if the folder that it is mounted upon has the proper user or group permissions, then you will be able to read and write on that partition(s).

# <file system>   <dir>		<type>    <options>             <dump>  <pass>
/dev/<NTFS-part>  /mnt/windows  ntfs-3g   defaults		  0       0

Allowing Group/User

You can also tell fstab (the NTFS-3G driver) other options like those who are allowed to access the partition. For example, for you to allow people in the users group to have access:

/dev/<NTFS-part>  /mnt/windows  ntfs-3g   gid=users,umask=0002    0       0

Basic NTFS-3G options

For most, the above settings should suffice. Here are a few other options that are general common options for various Linux filesystems. For a complete list, see this

  • umask: umask is a built-in shell command which automatically sets file permissions on newly created files. For Arch the default umask for root and user is 0022. With 0022 new folders have the directory permissions of 755 and new files have permissions of 644. You can read more about umask permissions here.
  • noauto: If noauto is set, NTFS entries in fstab do not get mounted automatically.
  • uid : The user id number. This allows a specific user to have full access to the partition. Your uid can be found with the Template:Codeline command.
  • fmask and dmask: Like umask but defining file and directory respectively individually.
  • locale : (deprecated as of 2009.1.1) - some locales will need to specify their region for local characters to display properly.

Other configurations

Some other configurations that might help you set up your NTFS partition.

HAL mounting

HAL can automatically mount your NTFS partition with the use of hotplugging or you can choose to have your Desktop Environment do this too (if it has this feature (which also uses HAL)). By doing this, there is no need to configure NTFS in the Template:Filename configuration file.

HAL direct

To automatically mount a NTFS partition with HAL you will have to create a custom HAL policy. After you do this, add yourself to the storage group to obtain write permission.


For >=KDE 4.4, right-click the Device Notifier applet and choose Device Notifier Settings then in Removable Devices select your partition and choose Automount on login.


Template:Package AUR is a program that may be able to help configure your NTFS partition(s) if other methods don't work.


Some ideas for troubleshooting common problems.

Damaged NTFS Filesystems

If an NTFS filesystem has errors on it, NTFS-3G will mount it as read only. To fix an NTFS filesystem, load Windows and run it's disk checking program. Repairs of an NTFS filesystem are not possible yet in Linux.

Mount Failure

If you can't mount your NTFS partion even when following this guide, try to add the UUID section to your Template:Filename to all ntfs partions.

Primary boot sector is invalid

If your dmesg output looks like this:

NTFS-fs error (device sdb1): read_ntfs_boot_sector(): Primary boot sector is invalid.
NTFS-fs error (device sdb1): read_ntfs_boot_sector(): Could not find a valid backup boot sector.
NTFS-fs error (device sdb1): ntfs_fill_super(): Not an NTFS volume.

It does not neccessarily mean your drive is corrupt. Try specifying *ntfs* instead of *ntfs-3g* in fstab or on the command line.