NTFS-3G

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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 ntfsprogs 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.

Installation

Install the ntfs-3g package from the official repositories.

Manual mounting

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

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

Mount type ntfs-3g does not need to be explicitly specified in Arch. The mount command by default will use /sbin/mount.ntfs which is symlinked to /bin/ntfs-3g after the ntfs-3g package is installed.

The second option is to call ntfs-3g directly:

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

Configuring

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 udev rules.

Default settings

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

Put this in /etc/fstab:

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

Allowing Group/User

You can also tell /etc/fstab (the NTFS-3G driver) other options like those who are allowed to access (read) 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=0022    0       0

By default, the ntfs-3g driver enable write support for root only. To enable user writing, use the dmask parameter to enable user writing:

/dev/<NTFS-part>  /mnt/windows  ntfs-3g   gid=users,fmask=113,dmask=002    0       0

If you are running on a single user machine, you may like to own the file system yourself:

/dev/<NTFS-part>  /mnt/windows  ntfs-3g   uid=USERNAME,gid=users    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 Linux, 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 /etc/fstab do not get mounted automatically at boot.
uid
The user id number. This allows a specific user to have full access to the partition. Your uid can be found with the id 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.

KDE 4

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.

For this to work, it might be possible to configure PolicyKit to allow passwordless mounting.

NTFS-config

ntfs-configAUR is a program that may be able to help configure your NTFS partition(s) if other methods do not work.

Troubleshooting

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 its disk checking program, chkdsk. Take in account that ntfsfix can only repair some errors. If it fails, chkdsk will probably succeed.

To repair the file system without booting windows, install the ntfsprogs package available in the official repositories.

To fix the NTFS file system, the device must already be unmounted. For example, to fix an NTFS partition residing in /dev/sda2:

# umount /dev/sda2
# ntfsfix /dev/sda2
Mounting volume... OK
Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully.
NTFS volume version is 3.1.
NTFS partition /dev/sda2 was processed successfully.
# mount /dev/sda2

If all went well, the volume will now be writable.

Mount Failure

If you cannot mount your NTFS partition even when following this guide, try to add the UUID section to your /etc/fstab to all NTFS partitions.

Resources