NTFS (New Technology File System) is a proprietary disk filesystem by Microsoft for Windows and Windows-based operating systems.
There are two primary methods to achieve NTFS support when using Linux. Linux kernel 5.15 provides the new driver NTFSv3 with full support of NTFS filesystem including compression capabilities. There is also a FUSE filesystem driver called NTFS-3G - a slow but more stable and time-tested solution.
Before Linux kernel 5.15, the mainlined old NTFS kernel driver had very limited functional support for NTFS. The kernel configuration information defines support as "partial, but safe". The old driver could overwrite existing files but is not capable of file or directory creation, deletion, or renaming. As of Linux 5.15 the old NTFS code was replaced by new Paragon's in-kernel NTFS driver named "NTFSv3". This driver is more fully featured and supports full read/write and compression capabilities.
Most NTFS users will want to enable the FUSE-powered NTFS-3G implementation for systems running pre-5.15 kernels.
On Linux 5.15 and later following kernel options must be enabled for new NTFSv3 driver:
File systems ---> DOS/FAT/NT Filesystems ---> <*> NTFS Read-Write file system support <*> activate support of external compressions lzx/xpress
NTFS-3G (FUSE implementation)
The following kernel options must be enabled for NTFS read/write capabilities over FUSE in Linux before 5.15:
File systems ---> <*> FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) support
The following package is only necessary when using NTFS-3G. It is not required for native support!
Because NTFS-3G is a FUSE-based filesystem, it requires user space utilities. It is currently the only FUSE-based implementation available in the main Gentoo repository. Make sure the
suid USE flag is enabled, otherwise there may be a "read only filesystem" error.
USE flags for sys-fs/ntfs3g Open source read-write NTFS driver that runs under FUSE
||Add support for Access Control Lists|
||Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces|
||Enable ntfs-3g FUSE driver|
||Install mount.ntfs symlink|
||Build and install the ntfsdecrypt application.|
||Build static versions of dynamic libraries as well|
||Enable setuid root program(s)|
||Add support for extended attributes (filesystem-stored metadata)|
After reviewing USE flags and making adjustments as necessary, install the FUSE user space tools. This will enable the manipulation of NTFS filesystems:
emerge --ask sys-fs/ntfs3g
The mkfs.ntfs command irreversibly destroys the contents of the partition it is told to format. Be sure to select the right partition before running this command!
To create an NTFS filesystem on the /dev/sda1 partition (needs
ntfsprogs USE flag):
Please replace /dev/sdyX with the actual partition you want to format.
There are several ways to mount a NTFS filesystem:
- mount - Manual mounting.
- /etc/fstab - Automatic mount at boot time.
- removable media - Automatic mount at demand.
- AutoFS - Automatic mount on access.
Using the new native driver NTFS3 (kernel 5.15):
mount -t ntfs3 /dev/device /path/to/mountpoint
Running mount /dev/device /path/to/mountpoint may fail even if the
ntfs3driver is loaded, ensure the command is executed with
Using the read/write capable driver provided by the ntfs3g package:
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/device /path/to/mountpoint
Force mount NTFS partition after Windows was hibernated
NTFS file systems controlled by Windows may be hibernated instead of cleanly shutdown in order to save on system start times. When this occurs it will not be possible to mount the NTFS partition unless the hiberfil.sys file is removed. The following command can be used to force-mount a hibernated partition, which will result in the hiberfile being removed; all data in the file will be lost. Windows will have to perform a clean boot in order to resume operation:
mount -t ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /path/to/device /path/to/mountpoint
On the Windows system, in order to prevent unclean shutdowns from Windows it is possible to run powercfg /h off from an Administrator command prompt. This will disable hibernation which will most likely increase boot times when booting Windows, but has the benefit of cleanly unmounting the drive.
If obtaining Administrator access to prevent hibernation is not possible on a Windows 10 system, then try the following workaround:
- Boot Windows to the Windows login screen.
- Click the power button (bottom right hand corner), then press and hold the shift key and click Restart.
- Choose advanced options, then reboot to the UEFI firmware settings.
- Once in the UEFI firmware, choose the appropriate boot entry for Linux.
Occasionally it is necessary to fix an NTFS formatted partition from a Linux system. ntfsfix is the tool for the job:
Mounting volume... $MFTMirr does not match $MFT (record 3). FAILED Attempting to correct errors... Processing $MFT and $MFTMirr... Reading $MFT... OK Reading $MFTMirr... OK Comparing $MFTMirr to $MFT... FAILED Correcting differences in $MFTMirr record 3...OK Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully. Setting required flags on partition... OK Going to empty the journal ($LogFile)... OK Checking the alternate boot sector... OK NTFS volume version is 3.1. NTFS partition /dev/nvme0n1p3 was processed successfully.
- FAT — filesystem originally created for use with MS-DOS (and later pre-NT Microsoft Windows).
- Dislocker — FUSE-based filesystem driver capable of reading NTFS BitLocker encrypted partitions.
- UEFI Dual boot with Windows 7/8 — describes how to dual boot Microsoft Windows on a UEFI computer.
- NTFS at Microsoft's TechNet
- Linux kernel NTFS filesystem documentation
- Linux kernel NTFS3 filesystem documentation